China BANS eating wild animals amid fears the practice sparked coronavirus outbreak 
China's top legislative committee on Monday passed a proposal to ban all trade and consumption of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the country's deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The official Xinhua news agency said the proposal was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

'It aims to completely ban the eating of wild animals and crack down on illegal wildlife trade,' it said.

The report added that the measure was aimed at 'safeguarding public health and ecological security'.

The Standing Committee is responsible for convening the 3,000-member NPC, but it has decided to postpone the annual session due to the health crisis.

Beijing is yet to revise its wild animal protection law, but the passage of the proposal was 'essential' and 'urgent' in helping the country win the war against the epidemic, wrote state newspaper People's Daily.

Chinese health officials have said the virus likely emerged from a market in the central city of Wuhan that sold wild animals as food.

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