Coronavirus fuels calls to clamp down on EU wildlife trade – Politico

The coronavirus wasn’t made in a lab — but some say it’s still a man-made catastrophe caused by the booming international trade in wild animals.

Scientists suspect the new virus originated in bats and possibly jumped to humans via a pangolin host at a live animal market in Wuhan, China. The scaly anteater is one of the world’s most illegally trafficked animals and is eaten and used in traditional medicine in China, which has banned the trade of wild animals in response to the crisis.

Now members of the European Parliament and environmental groups are demanding a stronger clampdown on the legal and illegal trade of exotic animals in the EU, where they say the situation is more similar to China than some might imagine.

“It might as well have happened within the European Union. The fact that it has not happened is almost a miracle,” said Raquel García, head of public policy at the NGO Animal Advocacy and Protection (AAP).

The push also comes as the Commission is currently evaluating its action plan for enforcing measures