In a single deliberate poisoning event, three Giant Ibis, equivalent to 1-2 percent of the global population, have been killed – part of a disturbing global trend where conservationists are noticing increases in hunting of protected species since the spread of coronavirus began to disrupt traditional economic and social systems in rural areas.
PREDICT will provide emergency support to other countries for outbreak response including technical support for early detection of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, through a six-month extension from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), effective April 1.
Animal and human health doctors and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), University of Oslo, and Global Wildlife Conservation will give a “One Health” briefing on COVID-19 that looks at the links between wildlife, livestock, and humans.
To prevent future major viral outbreaks such as the COVID-19 outbreak, impacting human health, well-being, economies, and security on a global scale, WCS recommends stopping all commercial trade in wildlife for human consumption (particularly of birds and mammals) and closing all such markets.
A disease already known for causing massive die-offs of wildlife in Asia is spreading.
The following are excerpts of remarks given today by WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper at the Celebration of World Wildlife Day 2020, on the theme of “Sustaining all life on earth.”
WCS issued a statement and analysis regarding a decision of the 24th February 2020, 16th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress, on “Comprehensively Prohibiting the Illegal Trade of Wild Animals, Eliminating the Bad Habits of Wild Animal Consumption, and Protecting the Health and Safety of the People.”