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

Xiangying Shi, Xiaochuan Zhang, Lingyun Xiao, Binbin V. Li, Jinmei Liu, Fangyi Yang, Xiang Zhao, Chen Cheng, Zhi Lü*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


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 indu-stries 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-643
Number of pages14
JournalBiodiversity Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation policy
  • Public health security
  • Wildlife consumption
  • Wildlife trade

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