Coronavirus continues to spread. By February 24, it has sickened 77,262 people across the globe. It has killed at least 2,000 people.

The coronavirus is a specific virus that infects both birds and mammals. The virus transferred to humans at an exotic animal market in Wuhan.  At markets like these, exotic animals are bought, sold and slaughtered. Conservationists are continuing to call for a global reduction in the wildlife trade to prevent such viruses.

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China has already temporarily banned the trade but has now released a plan to end the Chinese tradition of eating wildlife. The tradition is the source of the exotic markets in Wuhan and those like it.

According to Traffic.org, the Chinese government announced new measures on February 24 to end stop the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on consumption of wild animals as food, enforcement of China’s wild animal protection law, circumstances allowed for consumption of wildlife and communication on ecological and public health.

Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia regional director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare told the New York Times, “This issue is not just a conservation issue anymore. It’s a public health issue, a biosafety issue and a national security issue.”

Conservationists are urging the Chinese government not to ignore the tie between these markets and the outbreak. Even with the coronavirus, demand for wildlife is still present in Asia as sellers promote traditional medicines as cures for coronavirus.

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You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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