Chinese citizens will be limited to eating just one bat per week under tough new restrictions announced by Beijing.
“It won’t be easy for some residents, but we are committed to limiting the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19,” says China’s health minister Wang Xiu Ying.
Both the Coronavirus and SARS are thought to have originated in bats.
“Under the new rules, people eating bats must also stand or sit at least 1.5 metres from other people,” says Wang Xiu Ying.
The new measures come after growing international backlash to the wild animal trade in China.
But the Chinese government has stopped short of placing limits on the consumption of dogs, cats and other wild animals.
“It’s a delicate balance,” says Wang Xiu Ying. “We want to reduce viral infections, but we also need to support our domestic economy.”
The new regulations come into effect on May 1.