By DailyNewsUG Correspondent,
Wildlife cruelty makes pandemics like coronavirus possible. It’s now more critical than ever that governments, businesses and people come together to end the use of wild animals as entertainment, food, medicine and exotic pets.
Global leaders have been urged to respect Animal Rights by ending the global wildlife trade so as to safeguard the population from further future pandemics.
The call was made by Edith Kabesiime the Wildlife Campaign Manager with World Animal Protection. Kabesiime made the remarks during the World Animal Protection Africa organized Webinar on Wednesday 20th May 2020, year of Corona Virus.
She said the cruel trade has caused untold suffering to millions of animals every year and also put lives of people at the risk of pandemics like COVID-19.
Kabesiime noted that the selling of wildlife is a widespread practice that has effects on global health. “This practice has led to the COVID-19 pandemic which has left scores of people jobless and struggling to survive. We have created a hotbed for ourselves,” said Kabesiime.
Speaking about the welfare of wildlife, Kabesiime observed that animals are at the center of cruelty due to the multibillion-dollar business that exploits them on an industrial scale.
“These animals are exploited to be eaten, sold, and used in medicine while they are kept as exotic pets used as photo crops,” she said.
She said the way the animals are crammed into cages, and kept in poor health conditions and killed for their body parts is very cruel.
Kabesiime said the trade in exotic pets is a big business that is fueled by the increasing demand and huge profits.
“Animals are being stolen from their natural habitats or bred in inhumane conditions, like the African grey parrot and the captive Civets,” she said. She said scientific research had indicated that Civets were the cause of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic that killed thousands in early 2000.
The legal trade in the ‘Big 5’ African wildlife species – the Nile crocodile, Cape fur seal, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, African elephant and the common hippo – involved 1.2 million animal skins being sold between 2011 and 2015 alone.
The legal trade in the ‘Little 5’ African species – the ball python, African grey parrot, emperor scorpion, leopard tortoise and savannah monitor lizard – led to more than 1.5 million live animals exported for the exotic pet trade between 2011 and 2015 alone.
Every day, thousands of wild animals are traded in the name of entertainment, traditional medicine and even as delicacies.
Unfortunately, wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, is encouraging the spread of diseases such as Coronavirus, damaging the conservation of wild animals through unsustainable harvesting and species loss.
If something is not done soon enough the world would have to deal with extreme zoonotic diseases and the extinction of some species such as African lions, Elephants and even Pangolins.
Don’t let this happen under your watch. Give a #Promise4Wildife today and protect wild animals and the globe.