Animal protection experts renew call for ban on global wildlife trade

“The best protection for wild animals is to keep them in their wild habitat” “As ordinary people, we should minimize direct contact with wild animals”, “Breeding of exotics poses a threat to human health” “Whether or not in an outbreak area, the owners should do a good job of protecting themselves and their pets” …

Animal protection experts renew call for ban on global wildlife trade

In response to the outbreak of new coronary pneumonia, Dr. Sun Quanhui of the China Office of the World Society for the Protection of Animals recently reiterated his call in an interview with reporters that during the epidemic prevention and control period, whether wild animals or domestic pets should be treated and protected with a scientific and correct attitude.

Sun Quanhui says wildlife itself is part of nature. For people, keeping a certain distance from wild animals is also the protection of mankind itself. Some wild animals are hosts of viruses, bacteria and parasites, and if humans use wild animals for recreation, pets, food and medicine against the laws of nature, they may increase the risk of the spread of these viruses, bacteria and parasites to humans, endangering human health.

In fact, wild animal meat regardless of taste or nutritional value is very general, eat game people are nothing but the pursuit of vanity, superstition of game so-called efficacy and curiosity driven, hope to taste fresh. To put an end to eating game, not only need the state to improve the relevant laws and regulations and strengthen law enforcement, but also to strengthen popular science propaganda, to guide the public to abandon the bad habits of eating game.

From the point of view of disease prevention and control, both wild animals and farmed wild animals can transmit the virus, which can pose public health risks. Therefore, eating wild animals should be completely abandoned, never after suffering.

Sun Quanhui stressed that wildlife protection is a public good, the right thing to do is to keep distance from the wildlife, protect their natural habitat. The practice of treating wild animals as resources and industrial management is the root cause of the current confusion in the field of wildlife protection and the repeated prohibition of various illegal activities.

The outbreak further demonstrates that there are still significant public health risks to the commercial use of wild animals. “The single most powerful way to address this black chain of interests is to ban wildlife trade around the world. In the long run, there should be a total ban on wildlife trading in order to prevent similar outbreaks from re-emergence”.

Out of love and curiosity, some people keep or watch wild animals as pets, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and animals, “we call them exotic pets.” Sun Quanhui pointed out that all wild animals should not be kept as pets. Breeding of exotic saves not only brings great suffering to wild animals, threatens the survival of wild populations, and may cause a sharp rise in risks such as zoonotic diseases and ecological invasion.

The biological characteristics of wild animals make them unsuitable for pet breeding, their aggressiveness, toxicity and the many pathogenic microorganisms they carry, and can have serious or even fatal effects on human health. The study showed that about 61 percent of the 1,410 human diseases studied were caused by animal-borne pathogens, and that at least 70 of the 200 zoonotic diseases currently known to be related to exotic diseases.

Sun Quanhui told reporters that people now have only a few decades to live in captivity and use wild animals, while the history of livestock and poultry domestication by humans is thousands of years. There is no research evidence that existing wild animals can be domesticated again, because the successful domestication of animals is the result of a number of historical factors, a process that cannot be replicated in modern times. Under artificial breeding conditions, captive wild animals may behave tame in behavior, but their genes do not change adaptively and therefore are not domesticated.

Qiu Chenhui, reporter for China Youth Daily, Source: China Youth Daily