Most Brits think COVID-19 originated in live animal market

Sarah Prescott-SmithSenior Research Executive
April 11, 2020, 11:00 PM GMT+0

And a majority think that such animal markets should be banned

New YouGov research reveals that a clear majority (70%) of the British public think that it’s at least probably true that the source of COVID-19 was a live animal market in China, and of those people 17% consider this theory to be definitely true. The findings come as scientists continue to look for the exact source of the virus, with some pointing to the live animal markets as the key origin.

Some scientists have also suggested that COVID-19 was transmitted to humans via wild animals, such as bats, pangolins and snakes. Our recent survey also found that just over half of Britons (53%) think this theory is either definitely true (10%), or probably true (43%).

An alternative theory is that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in China, but just a quarter (25%) of Brits believe this. In contrast, a majority of respondents (53%) consider this theory likely false.

With the exact source of the COVID-19 virus and how it spread to humans still currently unconfirmed, Brits are split on whether its origin can ever be fully known. Just over a third (37%) say it’s impossible to know where COVID-19 originated from, 41% disagree with this.

A majority of Brits think live animal markets should be banned

With the widespread speculation that coronavirus originated from Chinese live animal markets, some groups have called for these live animal markets to be permanently banned. Our survey found that a majority of Brits (58%) also think that live animal markets should be banned.

By comparison, a quarter (24%) think that they should be better regulated, but not banned. Just 3% think that the markets should be left as they are.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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