Wildlife Conservation Society, China, Wildlife Justice Commission discussed on Eyes on Conservation Podcast
We import all kinds of animals, camels, and sheep, and all kinds of weird things. When we're moving them around live and not checking them for disease, which we overwhelm me, do not. It creates the same conditions as you might find an Asian market that where someone selling a bat next to a Pangolin, and they're stressed out, and not being cared for any scenario where you have exotic animals in close quarters, and their health is not being monitored. You are creating. A condition where it is, do not disease can emerge. China's and the only country to have these kind of live animal markets, but I think a lot. More people are taking a harder look at them and wondering if. The risk is worth the reward so in a perfect world. What changes would happen to reduce our risk of singing another pandemic like this? Gosh, there's so many things we can do to just to reduce that risk, and of course we can never. That risk, but You know we can stop trading exotic animals. At the quantities we do, and in the ways we do. You know just introducing things like basic hygiene to markets would go a long way out. We could do things like ban. Certain animals from consumption like bats animals that have a high risk of carrying some kind of disease. a lot of places are a lot of nonprofit groups are proposing complete bans on on wildlife consumption. One of them is the Wildlife Conservation Society. Others say no, that's too strong. There's a way to do the sustainably in a way to do it more safely so. Probably. Somewhere in between those two uses the sweet spot. We Wanna hit. We also just need to be more respectful and careful. How we treat nature, it's not just wildlife trade that introduces this risk of new diseases. It's also going into forests, and you know cutting down for us in up areas. There's been studies done in Brazil for example that found that malaria incidence occurs on the fringes of newly cut forests, because this this kind of interface area that between zone between forest and field or development, it creates opportunities for insects to breed for species to come into contact that have never met each other things like that. So I think just a general reevaluation of how treat animals and nature would really take us far. Evidence is strong that the wildlife trade played a role in the emergence of the virus that causes cove in nineteen, but the trade itself has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. We're all dealing with. Can you tell me some ways that you're seeing your reporting that the Wallet Trade is being impacted five the border closures and the lack of travel. Yes, so the Wildlife Justice Commission which is a nonprofit based in the hog in the Netherlands. They just put out a report last week showing the impacts of. covid nineteen on traffickers in Asia specifically they have agents all over the world who regularly maintain contact with what they call persons of interest people who are involved in wildlife trade, and they surveyed about twenty of those people and you know at first February. All these traders were like Oh. Yeah, it's fine like don't worry about it, maybe you're. You're illegal goods that you ordered in Laos or that you ordered in Vietnam, will be two or three days delayed to ship to your house in China but don't worry. We've got this then. Of course as the pandemic continued to develop and border started to shut, trader started to. To change their tune, and said you know like. Yeah, we can't get things to China right now. So all indications are that at least the movement of illegal goods in vast quantities, and we're talking pangolin skills, ivory and Rhino Horn..