COVID-19 - Coronavirus disease 2019

Regulating Wetmarkets in Central China : Ethnographic Study of the Perception of Zoonotic Risks after the Covid-19 Crisis – RegWet

Submission summary

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 epicenter 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 value 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. In the context of increased zoonotic risks caused by changing relations between urban habitats and wild animals, due to ecological changes but also to an « organic » demand by urban consumers, this investigation will raise lessons not only for Chinese health and agriculture but also for other local and national authorities who have to manage the emergence of new infectious diseases from animal reservoirs.

Project coordination

Frédéric Keck (Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LAS Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale

Help of the ANR 186,300 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2020 - 18 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter