Chinese frog breeding council says humans 'yearn' for wildlife products

Wildlife trade in China blamed as possible cause of Wuhan virus outbreak

  4763
Outbreak of Wuhan virus prompting renewed calls for enforcement of laws against the trade in and consumption of exotic species.

Outbreak of Wuhan virus prompting renewed calls for enforcement of laws against the trade in and consumption of exotic species. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese council that promotes frog breeding has been ordered to cease operations over its opposition to the government’s ban to halt wildlife trade amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak believed to have originated at a seafood market in Wuhan.

On Sunday (Feb. 16), the Frog Reproduction Council, which is under the auspices of the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), posted an article on its official Weibo account titled “Wildlife farming is a feat of humans’ ancestors.” The article lambasted Beijing’s decision to forbid the trade of animals last month in the wake of the epidemic, saying “it’s arbitrary, unscientific, irrational, to impose the sweeping ban because of one epidemic.”

“Humankind’s yearning for wildlife products has never been satisfied. In some way it has become a sort of ‘rigid demand,' " reported Shanghai-based online newspaper The Paper, citing the article. The concept of such inelastic demand denotes that buyers’ demand does not change as much as the price changes.

The claim appears to be a contentious one as China struggles to stem the spread of the disease, which has infected over 75,000 and claimed more than 2,000 lives worldwide. In response, the CWCA acted quickly to discipline the council by issuing a statement on Tuesday (Feb. 18) that it will be dissolved for “bringing detrimental effect on society.”

Established on March 29 last year, the Frog Reproduction Council has sought to protect and regulate the frog breeding industry, according to the report. The president of the council is a biotech company chairman whose business involves forest frog breeding and sales of frog-based cosmetics.

Statement by the China Wildlife Conservation Association (Website image)