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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.

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