AUTHORITIES OFFER CASH TO END FARMING OF EXOTIC ANIMALS
Farmers in China are being offered money to stop breeding exotic animals, as authorities crack down on the wildlife trade believed to be linked to the pandemic. It is hoped they will move from dealing in the likes of porcupines and king rattlesnakes to other livestock or crops. Authorities in Hunan province are offering to pay $15 per kilogram of bamboo rat, or $24 per kilogram of cobra. A wild goose is worth about $475, and the civet cat — the animal believed to have passed the coronavirus to humans, causing the SARS outbreak two decades ago — can fetch $120. A similar program has been announced in Jiangxi, a hub of exotic animal farming. China has been under pressure to curb the wildlife trade since the coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan, where it is believed to have jumped from bats to humans.