By Will Gartshore, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s an old aphorism that still rings painfully true today. Long before Covid-19, the three deadliest pandemics in human history—the bubonic plague, Spanish influenza and HIV/AIDS—claimed more lives than all the […]Continue Reading 963 words
As Ferris Jabr explains in frightening detail in The New York Times Magazine, bats are “planets unto themselves, teeming with invisible ecosystems of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Many of the viruses multiplying within the bats had circulated among their hosts for thousands of years, if not longer, using bat cells to replicate but rarely causing severe illness.”
Why This Matters: The hunter, by snatching the bats from their cave and selling them as food, he gave the viruses inside the bats a whole new world to inhabit in humans.Continue Reading 330 words
by Lee Hannah, Senior Scientist, Conservation International Right now, money is flowing from Capitol Hill to provide us with much needed economic support in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As this happens, we need to make sure that money also flows towards preventing similar pandemics from happening in the future. To stop this cycle of […]Continue Reading 736 words
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China has taken “concrete steps” to close its “wet” or wildlife markets and now Vietnam is following suit, according to Sierra, the magazine of the environmental group The Sierra Club.
Why This Matters: The world has faced many major pandemics, such as SARS and now COVID-19, that are believed to have been spread from human contact with wild animals.Continue Reading 424 words
The Chinese government announced on Sunday several drastic measures to attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus in China, including China banning the trade of wild animals until the coronavirus epidemic has been eliminated across the country — the ban was deemed necessary because it appears that the disease was transmitted to humans through a “wet” market that traded in game meat.
Why This Matters: There have long been calls for the Chinese to crack down on illegal wildlife trade — the question is whether the rapid spread of this virus and the fear and disruption it is causing will finally lead to an end to a permanent end to the wild animal trade thereContinue Reading 592 words
The investigation into the origin of the scary, new virus that just made it to the U.S. is now centered on a “wet” market in China where Bloomberg News reports that the government is focusing on the sale of freshly slaughtered, unpackaged meat. They have closed the market for now.
Why This Matters: Ironically, it is the crackdown on the illegal trade in endangered species that helped to make wet markets less “exotic” and thus avoid a repeat of the SARS virus of twenty years ago.Continue Reading 447 words