Beijing has passed a law that punishes people for hunting, trading or eating wildlife, according to the Daily Mail. Government officials passed the law April 24  in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The wildlife trade and animal markets are thought to be the cause of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two other Chinese cities, including Shenzhen, passed similar laws earlier in the month. And new regulations went into place to protect dogs and cats and to reclassify them as livestock, not food. The law passed Beijing Municipal People’s Congress on April 24 and goes into effect June 1.

The ban includes ‘terrestrial wildlife of important ecological, scientific and social value.” Consumption and trading in markets are forbidden and violators would face fines up to 20 times the price of wild animals.

It’s not clear yet whether other cities will follow Beijing’s lead, or if the country’s temporary ban will become permanent. Hundreds of organizations and activists have called for permanent wildlife trade bans and bans on wet markets around the globe.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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