These are the wild bird carcasses seized by Chinese police who are cracking down on the exotic meat trade as buyers continue to demand wildlife despite the soaring death toll of the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Chinese government has prohibited the trading of wild animals ever since experts feared that exotic meat such as that of bats could carry deadly pathogens like the novel coronavirus.
Armed police raided an illegal wildlife trader’s home and seized frozen carcasses from two storage locations in Chongming District in China’s eastern port city of Shanghai on 8th February.
No fewer than 109 wild duck and dove carcasses were uncovered in the home of the suspect, Mr Gong, who authorities said sought to “profiteer” from illegally capturing, killing, storing and distributing the dead animals.
Shanghai police said the animals were also conserved species which cannot be killed outside of the prescribed hunting season.
The carcasses were confiscated and are to be disposed of to minimise the risk of spreading pathogens.
Mr Gong, meanwhile, remains in custody over animal trafficking offences.
On 31st January, authorities in China’s southern Guangxi region seized hundreds of carcasses from an online exotic meat trader peddling eagles, leopard cats, squirrels and racoons.
Black market demand for game remains high as the Wuhan coronavirus surges, killing 908 and infected more than 40,000 in mainland China.
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