Turkey's national flag carrier introduced the new regulation on transportation of wild animals after the General Directorate of the Agriculture and Forestry suspended their entry into the country.

A Turkish Airlines plane takes off in front of the control tower at Istanbul Airport on April 6, 2019.
A Turkish Airlines plane takes off in front of the control tower at Istanbul Airport on April 6, 2019. (AFP)

Turkish Airlines will not carry wild animals to Turkey from any countries both on passenger and cargo planes to stem the spread of coronavirus, the national flag carrier announced on Thursday.

The move came after the General Directorate of the Agriculture and Forestry suspended entry of exotic animals and invertebrates, amphibians, ferrets, reptiles, and rodents into Turkey from all countries for any purpose, either accompanied by passengers or transported by cargo.

Transporting pets such as dogs, cats, birds and ornamental fish on Turkish Airlines aircraft is permitted if accompanied by passengers holding non-commercial international pet passports, the company added.

Both the pet and its human companion are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine after arriving in Turkey, the national flag carrier said. 

The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated late last year among wild animals on sale in a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan that has been closed and boarded up since January.

That has prompted heavy scrutiny over wet markets, a key facet of China's daily life, even though only a few sell wildlife.

Some US officials have called for them, and others across Asia, to be closed.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies