On Monday, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress backed a proposal "prohibiting the illegal wildlife trade, abolishing the bad habit of overconsumption of wildlife, and effectively protecting the lives and health of the people."
The move is an effort to combat the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, which is believed to have its origin at an animal and seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
According to Chinese leader Xi Jinping earlier this February, China must resolutely outlaw and harshly crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade because of the public health risks it poses.
About 1.5 million markets and online operators throughout China have been inspected since the outbreak began, officials said.
The COVID-19 epidemic has killed more than 2,500 people in China and spread overseas, infecting some 77,000 others and paralyzed the country's economy. The said root is linked to wild animals carrying a coronavirus and sold in markets for food.
Two dozen other countries have been affected, killing nearly 30, and its rapid global spread has raised fears of a full-blown pandemic.
There have been requests from wildlife organizations, activists, and the public to make the ban permanent to prevent further outbreaks.
The virus is believed to have originated in a seafood market that sold wild animals in Wuhan, Hubei province.
Nearly 20,000 wildlife farms raising species including peacocks, civet cats, porcupines, ostriches, wild geese, and boar have been closed across China.
A few weeks ago, wildlife farming was still being endorsed by government agencies as an easy way for rural Chinese people to earn more money.
Wild animal markets are also the surmised root of the 2002 SARS epidemic.
China's top law-making body is expected to permanently tighten rules on trading wildlife in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, including a ban on eating some wild meat.
The emergency measure will be lifted once the outbreak ends with the national government temporarily suspending the buying and selling of wild-animal products, which are commonly used for food, fur and traditional medicines in China.
China's top law-making body approved a proposal "prohibiting the illegal wildlife trade, abolishing the bad habit of overconsumption of wildlife, and effectively protecting the lives and health of the people."
Conservationists have been accusing China of condoning an inhumane trade in wild animals as exotic menu items or as components in traditional medicines whose potency is not confirmed by science.
Thought to originate from bats, the coronavirus may have been passed to an intermediary species and then passed to humans at a market in Wuhan, China.
China's wildlife-farming industry is valued at $74 billion.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 70 percent of global disease-causing pathogens that were discovered in the past 50 years came from animals.
Although the decision was acknowledged, other commentators said the government would need to provide financial aid to companies running breeding farms for such animals.