Coronavirus pandemic: it's time to BAN live-animal meat markets

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Now that the coronavirus is a pandemic, we need a global attempt to shut down live-animal meat markets worldwide and enforce stringent animal protection laws. 

The coronavirus originated in the already problematic worldwide live animal markets that exist throughout Asia, West Africa, South and Central America and possibly even covertly in parts of the United States. Despite other previous deadly zoonotic diseases no permanent bans have followed nor adequate animal welfare protection laws were introduced.

WHY TAKE ACTION:

- Animals are often reported missing limbs or with open wounds from their capture in the wild or injuries sustained during transport. They are not cured. In this way, blood, feces, urine and other bodily secretions mix freely and deadly pathogens can originate. Animals are locked in rusty cages that do not respect the minimum size criteria, so they cannot stand up, turn around or stretch out. They are also amassed on top of one another and with other different species (creating additional conditions for spreading diseases between different species).  

- We can only try to imagine the every-day suffering, the torture of not being cured after losing a limb, the psychological trauma these animals endure by living in those conditions. And animals are freshly slaughtered in unimaginable pain: they are skinned, plucked or boiled alive.

--> Due to the diminished immune systems caused by the stress of living in the squalid conditions the animals are highly vulnerable to catching and passing on viruses.

- From these markets SARS killed 774 people (WHO, 2003) and H7N9 and H5N9 Bird flu killed over 1,500 people (WHO, 2013). Now, COVID-19 currently sickened 1,133,758 people and killed 62,784 people worldwide (WHO, 2020).

WE CAN MITIGATE the emergence of another pandemic and start to protect animals from living in those conditions by:

- banning the sale of wildlife for consumption and traditional medicine,

- enforcing stringent animal protection laws,

- ensuring high standards of healthcare and hygiene, and

- beginning to change cultural attitudes around consuming wildlife.

Sign this petition to start this change!