Recherches | Programmes de recherche

  Our consortium of French and Chinese social anthropologists will investigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the regulation of wetmarkets in central China. Based on our expertise in the anthropology of human-animal relations in various societies and in the ethnography of the reconstruction of daily life and disrupted habitats after a disaster in central China, we will assess how Chinese authorities will regulate the economy of wetmarkets and how retailers and consumers will react to these measures around the area of Wuhan, which was the place of emergence of this new coronavirus transmitted from bats to animals sold for human consumption. We will document the animal species sold on these wetmarkets, the uses made of their body parts and the economic and symbolic values attached to these animals and their body parts in Chinese traditional medicine. Our aim is to understand how Covid-19 has changed the perception of zoonotic risks in the urban areas where consumers can buy wild animals, taking measures in wetmarkets in southern China after SARS and measures in bushmeat markets in central Africa after Ebola as points of comparison, as well as wild animal markets in South America or “organic markets” in Europe. In the context of increased zoonotic risks caused by changing relations between urban habitats and wild animals, due to global ecological changes but also to an economic demand by urban consumers, this investigation will raise lessons not only for Chinese health and agriculture authorities but also for other national and local authorities who have to manage the emergence of new infectious diseases from animal reservoirs.   

Collège de France
Labex TransferS
PSL Research University

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Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale
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