The global wildlife trade is cruel and a hotbed for emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19. We are demanding an end to the global wildlife trade. Forever.
Demand an end to the global wildlife trade
Every day, thousands of animals are forced into the multi-billion pound global trade in wildlife – traded as 'exotic' pets harvested for traditional medicine, killed for food, or forced into a life of suffering in entertainment.
The UK government has an opportunity and a responsibility to lead the world in bringing an end to the global trade in wildlife. This year, at the G20 summit in November, we want the government to call for a global wildlife trade ban and to introduce a new law to ban the import and export of wild animals and wild animal products in the UK.
Wild animals don’t belong to us, they belong in the wild
Horrific conditions cause unimaginable suffering in the global wildlife trade. This also creates a hotbed of diseases that originate from animals, leading to deadly outbreaks like SARS and now COVID-19.
With the impact and grim reality of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, we can no longer ignore the dangers of exploiting wild animals:
- 60% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, meaning they originate from animals, with 70% of these thought to originate from wild animals
- The methods used to snatch animals from their natural habitats are extremely distressing for them and can cause injury and even death
This isn’t just a problem that happens on the other side of the world. A World Animal Protection freedom of information request revealed that from 2014-18, the UK imported almost three and a half million wild animals from 90 countries, including known emerging disease hotspots.
As well as needing to end the pain and suffering inflicted on animals, we must stop this trade now to help prevent future global health crises and protect our environment for generations to come.
This year, our global petition to end the global wildlife trade reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world. We are calling on the UK government to secure a global wildlife trade ban and end the import and export of wild animals and wild animal products into the UK.
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