Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 630-643.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020134

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Public perception of wildlife consumption and trade during the COVID-19 outbreak

Xiangying Shi2,3,Xiaochuan Zhang1,Lingyun Xiao1,Binbin V Li4,Jinmei Liu5,Fangyi Yang6,Xiang Zhao3,Chen Cheng3,Zhi Lü1,3,*()   

  1. 1 Center for Nature and Society, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2 College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    3 Shanshui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871
    4 Environmental Research Center, Kunshan Duke University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215316
    5 Friends of Nature, Beijing 100029
    6 Paradise International Foundation, Beijing 100011
  • Received:2020-04-01 Accepted:2020-06-08 Online:2020-05-20 Published:2020-06-19
  • Contact: Zhi Lü


The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn great attention to the potential public health risks associated with the consumption and trade of wildlife. To inform legislative revision and policy changes, we conducted a web-based survey of the general public, attracting 74,040 responses. The survey examined public support for revising legislation and policy related to wildlife consumption and trade management. The results and analysis revealed: (1) The overwhelming majority (> 90%) of constituents supported more stringent policy and legislation on wildlife consumption, trade, and commercial exhibitions. (2) The consumption of wildlife is likely to fall due to COVID-19. (3) People that engaged either directly or indirectly in wildlife-related industries showed less support for more stringent policy and legislation on wildlife consumption and trade. Based on these results and concerns for public health security, a ban on wildlife consumption and revised legislation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress was widely supported, particularly among educated, urban respondents.

Key words: wildlife consumption, wildlife trade, public health security, conservation policy