Animal Health, Political/General News, Respiratory Tract Diseases, Natural Environment, Medical Conditions, Outbreaks/Epidemics, Novel Coronaviruses, Infectious Diseases, Synd

Animal Health, Political/General News

Over 47,000 Wild Animals Sold in Wuhan Markets Before Covid Outbreak, Study Shows

A new study shows animals were often butchered on site in markets and stored in cramped, unhygienic conditions

6/9/2021 8:15:00 AM

A new study shows animals were often butchered on site in markets and stored in cramped, unhygienic conditions

The new study shows 47,000 wild animals thought to be possible hosts for Covid-19 were sold in Wuhan market in 31 months before first outbreak.

it had found no proof of live mammals being sold at that market—though it noted some reports they had been—and quoted market authorities saying all wildlife traded there was legal. It also visited Wuhan’s Baishazhou market and said it found no evidence of wildlife being sold there.

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The Scientific Reports paper painted a very different picture.It was based on a survey of 17 shops at four different markets in Wuhan—including Huanan and Baishazhou—conducted as part of a study on the spread of a tick-borne disease among animals.It covered seven vendors at Huanan—featuring photos from there of live bamboo rats, hedgehogs, marmots, raccoon dogs and hog badgers—as well as two shops in Baishazhou, which supplies goods to many vendors in Wuhan, including at Huanan.

The 17 shops sold a combined total of 47,381 wild animals from 38 different species, all but seven of which are protected under Chinese law, the paper said. But none sold bats or pangolins—scaly ant-eating mammals that the WHO-led team has identified as

potential intermediate hosts.China’s National Health Commission and Wuhan city government didn’t respond to requests for comment. Chinese authorities have in recent weeks suggested the virus didn’t originate in China and urged the WHO to investigate potential early cases in other countries.

The new paper “confirms what was suspected,” said Peter Ben Embarek, a food safety specialist heading the WHO-led team. “Not only farmed wild animals products were on sale but also live animals.”Importantly, however, it didn’t show whether such animals were still present in November 2019 when a spillover likely occurred, he added, or contain granular details about the animals in each market. “Would be nice to see the figures by month but I am sure the authors have the info,” he said. “I don’t know why the info was not shared before.”

Zhao-min Zhou, a researcher at China West Normal University who co-wrote the paper, said that it wasn’t shared with the WHO-led team earlier because it was still waiting to be peer reviewed.“We were unwilling to disclose it to any other parties” until peer reviewers considered it ready, he said.

Chris Newman, another author who is a scientific consultant to Oxford University, said the paper was submitted to academic journals early last year but rejected by several, including one that required a lengthy review process. It was submitted to Scientific Reports in October and accepted in May. Scientific Reports shares a publisher with Nature.

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“This seemed like a globally important data set and I thought someone would want to snap it up and make it available,” Dr. Newman said.“I kept getting these rejection letters—they all said it’s very niche, nobody would see global relevance to this data. None of them were very keen at all. I don’t know if they saw it as a hot potato maybe.” He said his Chinese co-authors weren’t permitted to publish on a preprint server—which doesn’t require peer review.

A spokeswoman for Scientific Reports said, “The time between the submission of a paper to its acceptance can vary significantly, as it incorporates editorial evaluation, securing peer reviewers and one or more rounds of peer review and author revisions, which can be a lengthy process. Once the process was complete and the paper accepted by the journal for publication, the article was published within two weeks.”

The paper’s release comes amid escalating calls for a fuller examination of an alternative hypothesis on the origins of the virus—repeatedly denied by China—that it mightthat was experimenting with coronaviruses found in bats.EarlierThe World Health Organization’s mission to Wuhan said the coronavirus most likely spread naturally to humans through an animal. WSJ’s Jeremy Page reports on what scientists learned during their weekslong investigation. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters (Video from 2/9/21)

Although most scientists still consider it more likely that the virus spread naturally from animals to humans, none have been able so far to find an ancestor to the virus or identify the species that might have acted as an intermediary host.The paper provides among the strongest clues yet.

“It is an actual smoking gun,” said Robert Garry, a virologist at Tulane University School of Medicine, in New Orleans, who wasn’t involved in the study but is among scientists who have consistently rejected the lab hypothesis.“This report clearly places [SARS-CoV-2]-susceptible animals smack in the middle of Wuhan,” he said, describing a list of mammals included in the study as a “virtual Who’s Who” of creatures that can carry the Covid-19 virus.

He also suggested that the data wasn’t included in the WHO-led team’s report because the study found that the 17 shops were selling wildlife illegally. Other scientists questioned why data that helped buttress the case for a live animal spillover in a market wasn’t shared far earlier.

