Chinese wildlife ban freezes export of test monkeys when demand was increasing due to COVID-19-related research
On Jan. 26, the Chinese government temporarily banned the transport and sale of wild animals after a deadly new coronavirus began to spread through a Wuhan market that advertised the sale of live cats, dogs, snakes, rats, foxes, civets, monkeys and other creatures. Less than a month later, China permanently outlawed all trade in wild terrestrial animals, a move praised by international wildlife advocacy groups. The ban applies to animals destined for consumption, but it provides a specific exemption for use in research, subject to “strict approvals” by the government.
Until recently, China supplied roughly 80 per cent of the monkeys imported into the United States for scientific research, according to statistics maintained by the National Association of Biomedical Research, an advocacy group.
But strict application of the new ban has effectively halted the Chinese trade in monkeys intended to be used in research, local scientists and breeders said in interviews.