Pandemic coronavirus that has already killed more than 75 thousand people in the world, force people to abandon wildlife trade, which not only leads to the disappearance of species, but also contributes to the spread of diseases, scientists say. About it writes BBC.
The outbreak of the deadly infection began, as you know, in the Chinese seafood market in Wuhan, and scientists for several decades notice that some diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers), Ebola and Nipah virus, transmitted to humans from animals.
But the problem lies not with the animals, and how man treats them, scientists say.
“The frequency of pandemics will only grow, says Peter Dashak, head of the American organization Alliance ecohealth is concerned with the study of new diseases. Is not a random God. This is due to the fact that we are doing with the environment. We must admit that we should behave in a less risky manner.”
To try to prevent a new epidemic, it is necessary worldwide to prevent the markets where they sell wild animals, said the Executive Secretary of the Convention on biological diversity (CBD) United Nations Elizabeth Maruma Mrema.
“If we do not take care of nature, it will take care of us. It would be nice to ban the markets for the sale of live animals, as did China and some countries,” said Mrema.
A UN representative in accordance with and based in new York city Society of protection of animals: “not only will This help to prevent the spread of disease, but also solve one of the major causes of species extinction”.
After the beginning of the epidemic, China has imposed a temporary ban on cultivation and consumption of wild animals. Was closed thousands of farms, where breeding porcupines, fiverr and turtles. But the law preserved loophole and still allow the sale of wild animals for medicine, as Pets and for scientific research.
Scientists believe that a temporary ban is not enough.
Traditional Chinese medicine also uses wild animals for cooking components. Just recently the Chinese government has apparently endorsed the use of bear bile for the treatment of coronavirus.
Activists fear that such exceptions in the law will open the way to illegal trade in bushmeat. For example, in the past this has happened with tigers and leopards. Most likely, it will be possible to buy meat of a pangolin, because the scales used for medical purposes, and nails serve as decoration.
Therefore, special attention is given to what amendments make to the law on the protection of wildlife, and will there be loopholes.
The destruction of nature
This is not the first epidemic that has attracted particular attention to the wildlife trade. In 2002, Sars killed more than 700 people from China. It is assumed that the carriers of infection were the bats and viverra, but confirmation of this is not.
Dirk Pfeiffer from the City University of Hong Kong believes that the main problem was the existing demand.
“For people that deliver animals, or breeding them on farms or getting them in nature, it is an important source of income. It would be wrong suddenly to criminalize their activities, the process should be gradual,” he said.
Agrees with him Elizabeth Maruma Mrema from the UN, she said, some groups of the population living in poor areas of Africa, for example, are entirely dependent on trade in wild animals and if not find alternatives, it can appear, the threat of illegal wildlife trade.
“Even in the forest reserves remain in place, but wild animals are not, because they are sold at markets,” he added.
“It’s easy to start to shift it on somebody, but this happens not only in China, it happens in many other countries, including Western countries. We like to have exotic Pets, and many of them are born in nature. Therefore, we must first deal with his own house” — said the scientist.
According to the Deputy scientific Director of the Zoological society of London Andrew Cunningham, to prevent another pandemic in the future, it is necessary to pay attention to the causes, not just for her called the effect. At the root of the problem is the destruction of nature, due to which there is a conflict between animals and humans.
Markets — a time bomb
In some Asian countries, eating exotic meat is associated with high status and wealth of the person. Through the use of wild animals in food and drug trafficking flourish. Animals often mined illegally, which leads to the appearance of foci of disease and the possibility of infection of man.
The so-called wet markets have become a familiar sight in many countries in South-East Asia, especially in mainland China. They sell fish, chicken, wildlife, and fruits and vegetables. Its name they got from melting ice is used to preserve the freshness of the goods, and also to clean the floor from the blood of slain animals.
“Wet” markets — the real time bomb in the matter of epidemics, says Cunningham. “How we treat animals — like they’re some kind of commodity that can be plundered, eventually comes back to bite us, and this is not surprising,” said he.
The current coronavirus pandemic, which claimed tens of thousands of lives, began at the seafood market in Wuhan. Despite the name, the market sold not only fish, but also, for example, snakes, porcupines and deer.
After the first cases of human infection associated with the virus began to rapidly spread in China and then around the world. Its exact origin is unknown, but most likely, originally it was a carrier bat, and the virus was passed to humans through other wild animal.