Help end pandemics

EIA is a member of #EndPandemics, a global alliance of leading conservation groups that strives to reduce the risks of pandemics by addressing the root causes of zoonotic outbreaks – commercial wildlife trade, disruption of wild habitats and wildlife dependence of poverty-affected livelihoods.

The alliance was launched in April 2020 and comprises a fast-growing array of more than 60 organisations which operate across five continents in conservation, agriculture, climate, health, business, technology, security, media and other sectors.

Eat less meat

Animal agriculture utilises precious water resources, releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and reduces the planet’s ability to sequester carbon by destroying diverse ecosystems. Adopting a responsibly-sourced, plant-rich diet will reduce your carbon footprint and animal suffering. Some of the world’s deadliest disease outbreaks have been tied to industrial animal agriculture.

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Don’t buy fur or exotic animal skins

Captive breeding farms for the production of fur are inhumane and are breeding grounds for disease transmission. Tens of millions of animals are bred, confined and slaughtered for use by the fashion industry and many fashion labels still use fur from wild-trapped animals. Mink farms across Europe have been implicated in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, greatly exacerbating the threat to farm workers and the public at large. Captive breeding also serves as a cover for the illegal trade in wildlife, as consumers may not be able to confirm the origin of the skins utilised, including fur acquired from wild animals.

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Choose your wildlife tourism options carefully – not all are nice to wildlife

Tourist attractions that feature captive wild animals often remove these animals from their natural habitats and keep them in unnatural surroundings to be accessible to tourists. Handling and feeding wildlife not only impacts their diet, ranging patterns, feeding activities and behaviour, but also increases the risk of zoonosis – diseases which cross from animals to humans. Avoid facilities which allow visitors to handle big cats and other animals, even if those animals have been bred in captivity. These facilities serve no conservation purposes and are purely about profit. In some countries, these facilities sell body parts and derivatives of big cats and other animals into wildlife trade, fuelling demand and threatening wild populations.

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Don’t purchase wildlife products, souvenirs or bushmeat when traveling

Just because it is for sale does not mean it is legal, safe or ethical. Live and deceased animals are traded for their products and derivatives for the tourism sector and pass through various hands as they make their way through the supply chain. During the transportation process, wild animals are packed into small crates in unsanitary conditions that create a breeding ground for infectious zoonotic diseases to spread to nearby humans. Wildlife trade for bushmeat takes animals from natural  populations and brings them into markets, creating a risk for cross-species exposure/transmission to humans for potentially zoonotic microbes.

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Podcast

Is the coronavirus pandemic a warning to stop exploiting wildlife?

Aron White, an EIA Wildlife Campaigner and China Specialist, has already given the low-down to news outlets around the world – now you can listen to him first-hand in the latest EIA podcast with Press & Communications Officer Paul Newman.

Check the ingredients – don’t buy products created from deforestation

Some 50,000 acres of forest are cleared every day around the world to grow commodity crops such as palm oil, sugar cane and soy which are found in many consumer goods. The conversion of rainforest to pastureland increases risks for zoonotic spillover from wild animals to domesticated animals and humans. Newly cleared areas become pathways for pathogen transmission as farmers and workers come into contact with wild animals.

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Don’t keep exotic pets

The exotic pet trade has been linked to multiple infectious disease outbreaks in humans. Contact with exotic pets puts owners at risk for exposure to zoonotic diseases, while harming wild populations. Thousands of reptile, bird, amphibian and other species are under threat because of the global pet trade.

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Be responsible on social media

Think twice before clicking ‘like’ or sharing videos, photos and other content that contain wild animals interacting with humans, wearing clothes and/or in inappropriate surroundings. Social media activity is noticed by wildlife traders, so comments such as "I want one" encourage them to take more from the wild to sell them.

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Minimise your carbon and waste footprint

Reduce, reuse, recycle – the less we waste the better. Support policies and businesses that embrace a 'circular economy' approach, reducing the extraction of natural resources and minimising environmental impact.

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Support rewilding

Rewilding is the large-scale restoration of natural ecosystems where nature can take care of itself. Support initiatives to protect terrestrial and marine ecosystems to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services. Elect representatives who support rebuilding a greener world in the wake of the pandemic.

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Invest in sustainable finance

Use your savings and investments wisely, ensuring that your financial choices are fully divested from fossil fuels and industries linked to deforestation. Almost every bank offers a sustainable investment portfolio and these can offer rates of return at least as good as unsustainable investments – all while reducing your impact on the environment!

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Vote for the planet

Engage with your elected representatives. It is their job to represent their constituents, so make sure that they are representing you and the planet!

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