Wuhan virus: China's wild animal markets a breeding ground for disease

A photo taken on Jan 15, 2020, showing a butcher selling yak meat at a market in Beijing.
A photo taken on Jan 15, 2020, showing a butcher selling yak meat at a market in Beijing.PHOTO: AFP

Workers in close contact with animals during trading, slaughter and cooking

What hits a visitor to China's wild animal markets immediately is the smell. It is an odour so overwhelmingly putrid that one would leave at once if one did not have any real business to be there.

Chickens, ducks, geese, swans, pigs, goats and sheep are commonplace and kept in separate pens.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2020, with the headline 'China's wild animal markets a breeding ground for disease'. Print Edition | Subscribe