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Just a few months after announcing a ban on the consumption of wild animals, China is now set to phase out farming of 45 species by the end of 2020. 

According to Sixth Tone, the English language sister publication of The Paper, the ban will include bamboo rats, porcupines and civet cats.

A further 19 species, including hedgehogs, badgers and guinea pigs can only be farmed for purposes other than consumption, such as medicine. 

Disease fears

In the early days of the COVID crisis, the consumption of wild animals and the disease risks posed by wet markets fell under the global spotlight. China responded with a nationwide ban on trading wild animals. 

The new regulations go further, outlawing farming of many species that are typically classed as ‘wild’, even if they’re bred and reared in captivity.

Farmers who continue to trade any of the 19 permitted species for medical or other accepted purposes must work with the government to strengthen safety measures.

‘We still have concerns’

Tian Jiangming from the Anti-Poaching Crime Squad feels the new regulations do not go far enough. “We still have concerns,” he told Sixth Tone.

“Wild animals bred for purposes other than eating might be secretly sent to restaurants in the absence of adequate supervision.

“A blanket ban on breeding wild animal species with a white list of exemptions would be easier and more straightforward to manage.”