ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Coronavirus

China's exotic meat trade draws fire as deadly virus spreads

Belief about health benefits behind old tradition despite growing skepticism

A muntjac, or barking deer, sits in a cage at a Chinese market in 2003. The animal tastes like tough beef, said one family in Guangzhou.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- China's centuries-old tradition of eating civets, porcupines and other exotic meat is facing renewed criticism as scientists tracking down the origin of the new coronavirus zero in on bats as a potential host.

Though Chinese health professionals and many city dwellers have shied away from eating wild animals in recent years, the practice continues in many communities. In addition to enduring beliefs about health benefits, people go after their exotic taste or show off their wealth by eating rare animals.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more