Closure of China's 'wet markets'

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The response of the Chinese Government in their country to the Coronavirus pandemic is surely admired throughout the world in the speed of action and its effectiveness in controlling the spread, and in then offering help abroad  However, it is undeniable that the pandemic started in the Chinese province of Wuhan. The World Health Organisation and most virologists in the world are sure that the cause was a mutation in a virus which was  infecting a wild animal, either a bat or a pangolin , and that the species jump to humans was made when these wild animals were harvested for food, and collected in the  ‘wet markets’ common in China. The same had happened with the  milder SARS virus. This is the ‘Broad Street Pump’ of the epidemic, clearly identified and it means that just as in 19th century London, specific public health action must be taken to prevent further pandemics. The 13th century plagues of Yersinia, which also started in China, wiped out 40% of the world’s population: the next pandemic may be even more serious and imperil the very existence of our species. 

We therefore call upon the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China to take immediate action to close all  food markets which sell wild animals for human consumption , to institute public health control and inspection of all listed food animals and  to make the collection of wild animals for consumption illegal.