Scientists are racing to determine the exact sequence of events that led to the deadly coronavirus' entrance into the human population.
That's why it's so exciting that, after the announcement that the virus most likely made this leap in the illegal wildlife market of Wuhan, China, the country has declared a total ban
on the trafficking and consumption of wild animals, effective immediately! But the coronavirus did not stay within China's borders, and neither should the ban on the horrific wildlife trade.Please sign the petition today and demand that all the governments of Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos follow China's example - ban the sale of wild animals today!
Where these countries meet, along with China, is what some refer to as the "Golden Triangle" of the wildlife trade, where markets, restaurants, casinos, hotels, and countless other establishments peddle illegal wildlife products with virtually zero risk of punishment.
The CDC says that
"three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals." The deadly Ebola virus is one such disease, beginning half way around the world and originating, it is widely believed, in bats. With these numbers in mind and this history to learn from, how can governments still allow wildlife markets to operate?
Wildlife markets are notoriously unhygienic, cramped, and often unregulated or even illegal, making them the perfect breeding ground for evolving viruses, not to mention torture camps for the animals that are killed there, or sold still alive.
These markets also pose a threat to threatened and endangered species. Take, for example, the pangolin - this scaled mammal is trafficked at the highest rate of any animal and sold as a delicacy in restaurants across Asia. The poaching rate has put the population at risk of disappearing forever. But a new, worrying angle to the whole sad affair is that scientists believe pangolin consumption is likely the source of the coronavirus ravaging the human population.
China's ban on wildlife markets will be essential in the fight against the spreading viruses and the rampant species extinction to which they contribute. But epidemics like the coronavirus won't be avoided without implementation of similar policies in neighboring countries. South Korea has already seen 977 cases of the coronavirus, with 11 deaths. Japan follows behind with 161 instances, Singapore has had at least 91 - the list goes on and on. There are still many wildlife markets across Asia and around the globe. Weak regulations or law enforcement have allowed them to thrive, and disease to thrive with them.Add your voice and call for a complete and immediate ban on all wildlife markets in the the "Golden Triangle," including Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos!