Ha Noi, March 11, 2020 – The following statement has been issued by the Wildlife Conservation Society concerning important steps the Government of Viet Nam is taking to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic pathogens like COVID-19.

The Prime Minister of Viet Nam has directed the Government to promptly draft a directive to prohibit wildlife trade and consumption and submit to him by April 1, 2020.

Said Ms. Hoang Bich Thuy, Country Director of WCS Vietnam:

“We commend Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for his leadership in taking this important first step. We hope this directive will stipulate the required actions to remove high-risk interfaces along the wildlife trade supply chain where viruses can emerge by putting in place measures to prohibit the trade, consumption, breeding and keeping of wild animals whether wild caught or captive bred in Viet Nam.”

We strongly support Viet Nam in taking all necessary steps to prevent future zoonotic pathogen transmissions that could lead to future outbreaks similar to COVID-19 harming livelihoods and economies around the world.” 

“The world needs country after country stepping up to prevent future viral outbreaks by banning the trade and consumption of wildlife.”

“If just one country continues to allow the trade in wildlife, communities across the world will continue to suffer and pay the price.”