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Sale of wild animals

Wild Animals

IN the fight against the dreaded COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of millions of people across the globe, there’s something that should not be “ignored” nor “forgotten.

It is the urgent need to heed the call to stop the sale of live wild animals for human consumption to prevent the transmission of deadly diseases from wild animals to human beings.

Leading the call are the highly-influential World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

In the Philippines, no less than Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture, has repeatedly warned of chronic disease transmission from wild animals.

Villar, who topped the 2019 senatorial polls, said researches indicate that the constant exploitation of wild fauna and their habitats had raised the risk of zoonic disease transmission.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said wild animals are the source of most infectious diseases in humans, adding “COVID-19 has brought new attention to this threat, given the magnitude of its consequences.

Villar expressed the hope other government offices and agencies would heed the call of WHO to prevent the emergence of new infectious diseases from wild animals.

I hope all concerned government agencies will impose a ban on the catching and sale of wild animals in local markets to avert a potential recurrence of a similar COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

At the same time, the lady senator cited the need for the public to be more vigilant against biodiversity loss, wildlife protection and conservation of their vanishing habitats.

Without doubt, there’s certainly that need to stop the hunting and sale of wild animals for human consumption if we are to address the problem of new infectious diseases.