In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, sustainability NGO Friend of the the Sea and Friend of the Earth asks the Chinese government to permanently halt to sale of wildlife in markets and restaurants and via e-commerce.
A petition calling on 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 Friend of the Sea director Paolo Bray.
‘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.
As of 30th January, more than 8000 cases of the Wuhan Coranavirus have been confirmed in China, causing more than 171 deaths. The virus is becoming a worldwide threat as confirmed cases appear outside mainland China.
The Coronavirus is believed to be a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from animals to human, thought to probably come from a snake – and 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 $20 billion global enterprise – fourth in size only after the illegal drug trade, human smuggling and illegal weapons trafficking. ‘Wildlife trafficking undermines human security in resource-dependent local communities, severely harms the way of life of indigenous people and causes substantial economic losses,’ Paolo Bray said.
‘If these wildlife markets persist, we will continue to face heightened risks from emerging new lethal viruses and pandemic spread.’