Once it was clear that the new SARS CoV-2 virus had an animal origin, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for wild animal markets, which are particularly popular in Asia and Africa, to be shut down. China, which faces particular criticism, temporarily banned the entire trade with wild animals in January 2020, to last until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. In the end, the ban did not last quite that long, with the markets now partially open again. Still, the trade with exotic animals and food in China has dropped significantly. Wild animals play an important cultural, traditional and even nutritional role for many people. Plans to ban the trade or consumption of wild animals in general are unrealistic; and in addition, strict bans are almost impossible to monitor, especially in regions with poor infrastructure or weak governance.