Deadly virus spreading internationally: time to BAN markets selling wild LIVE animals

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A new deadly virus, coronavirus known as 2019-nCov, is now spreading internationally from the "wet animal market", Huanan Seafood Market, in the city of Wuhan, China. In these markets, popular not only in China but also in other cities in Asia, animals are kept alive in cages (which do not respect what should be the minimal size criteria, thus, not tall enough for animals to stand up, wide enough for them to turn around, nor long enough to stretch out), grabbed and moved with kitchen tools, weighted until freshly slaughtered or sold alive as unpackaged meat.

The CCN obtained images from a concerned costumer that denounced the illegal keeping of an array of unusual wild animals in the market as seen in the video ( "Wet animals market" freely keep and trade live: wolf pups, civet cats, dogs, cats, ducks, birds, racoon dogs, otters, camels, peacocks, rodents, porcupine, turtles, koalas, foxes, swans, rabbits, pheasants, ostriches, deers, scorpions, Chinese giant salamanders, scolopendra, wild boars, asian badgers, crocodiles, donkeys, masked palm civets, hedgehogs, fish, porks, poultry and cattle (South China Morning Post, 2020). 

In 3 weeks time, the disease has killed 9 people and infected 440 others, including 15 medical workers. The virus spread throughout China and has now reached South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and the US.

Update in just one more week: 9,692 coronavirus cases, 213 deaths. Countries with confirmed coronavirus cases: US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Finland, United Arab Emirates, India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia. 

These markets are breeding grounds for viruses. This is, in fact, not the first case:

- Between 2002 and 2003, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) spread from wet animal markets and killed 774 people and sickened 8,098 people (WHO, 2003). 

- In 2013, H7N9 and H5N9 Bird flu viruses spread from live bird market in China and killed over 1,500 people worldwide. The H7N9 virus had precisely been first discovered with this case (WHO, 2013). 

These markets remain ground zero for the EMERGENCE of many dangerous NEW infections and deadly contagions due to the different animals kept alive in unsanitary and unregulated conditions. Also, disrespectful and unlawful conditions are perpetuated against animal welfare and animal rights. Yet these markets are permitted. The Huanan Seafood Market has now been TEMPORARILY closed for inspections. China has banned the trade of animals in and out China but ONLY TEMPORARILY until the situation remain unsolved. 

This episode provides just another ground for banning live animal markets that until now have been allowed to keep any wanted animal alive in cages, in any desired condition and killed in any desired condition too. 

The outbreak of a new deadly infectious virus that comes from these markets renown and proved to be the cause of the spreading of zoonotic infectious fatal viruses, together with the atrocious reality of animals still treated as if they were incapable of feeling discomfort, pain, misery and suffering should provide sufficient grounds to ban not just temporarily but PERMANENTLY the trade of live animals in markets, restaurants etc.

This is a global concern that involves us all, humans and animals, and has to go beyond whatever the demand for these markets is.