Wildlife trade likely to be the source of coronavirus outbreak

It has already caused over 100 deaths, infected thousands of people, and put a spotlight on illegal wildlife trade. As controversy swells, China’s government is forced to take action.

A dangerous trade in China with consequences now being felt worldwide

Blamed for the current coronavirus outbreak, the wild animal trade has been temporarily banned by Beijing. Based on current information, an animal source seems the most likely primary source of this outbreak, with limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts.

The virus is believed to have originated at a fish market located in Wuhan, in central China. Stalls at the market sold a wide variety of animals, including rats, wolf cubs, and giant salamanders. Aside from the environmental impact, the bushmeat trade also exposes humans to viruses carried by those animals. Scientists at the Global Virome Project estimate that wildlife could harbor 1.7 million undiscovered viruses. Half of those could potentially be dangerous to humans.

Since the 1980s, several epidemics have been associated with animal sources. These include AIDS, transmitted by a monkey, the Ebola virus, transmitted by a bat, and SARS, transmitted by a civet. The SARS outbreak, which also originated in China, killed nearly 800 people in the early 2000s.

Fearing another outbreak of that scale, the Chinese government has taken several steps: the Wuhan fish market was closed, and the trade and transport of wild animals have been banned until the epidemic ends. Now, however, NGOs are demanding more than temporary measures. They hope that the younger generations will turn away from ancient traditions.


01/28/2020 6:38 PMupdated: 02/24/2020 2:28 PM


  • David B.
    01/31/2021 04:20

    If you eat meat you’re at risk of catching a virus where ever you buy it. The farmer in a developed country is no better. The conditions and cruelity are the same. The world should promote alternative methods of eating that are enjoy able and less harmful.

  • Zoi P.
    02/03/2020 09:03

    What ever comes first..stop eating everything that move or die, either way works..

  • Lorraine M.
    02/01/2020 09:30

    We are a scourge...

  • Jen S.
    02/01/2020 09:13

    Chinese ‘medicine’, so deserving of this virus -

  • Roger P.
    01/31/2020 22:00

    Human race keeps on maltreating animals and if this virus doesn't kill us they'll be another one that does. Just a matter of time.

  • Louisefaith D.
    01/31/2020 20:58

    Mother nature fights back, darn hard.

  • Tutku K.
    01/31/2020 19:32

    After temporary, trade again, will appear worse spawn a new virus than Corona virus. That new virus can be more extremely instant deathly than Corona virus. Trading illegal animal must be extremely strictly banned

  • Marla L.
    01/31/2020 16:58

    Pls China end this.. Stop eating these animals. Other countries are trying to save the wildlife.. you could do the same and you will soon realize how good it feels to see these creatures live freely. Our dog, cats and fishes in the aquarium are our stress relievers..try it too❤

  • George P.
    01/31/2020 12:38

    Karma of China is coming...

  • Jeco B.
    01/31/2020 00:28

    The destruction of animal habitats will ensure that global pandemic from viruses that jump from animal to human will be the new normal for us.

  • Angie C.
    01/30/2020 23:18

    I’m really concerned this article is not emphasising the fault solely lying with the Chinese markets and consumption enough. Let’s not emphasise the viruses of the wildlife here. Wildlife carry viruses, it’s fact. We should be careful not to demonise wildlife with viruses but ensure people who think it’s ok to eat wildlife understand in no uncertain terms, it is not ok. Period. What we don’t want is the Chinese to persecute wildlife by blaming them having viruses, when it’s the very unsanitary brutal conditions of these markets entirely at fault. Wildlife have a right to roam freely with their viruses! That is entirely normal. Keeping seafood dead and alive with wildlife dead and alive is insane.

  • Tony C.
    01/30/2020 22:24

    They are eating every virus from animals and it will eventually infect people with weak immune system. Then create a new sars or ebola

  • Athena T.
    01/30/2020 16:35

    One billion People only in China? They should take measures to stop overpopulation i am sorry to say... How will they feed themselves???

  • Simon S.
    01/30/2020 14:57

    I suggest UV TL LAMP to kill the virus. Mask is temporary solutions. Killing the virus is solution

  • Iva T.
    01/30/2020 11:43

    You can't eat bats, cats, dogs, rats and insects! And if you ask me if people were vegetarians many of the problems around the globe wouldn't even exist in the first place.😡

  • Donald S.
    01/30/2020 05:51


  • Hendrik E.
    01/30/2020 05:48

    They should all go back to their country and not go nowhere in the world..they must go and wait to die like all those animals that they keep in cages waiting to be eaten alive. They must not be able to spread their punishment from mother nature

  • Lorraine N.
    01/30/2020 05:41

    What do you expect from people who eat dogs. They get their karma. Unfortunately it looks like the rest of the world will suffer their sicko eating habits as well.

  • Carey H.
    01/30/2020 04:52

    Why isn’t that band of merry teenager that skip school for change in China trying to make a difference?? Must not be any money in that.

  • Saravuth P.
    01/30/2020 02:28

    Some chinese god said they can eat any animal that their backbone facing sunlight. ...😩

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.