This year has turned attention to the link between how we treat animals and the health of humans and the planet. But more than this it has also highlighted what actions we can take to prevent this and to improve our world for everyone. Since we launched #LiveKinder in June we have been looking at all of the ways we can make changes to improve the world for us and animals and one of the key areas we’ve been championing is for an end to the commercial wildlife trade.
70% of emerging infectious diseases have come from wild animals
Still seen as one of the most majestic animals, the tiger is sadly just one of the animals viewed as a commodity to be traded to the highest bidder. Often tigers, and doubtless other animals are worth more dead as the parts are used for an array of purposes such as in Traditional Chinese Medicines. Some of the most frequently smuggled animal goods are tiger parts, rhino horn, elephant ivory and pangolin scales. Bears are also subject to the trade too as many believe in the power of their bile for medicinal purposes. Extracted whilst the bears are alive and contained in small cages, the bears face long-term psychological damage after the treatment, which they often endure for years.
The conditions that all animals involved in the wildlife trade are kept in is the thing of nightmares. In cages with no room to move, animals are being force-fed in order to reach a bigger price tag or have their fur forcibly removed in order to make a new fashion garment. We must act NOW to stop the commercial wildlife trade and protect these animals.
But, not all the trade is confined to animals in cages - trophy hunting is another example of the shocking, but completely legal, abuses of animals by humans. Following a consultation earlier this year we and fellow NGOs are still awaiting the response from the Prime Minster and his Government surrounding the ban on the import of all trophies from such hunting missions. We remain hopeful they will uphold their manifesto promise to ban trophy imports.
There are, however, some encouraging signs of change. Just last month Vietnam banned the import of wild animals. Proclaimed as a tactic to prevent future pandemics, this should act as another sign linking our treatment and abuse of animals to human health. But, more action is needed and wherever you are in the world you can also #LiveKinder to help animals, our health and our planet. You can:
- Sign our petition calling for an end to the commercial wildlife trade
- Refuse to buy animal based products such as fur items, or products make from exotic animals skins
- Call on our Government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure that a ban on the import of trophy hunting trophies is finally secured – try tweeting him @BorisJohnson and ask him to #GetTheBanDone