Attitudes towards Wildlife Consumption inside and outside Hubei Province, China, in Relation to the SARS and COVID-19 Outbreaks

Shuchang Liu, Zheng Feei Ma*, Yutong Zhang, Yingfei Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We designed a self-administered 20-item questionnaire to determine changes in attitudes towards wildlife consumption in Chinese adults during the SARS epidemic in 2002–2003 and on-going COVID-19 pandemic that was first identified in December 2019. A total of 348 adults (177 males and 171 females) with a mean age of 29.4 ± 8.5 years participated, the majority (66.7%) from Hubei. The percentages of participants who had eaten wildlife significantly decreased from 27.0% during SARS to 17.8% during COVID-19 (P = 0.032). The most common reason participants provided for consuming wildlife was to try something novel (64.9% during SARS and 54.8% during COVID-19). More than half of participants (≥53.5%) reported that they had stopped eating wildlife meat because most species of wildlife are legally protected. Our study results indicate over the period between the SARS epidemic to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, attitudes towards the consumption of wildlife in China have changed significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-756
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Ecology
  • Hubei Province, China
  • SARS
  • Wet markets
  • Wildlife consumption

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