Campaign to End Wildlife Trade: Parliamentary reception and petition hand-in to 10 Downing Street
We handed a petition in to 10 Downing street signed by over 165,000 supporters in the UK (over 1 million globally) and held an online Parliamentary event attended by MPs and members of the Lords from all parties, urging the UK government to back an end to the global wildlife trade.
The event was organised by World Animal Protection who have been spearheading the Campaign to End Wildlife Trade, a coalition of 25 of the UK’s leading animal welfare and wildlife conservation groups, highlighting the cruelty of the trade and the links with diseases passed from animals to humans like Covid-19, SARS, Ebola and MERS.
Sir Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet, hosted the event with speakers including Luke Pollard MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Sir David Amess MP who recently tabled an Early Day Motion on the subject. Video messages from celebrities including Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, Alison Steadman, Gillian Burke, Sue Perkins, Simon Reeve and Mark Carwardine were played at the event.
Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Message of support from Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace, said, “The global trade in wild animals and their body parts is horrendously cruel and causes serious ecological damage at a time when we are already losing biodiversity globally. It also poses a very real threat to human health and provides ample opportunities for pathogens to spillover from animals to humans.
“I truly hope the UK government and other representatives of the G20 countries get together to work on a plan to end the global trade at the G20 summit in November.”
Sonul Badiani-Hamment, World Animal Protection external affairs advisor said, “As the UK enters a second national lockdown due to the preventable COVID-19 pandemic we can no longer ignore the dangers of exploiting wild animals. Today MPs from all parties joined the thousands of people across the UK calling for an end to the global wildlife trade. It is vital that we avoid the inaction following previous epidemics and work together with countries around the world to help prevent another zoonotic pandemic.
“COVID-19 will be at the top of the agenda at the G20 meeting of global leaders this month and we urge the PM to back a global wildlife trade ban to protect billions of animals, our health and the global environment.”
Helping to prevent another pandemic
The Campaign to End Wildlife Trade argues that wild animals are being taken from the wild or farmed in cruel conditions to meet consumer demand for exotic pets, traditional Chinese medicine, entertainment, fashion accessories and food. With COVID-19 widely thought to have emerged at a wet market in Wuhan, where wildlife was sold alongside fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, and with 70% of zoonotic emerging infectious diseases originating from wild animals1, it is critical to end wildlife trade to help prevent a future global pandemic.
Messages of support for The Campaign to End Wildlife Trade
Simon Reeve, Mark Carwardine, Sue Perkins, Alison Steadman and Gillian Burke
The Campaign to End Wildlife Trade has already been backed by 83 MPs and peers across all parties. It has also been backed by a host of celebrities including Ricky Gervais and Dame Judi Dench who wrote an open letter sent to the PM earlier this year.