COVID-19 is changing the China-Africa wildlife trade


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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the China-Africa wildlife trade. In response to the outbreak that was first detected at a wet market that sold live animals in Wuhan, the Chinese government has introduced a number of new laws that will significantly restrict the trade of live and endangered animals.

In February, the National People’s Congress unveiled new updates to the country’s Wildlife Protection Law that will outlaw the sale of certain live animals and bans the consumption of bushmeat. Two months later, the government took action to limit the trade and sale of pangolins by removing pangolin scales from the list of official ingredients approved for use in traditional Chinese medicine and upgraded the endangered animal to Class 1 protected status, the highest level of legal protection available.

Linda Chou closely follows these regulatory changes as a Beijing-based policy adviser for the international wildlife conservation group TRAFFIC. She joins Eric and Cobus this week to discuss the future of the China-Africa wildlife trade and how all of these new Chinese laws will impact illicit animal trafficking.