A pandemic of our own making
The coronavirus is symptomatic of our biodiversity and climate crises. Specialists in the spread of zoonotic diseases (those transmitted from animals) that risk turning into pandemics have been raising the alarm for years.
They warned that the more we destroy nature by chopping down forests for timber, mines, intensive agriculture and by capturing, farming and killing wildlife, the more we create chances for the spill-over of viruses and bacteria that have severe human health impacts.
It is time for change
For years, EIA, alongside Chinese and international conservation groups, has been calling for a change in China’s approach to wildlife “protection”.
Current law permits the use of leopard bone, pangolin scales, farmed bear bile and the body parts of other threatened wildlife species to make medicine.
These parallel legal markets drive demand for wildlife and result in poaching, threatening the survival of some species in the wild, and raising the risk of another pandemic.
But this is not just about policies and consumption of wildlife in China, it is a global problem and one that we all have a stake in resolving.
Stand with us
To avoid a future pandemic we need transformative change, restoring the health of the planet and the ecosystems we depend on. Beyond combating illegal trade in wildlife, we need to take a far more precautionary approach.
We must work towards ending commercial wildlife trade and commercial farming of wildlife where we cannot guarantee that it won’t be harmful to biodiversity or human health.