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Conservation Groups Welcome China’s Decision to Ban on Wildlife Markets

A vendor sleeps next to giant tortoises she sells for eating in a market in Guangzhou. The rare tortoises are around twenty years old and sell for US$150 each. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS PETER PARKS / AFP

Conservationists are hoping that China’s decision this week to temporarily ban the sale of wildlife in open markets will eventually become permanent. The Chinese government announced the move on Sunday as part of a broad effort to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus. It’s widely believed that the virus likely came from one of Wuhan’s many unregulated open-air markets that sell a wide array of wild animals, including rodents, yak, snakes and even porcupines.

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