China bans eating civets

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2004:

BEIJING–The Chinese federal health ministry on November 2
banned the slaughter and cooking of civets for human consumption, to
promote “civilized eating habits,” the state-run Beijing Daily
“The announcement came a week after the government said 70%
of civets tested in the southern province of Guangdong were carrying
the Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus,” observed Associated
The October 23 disclosure hinted that civets were not the
source of SARS, as no civets from northern and eastern China were
infected. The Guangdong civets are believed to have been
captive-raised for slaughter, while the civets from northern and
eastern China, where “wild” animals are rarely eaten, were
apparently trapped.
The Chinese ban on eating civets came just under three months
after U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced
a health embargo on the import of either live or dead civets plus
civet parts, such as civet pelts.

“Civet products that have been processed to render them
noninfectious, such as fully taxidermied animals and finished
trophies, are not subject to the embargo,” the announcement
Since civets are not a species commonly hunted for trophies,
the exemption appeared to be intended to allow for continued imports
of civet fur garments.
Civet fur appeared prominently in Europe and was reportedly
modeled in Vogue by Kate Moss in fall 2003, several months after
Chinese health officials ordered the massacre of as many as 10,000
palm civets who had been raised for sale at live markets, chiefly in
Guangdong. But, probably because civets were in consumer disrepute
due to the link with SARS, the fur was said to be from “Lipi cats”
and “genottes.”
“Genotte” is the French and Italian spelling of “genet,” an
alternate name for civets in common use. Taxonomists recognize
genets and civets as different branches of a closely related family.

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