The global trade in wild animals has produced the conditions for disastrous and deadly pandemics, including COVID-19. From source to market, conditions inherent to the wild animal supply chain – both legal and illegal – for consumption pose a high risk for the emergence and transmission of zoonotic pathogens.
It’s time to radically change the way we interact with wildlife. WildAid, Global Wildlife Conservation, and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) urge the world’s governments to recognize that ending the commercial trade and sale in markets of terrestrial animals for consumption is among the most important decisions we can make to prevent future pandemics.
The Coalition to End the Trade is inviting conservationists, scientists, policymakers, health professionals and the general public to join in driving a global paradigm shift to prevent future pandemics by signing the coalition’s Declaration to End the Trade.
Specifically, Declaration calls for national governments to:
1) Enact suitable legislation to permanently end commercial trade and sale in markets of terrestrial wild animals for consumption, particularly birds and mammals;
2) Empower relevant agencies to adequately enforce such legislation;
3) Develop ethical and equitable transition measures for those whose livelihoods are impacted across the trade chain
These recommendations do not pertain to subsistence hunting by indigenous people and local communities for household consumption and/or cultural identity.
READ THE FULL DECLARATION
Mobilizing a global response to end the wildlife trade is the most pressing action we can take today to ensure a pandemic like COVID-19 never happens again.
But, we need your help. Please sign the declaration and help us send a message loud and clear to government leaders around the world: Take a stand against future pandemics.
WildAid has been working for two decades to end the wildlife trade. With our partners in Asia and Africa, we are putting an end to the wildlife trade by assisting with the development of the new set of regulations enforcing recently strengthened laws, and educating the public about health risks associated with consuming wild meat.
Our 2016 video PSA with mega-star Jay Chou warning of the potential health risks of consuming pangolin meat went viral early this year with over 20 million views in just a few days, as millions of people in China and beyond called for an end to the wildlife trade. We placed 200 billboards in high-traffic transportation hubs, including the Shenzhen airport, Beijing subway, and Shanghai train station, which have already reached over 25 million people. And in Africa, we will soon release a short documentary film that highlights the hazards of urban bushmeat markets to both humans and wildlife.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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