Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, January 05, 2004

Guangdong bans sale of civet cats to stem SARS outbreak

South China's Guangdong province has announced a ban on the breeding and sale of civet cats to prevent any possible spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


South China's Guangdong province has announced a ban on the breeding and sale of civet cats to prevent any possible spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Feng Liuxiang, deputy director of the provincial health department, said Monday all civet cats being raised and sold in Guangdong would be culled, wildlife markets closed and the entry of civet cats from elsewhere in the country also be banned.

The move has been approved by the provincial government shortly as scientists confirmed civet cats to be a major SARS virus carrier. It is estimated that some 10,000 animals will possibly be killed.

Wild game cuisine, both traditional and popular in south China, particularly in Guangdong, was widely blamed for being a source of SARS virus, which claimed 349 lives in China and spread to a number of places worldwide last year.

Feng said Guangdong had tightened control over the breeding, sale and feeding of civet cats and other games, during the SARS peak period last year and reduced illegal trade on wildlife markets. However, since SARS came under control, these activities had begun to re-emerge.

Those wildlife, including civet cats and badgers, in 36 local wildlife breeding pens will be asked to be culled and those in transport, sale and food uses be confiscated and killed after undergoing proper sterilization.

Restaurants, hotels and food stands are prohibited from serving dishes and food made of games.

Meanwhile, Feng noted, departments of public health, quarantine, public security and transportation at all levels would pitch in the effort.

Inspection stations would be put up along highways in the cities of Shaoguan, Heyuan, Zhanjiang, Shantou, Zhaoqing and Yunfu cities so as to prevent wild animals entering Guangdong from elsewhere in China.

While government units at various levels are making moves to stem possible SARS virus carrier and other wildlife from spreading the disease, some game dealers nevertheless remained uninformed and were doing business.

Wang Baoli, a game dealer from northwestern China's Shaanxi province, carried a batch of civet cats to Guangzhou a month ago and still had 20 in stock.

"I don't know what to do with them," said Wang after learning from Xinhua reporters that sales of civet cats would be banned.

In fact, local governments have resolved to compensate lawful game traders for any losses caused by the ban. However, those involved in the illegal raising, sale and shipping of civet cats and other banned wildlife would not receive any compensation, said Feng.

Questions?Comments? Click here

SARS Scandal Holds Back Breeding of Civet Cats

Guangzhou restaurants given go-ahead to serve civet cat


Will China's rise trigger Sino-US confrontation? ( 47 Messages)

China may participate in reconstruction of Iraq ( 8 Messages)

Gas field blowout kills 191in SW China, 290-odd hospitalized ( 32 Messages)

HK singer Anita Mui dies of cancer ( 7 Messages)

China offers emergency humanitarian aid to Iran ( 14 Messages)

Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved