Close live animal markets, and help prevent the next pandemic.

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Covid-19, like SARS before it, emanated from a Chinese live animal 'wet' market. Public health authorities globally have identified such uncontrolled mingling of harvested wildlife with livestock and humans as a major risk for the development of potential pandemic diseases, and for their potential spread from wildlife to humans.

Conservative estimates are that millions of people may die globally from this pandemic, and the direct and indirect economic costs will be in the trillions of dollars.

We call on the Australian Government and other sovereign governments to apply the utmost diplomatic and financial pressure on all countries that have live animal markets to ban this practice, and to maintain and enforce the bans. Such bans should include informing and educating the affected communities as a central feature, and should not allow loopholes, such as the 'traditional medicine' loophole in the current Chinese ban.

'Wet' live animal markets, where harvested wildlife mingles with livestock and humans, are not only highly unsanitary and very poor in terms of animal welfare, but we now know are highly risky breeding grounds for potential pandemic-causing diseases. The international community has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure it puts sustained and strong pressure on countries with such markets and animal practices to ban them, and to enforce these bans. Complacency and complicity regarding these practices are neither ethically acceptable, nor economically justified.

[Image from DMFI]