Monday, October 26, 2020


WAP seeks global ban on all types of wild life trade in a open letter to UN body

Yadavindra S Rana | October 01, 2020 10:38 AM

CHANDIGARH:In an open letter written to the UN Biodiversity Summit, the World Animal Protection
and Humane Society International together supported by 120 other organizations has requested the body
to impose global ban on all wild life trade, cross-border wildlife trade. The step would be a significant
move in achieving the UN’s goal on biodiversity, states the letter.
 Wildlife trade has become big business and the subsequent exploitation of wild animals puts our
health, economies and biodiversity at risk, says World Animal Protection. Protecting wild animals and
their welfare is crucial to stopping biodiversity loss, and to create a healthy planet for healthy people. The
large scale trade of wildlife has led to biodiversity loss and extinctions.
  We are now at a turning point; humans have exploited wildlife in their millions over the past 50
years, to the extent that the rate of biodiversity loss has accelerated sharply, on an industrial scale that is
no longer sustainable for wildlife and our planet1. The consumer demand for wild animals as luxury food,
traditional medicine, exotic pets, entertainment, and fashion accessories are fuelling the growth of the
legal and illegal trade of wildlife.
  Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM)  
The demand for traditional medicine has devastating consequences for many species of wildlife
traded globally, including bears these are poached and farmed for their bile, which we investigated in
our recent report. TAM has an estimated value of $60 billion a year2 and thought to account for nearly 30
percent3 of China’s pharmaceutical revenue.  
  Each year, millions of wild animals are captured from their natural habitats or bred in cruel captive
conditions to be traded around the world as exotic pets. Snakes, parrots, lizards, tortoises, and even
otters – these are just some of the wildlife species suffering as exotic pets around the world. There
are currently estimated to be 17.6 million exotic pets across the United States alone4.   
  Wild Animals in the tourist industry 
The growth of global tourism has driven the trade of tens of thousands of wild animals to be used
for entertainment where they are being beaten, chained and abused. In Thailand,  approximately 11 million
people6 each year pay to watch elephants perform tricks and 46 million people7 have paid to see dolphins
at a venue at least once in the last 4 years.   
  Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India says:
“The horrors of the wildlife trade should be reason enough to ban it. Yet COVID-19 and the current
extinction crisis demonstrates that the wildlife trade is not only an animal welfare catastrophe,  it is a
global health and biodiversity risk.  
  Kelly Dent, Global Director of External Affairs at World Animal Protection says: 
“Wild animal diseases are usually of no significant risk to people if the animals remain in the wild. This
changes however, when wildlife trade comes into play. Often, the wildlife trade brings
together a wide variety of animals that would typically have no contact in the wild,  creating a hotbed of
lethal diseases.”
  The organizations are calling on UN Member States to champion and action the protection of
wild animals. By ending cross-border commercial trade of wildlife with a focus on the trade and sale of
live wild animals and their body parts that are reared or kept in close confinement or multi-species close
contact environments such as wildlife markets, farms or ranches.

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