COVID-19 has widely been linked to a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, but more importantly, 70% of emerging infectious diseases have come from wild animals, so it is critical everything is done to help prevent a future global pandemic.
Wildlife globally has been packaged up and sold on an industrial scale so that animals are taken from their natural environments or commercially farmed, exposing them to stress and cruelty, and creating a hotbed for disease. And as we have seen with COVID-19, these diseases can then be transferred to humans.
We have joined the Coalition to Ban Wildlife Trade alongside other organisations, calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to support a global wildlife trade ban at the G20 meeting of global leaders in November, to help prevent a future pandemic.
The global wildlife trade is fuelled by the demand for exotic pets, traditional medicine and the entertainment industry, with products like bear bile that has ironically been recommended by the Chinese Government to treat symptoms for COVID-19. The UK currently imports thousands of protected wild animals and their parts each year, and we are the number one importer of tiger parts (including trophies!) in Europe, as highlighted in our recent report - ‘Europe’s second-class tigers’.
Collectively we have the power to protect animals and the planet, but we need to #LiveKinder. Kinder in what we eat, kinder in what we do and kinder in how we treat animals and the planet.