Almost 10,000 wild animals have been seized from markets across the country in recent days as part of an effort to stamp out the source of Sars, officials and state media said yesterday. More than 7,000 markets and 25,000 businesses were inspected in Guangdong, Beijing, Hunan, Tianjin, Heilongjiang and Hebei during a widespread crackdown on the wildlife trade, China News Service reported. The agency said the new anti-Sars information network played an important role in the clampdown. Wild animals have become the focus of China's battle to curb the spread of the Sars virus. The disease is believed to have originated in Guangdong. Hong Kong scientists suspect that the virus originated in wild animals, namely the civet cat and racoon dog, and likely jumped to humans. Both animals are widely traded and eaten in Guangdong.