Wildlife trade has become big business and the subsequent exploitation of wild animals puts our health, economies and biodiversity at risk, says World Animal Protection as it launches a new global campaign, targeting G20 leaders to support a permanent wildlife trade ban to protect animals and prevent future zoonotic pandemics.
As the world struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19, each of the World Animal Protection’s 14 offices around the world will be petitioning their representative members in the G20, a global forum of the world’s 20 largest economies, to take steps towards implementing a global wildlife ban. The G20 will convene in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November 2020.
It’s widely believed that COVID-19 transferred to humans from wild animals and that 70% of all future diseases in people will come from wild animals. A global ban on wildlife trade is, therefore, a critical measure for reducing the chances of future pandemics, relates the World Animal Protection in a recent press release promoting the global campaign.
The World Animal Protection press release also states that businesses are placing profit, estimated between US $7-23 billion a year, over the health and welfare of both people and animals and that wildlife trade takes animals from their natural environments or commercially farms them for food, traditional medicine, entertainment, fashion or to be sold into the exotic pet industry, exposing them to stress and creating a hotbed for disease.
“If we learn anything from this situation, it is that we need to leave wild animals where they belong, in the wild,” says Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection. “We all have a responsibility to make a shift in our behavior and attitudes towards animals that could save the lives of millions of people, animals and our economies. If we don’t purchase exotic pets or traditional medicine that contains wild animal products, and don’t visit venues with performing animals, we will send a clear message that wildlife cruelty is no longer tolerable – for the animals, our health and the planet.”
The following are some statistics from World Animal Protection regarding wild animals being captured and traded as pets:
- At least 75% of pet snakes, lizards, tortoises and turtles die within one year of becoming a pet.
- Handling Indian star tortoises can cause them disease and death.
- African grey parrots fly several miles a day in the wild. 66% of African grey parrots die in transit.
You can visit the following link to join the call for world leaders to end the global trade of wild animals.
Featured photo: African grey parrot. Public domain.
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