Experts from the University of Oxford, together with colleagues from the China Western Normal University, studied information about the work of the market in Wuhan, Hubei province, before the outbreak and massive spread of the coronavirus.
Scientists found that during this period of time on the market were sold:
- Civets (civets),
- raccoon dogs,
However, scientists have found no evidence that bats and pangolins could be traded there at the time, which are considered possible suspected carriers of the coronavirus.
Almost all animals were sold alive, tightly caged, in poor condition. Most retail outlets offered on-site butchering services, which significantly contributed to food hygiene and wildlife conservation concerns.
Text of the report
The authors note that all the animals were kept in unsanitary conditions, and the sellers did not have quarantine certificates. In such an environment, animal coronaviruses could easily be transmitted to humans.
These data can help shed light on the situation with the search for the sources of the pandemic.