World Health Organisation must urge governments to ban wildlife markets
On World Health Day (7th April) we are calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to recommend that governments worldwide permanently ban live wildlife markets and the use of wildlife in traditional medicine.
There is a clear link between the global trade in wild animals and outbreaks of disease such as the current COVID-19 outbreak. We are calling on WHO to recommend closing wildlife markets to help prevent the spread of future pandemics and the daily suffering of animals in this trade.
241 wildlife groups including World Animal Protection, Born Free and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have urged WHO in an open letter to use their influence to move governments to act to prevent future pandemics like COVID-19.
This action would be an important first step in addressing wildlife trade that poses a risk to human health.
Link to wildlife trade and disease outbreaks
Sixty percent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, meaning they originate from animals, with 70% of these thought to originate from wild animals.
Leave wild animals where they belong – in the wild
The letter urges WHO to join in the call to nations and governments to act now to end the exploitation of wildlife and simply leave wild animals in the wild.
Katheryn Wise UK campaigns manager said, “There is a clear link between the global trade in wild animals and outbreaks of disease such as the current COVID-19 outbreak. We are calling on WHO to recommend closing wildlife markets to help prevent the spread of future pandemics and the daily suffering of animals in this trade.”
On a global level World Animal Protection is urging governments, organisations and nations to unite to end the global trade in wild animals forever.
Update: June 2020
We are now calling on the UK government to secure a global wildlife trade ban and end the import and export of trophies from wild animals into the UK. Sign our petition to end the global wildlife trade.