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Trade of wild animal banned to curb virus | Updated: 2020-01-28 03:28

China will ban all forms of wildlife trade and implement strict control on activities related to wild animals until the spread of the novel coronavirus is well contained, authorities said.

In the epidemic-stricken Hubei province, 21 zoos have been closed so far to reduce the risk of potential transmission of the disease, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

The province has sent police officers to supervise any wildlife trade in 297 farmer's markets and 213 restaurants, said the administration on Monday.

Although disease experts in China and abroad haven't identified the origin of the novel coronavirus, provisionally called 2019-nCoV, virologists highly suspect it comes from a wild animal. 

According to a notice jointly issued Sunday by the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the breeding bases of wild animals shall be put in quarantine, and any transportation and selling of wild animals is forbidden until the nationwide epidemic is clear. 

It said all forms of wildlife trade in and not limited to farmer's markets, supermarkets, restaurants and e-commerce platforms are now prohibited, and the public can report any offense of above-mentioned rules to hotline 12315. The authorities have urged local governments to conduct stricter supervision, suspend illegal business operations, shut down their sites, and send those who violate the laws to public security bureaus.

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