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“Seeing that these animals were definitely there and these conditions is useful with respect to establishing that plausibility,” said Aris Katzourakis, an Oxford University professor of viral evolution. “I don’t see why statements of fact about the presence of particular animals in the market should have to wait for peer review. There may well be politics going on here though.”

China has long banned the trade in certain wildlife, such as endangered species, but permitted the licensed breeding and trade of other wild animals that are used as food or in traditional medicine, as long as sanitary checks are passed.The paper said that 13 of the stores surveyed posted the necessary permits from the Wuhan Forestry Bureau allowing them to sell wild animals, such as pheasant, Siamese crocodile, Indian peafowl and Amur hedgehogs.

However, none of them posted the requisite certificates indicating the origin of the animals or that they had been quarantined to ensure that they were free of disease, the paper added.“So all wildlife trade was fundamentally illegal,” it said.Wuhan’s city government and forestry bureau didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Approximately 30% of animals from six species inspected had suffered wounds from gunshots or traps, implying they were caught illegally, the Scientific Reports paper said. Those species included badgers and raccoon dogs, both of which can carry the Covid-19 virus.

“The WHO reports that market authorities claimed all live and frozen animals sold in the Huanan market were acquired from farms officially licensed for breeding and quarantine, and as such no illegal wildlife trade was identified,” the paper said.“In reality, however, because China has no regulatory authority regulating animal trading conducted by small-scale vendors or individuals it is impossible to make this determination.”

It praised Chinese authorities for measures including a permanent ban in February last year on trading most terrestrial wild animals and consuming them as food.But it said further measures were needed to clarify which species couldn’t be traded legally and to change attitudes among consumers of wildlife products in China.

“Adopting these more responsible practices has the potential to save countless lives in the future,” it said.Investigating the Origin of Covid-19 Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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Stop flights in and out to the US from this place. Stop letting Chinese people travel to and from China to the US. Communist party coronavirus lab leak. This is why.. free Hong Kong Old news, fake news. The truth is coming and there’s no way to stop it. Its called 'cover' Are lobsters wild animals too? Why 47, 000 while animals sounds a lot?

Wow, this is news A new study? COVID IS CHINA FAULT! PCCh? Is it you? You need a study to come up with this? Just walk through these markets! A perfect place to put a lab

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The question is, if they think COVID came from that market, how can anybody in their right mind still allow that market to operate ? TOLIET BOWL! CCP uses its dog whistle Wait till you see the chicken factories in the US. How embarrassing for CCP which tries to hide how the majority of its citizens live in squalor.

Well no wonder China is always source for virus and pandemic so this is the best you can find from this report? The Wall Street Journal has lost credibility Duh. Thanks for the news.

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Took this picture while I was in China,hygiene is definitely not a priority. Unless the government cracks down hard another outbreak is on the horizon. Yet of the virus did come from animals. There would have been an outbreak where it had been caught. Yet the only outbreak was wuhan at that time. So that's why this theory doesn't hold ground. Why is WSJ pushing this narrative again?

If uv been 2 China, u may have been to a restaurant where there r live animals in small cages in front & I pick ur meal. I’m not talking chickens n’ lobsters, I’m talking snakes, bats, rodents, ducks, birds, monkeys. they’ll never be vegetarian. But they can be cleaner about it. Don't try and hide what's really happened and by whom. Donald Trump purposely brought COVID19 to the USA, so Americans could die.

Yes, it's gross to me as an American. Dogs, snakes... But that said, there were zero bats sold at the market, per the scientific study that came out this week. Covid-19 coronavirus origin. WHO investigations must also be done where the disease was reported earlier. How does that square with the recently confirmed study that Covid-19 coronavirus appeared in Barcelona, Spain on March 12th 2019? Dr. Redfield claimed that it leaked from WIV on September 2019. How could that be possible when it's already confirmed in Barcelona March 12th 2019?

Kenneth says that some American military athletes on the way to the Wuhan military games were infected with Covid-19. He suspect that they caused the Wuhan outbreak. Kenneth an American who works and live near Washington DC and Fort Detrick says he got Covid-19 in October 2019 before the Wuhan military games. See Dr John Campbell video dated June 20th 2020. The interview is towards the end of the video.

Yes, this is not news. You know what a wet market is, what’s the purpose of posting this article?

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As they have done for thousands of years. Next... Fresh food I am sure you have your own calculators to count the numbers ..

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U.S. Report Concluded Covid-19 May Have Leaked From Wuhan LabA report by a U.S. government national laboratory concluded that the hypothesis claiming the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab is plausible and deserves further investigation Let’s bomb China The Left has continued its fascination with race, by pursuing Critical Race Theory. Is this pursuit counter productive? It’s not simply the COVID lab-leak theory was “debunked,” as news organizations repeatedly told us when anyone tried to raise it a year ago. It wasn’t even permitted to be considered. The topic was deliberately extinguished on tech platforms, in scientific journals & newsrooms.