Larang Perdagangan Daging Hewan Liar di Indonesia / Stop Selling Wild Meat in Indonesia

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Munculnya klaster pertama COVID-19 di pasar grosir seafood Huanan, pasar hewan hidup di Wuhan, jelas menunjukan bahaya penjualan daging satwa liar untuk dikonsumsi. Namun, pasar daging liar masih saja beroperasi di seluruh Indonesia. Pasar Tomohon, misalnya, menjual daging hewan liar seperti anjing dan tikus. Daging kelelawar, yang dikenal sebagai "paniki" oleh penduduk setempat, adalah makanan populer di Sulawesi Utara.

Sebelum adanya pandemi virus corona, penjualan daging satwa liar telah mengemukakan isu hak hewan atau animal rights. Sekarang, ini adalah masalah kesehatan global.

Pasar satwa liar bisa menjadi sumber virus baru karena beberapa faktor, diantara lain: 

1) Konsumsi daging liar - Banyak hewan liar, terutama kelelawar, membawa virus berbahaya dan tidak layak untuk dikonsumsi
2) Persiapan daging - Meskipun daging liar biasanya dimasak sebelum dikonsumsi, dalam proses menyiapkan daging(menangkap dan menyembelih) ada kontak dekat antara manusia dan hewan tersebut yang menyebabkan transmisi virus.
3) Banyaknya hewan yang dikumpulkan di satu tempat - Virus sering melompat antara spesies hewan yang berbeda sebelum akhirnya menular ke manusia, seperti halnya MERS dan SARS. Ini dapat menyebabkan pandemi seperti yang kita alami sekarang.

Hewan yang harus dilarang penjualannya di pasar termasuk:

1) Kelelawar - dianggap reservoir virus berisiko tinggi karena membawa banyak penyakit seperti rabies, Ebola, Marburg, Hendra dan Nipah. Selain itu, kelelawar adalah asal dari virus seperti SARS, MERS dan mungkin COVID-19.
2) Tikus - juga pembawa virus berisiko tinggi yang dapat menyebarkan penyakit Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, leptospirosis, meningitis, tularemia dan demam berdarah.
3) Anjing - Anjing yang tidak divaksinasi dapat terkena rabies, penyakit mematikan yang hampir 100% fatal bagi manusia begitu gejalanya muncul.

Menjual dan mengonsumsi hewan liar sama saja seperti bermain api. Meski praktik-praktik ini telah tertanam dalam budaya beberapa wilayah Indonesia, seharusnya kita belajar dari pandemi corona ini. Demi kesehatan kita sendiri dan juga orang lain, kita harus mengerahkan segala upaya untuk mencegah terjadinya epidemi di masa yang akan datang.

(English Translation)

The emergence of the first COVID-19 cluster in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a live animal market in Wuhan, has brought to light the dire consequences of selling wildlife for consumption. However, markets offering wild meat continue to exist throughout Indonesia. The Tomohon Market, for example, sells meat from animals such as dogs and rats. Bat meat, known as “paniki” by locals, is especially popular, having been eaten for centuries by the people of North Sulawesi. 

Before the pandemic, these kinds of practices mainly brought up concerns about animal rights in Indonesia. Now, it is a matter of global health.

New viruses can originate in wildlife markets due to several factors:

1) The consumption of wild meat - Many wild animals, particularly bats, carry dangerous viruses and are thus not fit for consumption
2) The preparation of the meat - Although wild meat is often cooked thoroughly before consumption, the handling of the animal to prepare its meat for sale includes capturing, killing and butchering it. This allows humans to come into close contact with any viruses inside the animal’s body.
3) The gathering of many different animal species in one place - Viruses often jump between different animal species before finally becoming transmissible to humans, as was the case for MERS and SARS. Therefore, putting wild animals in close proximity to other animals in markets increases the risk of viruses jumping between species before finally becoming viable for human-to-human transmission. This could, unfortunately, lead to pandemics such as the one we are experiencing now.

Animals that should be banned from markets include:

1) Bats - Bats are considered high-risk viral reservoirs as they carry many diseases such as rabies, Ebola, Marburg, Hendra and Nipah. Moreover, bats are the origin of viruses such as SARS, MERS and probably COVID-19.
2) Rats - Rats are also considered high-risk virus carriers. They are known to spread diseases including Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, leptospirosis, meningitis, tularemia and hemorrhagic fever.
3) Dogs - Unvaccinated dogs can carry rabies, a deadly disease that is almost 100% fatal once symptoms are shown. 

Selling and consuming these animals is playing with fire. Although these practices may have become ingrained into the culture of some Indonesian regions, we must learn from this pandemic and change our ways. For the sake of our own health as well as others, we have to do everything we can to prevent future epidemics.