The new policy went into effect on May 13 and will stay in place for five years
The Chinese city of Wuhan has banned the eating of wild animals, a practice believed to have caused the coronavirus pandemic.
The new policy went into effect on May 13 and will stay in place for five years, according to a notice released by the Wuhan government today, reports the Daily Mail.
Experts in China said in January that the virus had likely jumped onto humans from wild animals sold as food at a wet market in the city of 11million.
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, the market believed to have spawned the global outbreak, was shut on January 1 in the wake of the health crisis.
Apart from seafood, the market's offerings included live wild animals, such as foxes, crocodiles, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, rats, peacocks, porcupines, koalas and game meats, a previous report revealed.
In China alone, the virus has claimed 4,634 lives and infected 82,965 people, officials claim.
Globally, at least 324,000 people have died and nearly five million have contracted the killer infection.
The Chinese province of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital city, in March passed a law to ban the eating of wild animals completely, including those bred or raised by people.
In February, China's central government blocked all trade and consumption of wildlife with a temporarily law, but it did not specify if farm-raised ones would be covered.
China's overall wildlife trade is worth around 520billion yuan (£57billion), according to a government report from 2017.
The new directive in Wuhan largely echoes the legislation launched by its provincial government.
It comes after provinces across China have promised buyout schemes or other financial aid to help wildlife breeders turn to other trades.
The regulation covers wildlife and wildlife products. It forbids the consumption of all wild animals on land as well as endangered and protected wild aquatic species.
It prohibits the hunting of wild animals across Wuhan, which covers an area of 8,494 square kilometres (3,280 square miles) or roughly five times of Greater London.
Staff at scientific and medical organisations must obtain special hunting licences for research purposes.
Artificial breeding of land-based wild animals and nationally protected wild aquatic species for human consumption is not allowed, the document says.
The decree also cracks down on the wildlife trade.
No organisations or individuals are allowed to produce, process, use or conduct commercial operations with wildlife or wildlife products which are banned by the document, officials say.
Any related breeding, transporting, trading, carrying or mailing is illegal.
Citizens are forbidden from encouraging or persuading others to eat or conduct illegal trading of wild animals. Such activities include releasing advertisements, installing relevant signboards and publishing recipes.
Scientific and medical teams must undergo strict applications and quarantine inspections should they need to use wild animals for non-food-related work purposes.
In a new, city-specific move, officials say they will use the national social credit system to punish any violators of the rules.
Offending individuals and companies will see their behaviour recorded into the country-wide surveillance scheme and receive penalties accordingly.
Authorities will also increase their inspections into markets, hotels, restaurants, e-commerce platforms and food-processing businesses to prevent the trading of exotic species.