Friends of the Earth and Friends for the Sea the preeminent worldwide food certifications have launched a petition asking the Chinese government to permanently close markets that sell wildlife for food. The petition is a response both to the recent outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, which has been traced to China’s wildlife markets, and the overall environmental damage these markets are causing.
China has announced a temporary, immediate ban on wild animal trading, but Friend of the Earth and Friend of the Sea would like to see the ban become permanent.
“We applaud China’s decision to place a short-term ban wildlife trading, but the ban should be forever,” said Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Earth.
“The ban should include not only wet markets, but supermarkets restaurants and e-commerce platforms. Wild animals belong in nature.” The NGO plans to send all the signatures to the Chinese government with the suggestion that they become the world’s new wildlife conservation leader.
The Wuhan Coranavirus has caused almost 400 deaths in China. The virus is becoming a worldwide threat as dozens of confirmed cases arise in some twenty countries outside of mainland China, including at least five in the US, according to CNN. The Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease hat can be transmitted from animals to human. The outbreak comes probably from a snake or bats and has been traced to a market in Wuhan known for selling wild animals for consumptions including dogs, turtles, bats, snakes, giant salamander, crocodiles, hedgehogs and marmots.
China is the world’s largest market for wildlife products, which is estimated to be a US$ 20 billion global enterprise—fourth in size only after the illegal drug trade, human smuggling and illegal weapons trafficking.
Bray added, “Wildlife trafficking undermines human security in resource-dependent local communities, severely harms the way of life of indigenous people and causes substantial economic losses. If these wildlife markets persist, we will continue to face heightened risks from emerging new lethal viruses and pandemic spread”.
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