China's Hubei reports no new confirmed COVID-19 cases


Additionally, officials declared the city a wildlife sanctuary and prohibited nearly all hunting of wild animals within its limits.

"The city has banned the breeding of "wild land animals" for eating". A civet cat, the wild animal believes to have carried SARS to humans in another outbreak nearly two decades ago, will fetch 600 yuan.

The city at the center of the coronavirus, Wuhan has banned the eating of wild animals.

The statement also announced other prohibitions, including a complete ban on the hunting of wild animals and that "the administrative area of the whole city is a wildlife sanctuary".

The hunting of wild animals was also now banned, the notice said, except for the purposes of "scientific research, population regulation and monitoring of epidemic diseases". Hubei had so far reported 68,135 confirmed COVID-19 cases in total, including 50,340 in Wuhan.

Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a "wet market" where exotic animals are kept alive in cages and butchered for meat.

A merchant at an indoor wet market in Beijing, China, in 2012. The province of Hunan on Friday set out a compensation scheme to persuade breeders to rear other livestock or produce tea and herbal medicines. One-off payments will be provided for current exotic stock, according to AFP. The civet cat, believed to have passed on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to humans around 20 years ago would fetch 600 yuan or Rs 6,380.

Chinese authorities have chose to offer a one-off payment of 120 yuan ($16) per kilogram of rat snake, king rat snake and cobra, while a kilogram of the bamboo rat will be 75 yuan.

In Jiangxi, authorities will help farmers dispose of animals and provide financial aid.

As Covid-19 has spread throughout the world, China has received harsh criticism of its initial management of the outbreak and appeals have been increasing for an independent investigation into the origin of the infection.

Animal rights group Humane Society International said Hunan and Jiangxi are "major wildlife breeding provinces", with Jiangxi seeing a rapid expansion of the trade over the last decade.



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