World Animal Protection today released a new report that exposes the loopholes in the laws of G20 countries that continue to cruelly exploit wildlife and leave the world vulnerable to future pandemics.
The NGO calls on G20 world leaders to ban the global wildlife trade, warning that “the current system is failing” and “allowing the transmission of zoonotic diseases”.
The report reveals inefficiencies in G20 countries in extracting wild animals from their natural habitat, raising them in captivity, killing them and marketing them as commodities. This is supported by inadequate international mechanisms to prevent exploitation.
“Protecting our world from future pandemics” also describes how trade poses risks to public health, including:
The main trade regulator – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) – does not focus on preventing zoonoses
There is little or no disease testing of exported wild animals, allowing the undetected movement of pathogens across global borders
· The number of people involved in the wildlife trade supply chain offers many possibilities for the transmission of infectious diseases.
Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaigns Manager, World Animal Protection, said:
“Laws implemented by G20 countries to protect wildlife are inadequate and often do more harm than good.
“Wild animals suffer at every step of the trade. They are extremely distressed when they are taken from their habitats and then packed well alive, so it’s no surprise that many are dead or sick upon arrival at their destination.
“While the world is still focused on rolling out vaccination, virus prevention should not be ignored, as it is estimated that over 320,000 mammalian viruses are waiting to be discovered.
“The fate of animals, people and our global economy rests in the hands of G20 leaders, who are presented with the most practical way to fight the pandemic – to end the global wildlife trade.”
Tennyson Williams, Regional Director, World Animal Protection, said:
“Every day, thousands of wildlife are poached or raised and sold in the multi-billion dollar global trade – as food, pets, luxury goods, traditional medicine and entertainment. There is a huge risk involved here. We can no longer ignore the dangers of the wildlife trade, which is why we are urging African leaders to call for a ban at the G20 World Health Summit.
The report comes after the World Health Organization called for a suspension of the sale of live wild mammals to food markets, as ongoing studies into the origins of COVID-19 suggest the virus is highly likely. or passed from bats to an intermediate animal. .
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, World Animal Protection lobbied G20 world leaders to end the global wildlife trade and received more than 1.1 million petition signatures from individuals around the world. The petitions will be presented to the G20 Leaders Summit later this year.