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China temporarily bans wildlife trade in wake of outbreak

China is temporarily banning the trade of wild animals following a viral outbreak in Wuhan, saying they will “severely investigate and punish” violators.

The ban will continue until “the epidemic situation is lifted nationwide” in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and block potential sources of infection and transmission.

The outbreak of the new virus linked to a wildlife market in central China prompted renewed calls for enforcement of laws against the trade in and consumption of exotic species.

Demand for wild animals in Asia, especially China, is hastening the extinction of many animal species as well as being a risk to human health.

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