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Down to Earth

Banning bushmeat could make it harder to stop future pandemics

Banning bushmeat could make it harder to stop future pandemics
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Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, eating the meat of wild animals has been getting a bad press.

Last month, more than 300 conservation groups signed an open letter asking the World Health Organization (WHO) to take measures to prevent new diseases emerging from wild animals. This included banning the sale of wild animal meat, also known as bushmeat. The request stemmed from evidence that SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a wild animal, probably a species of bat, before jumping to an intermediate host, possibly a pangolin and then infecting a human.

Although exactly where the first person picked up the virus is hotly contested, the media and researchers have focused on China's wet markets, particularly those selling wild animals and their meat.

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