An excerpt from testimony by Dr. Christian Walzer, Executive Director of WCS’s Health Programs, who is speaking today before the bipartisan leadership of the International Conservation Caucus.
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.
WCS issues a statement concerning important steps the Government of Viet Nam is taking to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic pathogens like COVID-19.