Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 256-261.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020053

• Forum • Previous Articles    

Insights on the legislation, law enforcement and management of zoonosis from the epidemic of new coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19)

Jiang Zhigang1,2,*()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Online:2020-02-20 Published:2020-03-02
  • Contact: Jiang Zhigang


Since the beginning of the 21st century, two major infectious diseases, SARS and new coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), have shocked China as well as the world. Studies suggested bats, as well as pangolins may be the vectors of both epidemics, prompting calls for a ban on eating wild animals. In fact, the country has already legislated against the consumption of legally protected and illegally sourced wild animals. Market survey found no bats for sale in those markets in 16 major Chinese megacities after SARS. Therefore, how did SARS-CoV and the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV (SARS-CoV-2) spread from wild animals to humans? What lessons should we learn from these two epidemics? Besides a total ban on consumption wild animal meets from illegal source, I suggest to perfect the legislation of zoonosis and to fill the gaps in the laws concern with the prevention of zoonosis; to amend the provisions of the existing law governing the managing of zoonosis contaminated areas. A permanent institution should be set up to cover the whole process of wildlife epidemic investigation and monitoring, human-wildlife interface, quarantine, immunization of susceptible populations, popularization of law and scientific knowledge, thus to realize early prevention, early detection and early treatment of zoonosis to ensure public health security. I also recommend that to establish a mechanism for the prevention and control of zoonosis, to identify wildlife hosts of zoonosis pathogens, to strengthen bat monitoring, and to issue red lines for the control of zoonosis. Additionally, we shall strengthen law enforcement to prevent zoonosis; improve animal production management, marketing, and quarantine procedures. I urge people to change their habit of pursuing fresh animal foods by killing animals on site in markets.

Key words: wild animals, eating habits, market management, monitoring of zoonosis, zoonosis quarantine, epidemic prevention, the Red Line for Zoonosis Control, public health safety