Celebrities call on UK Prime Minister to end the global wildlife trade

27/07/2020

High profile supporters including Ricky Gervais and Dame Judi Dench have signed an open letter calling on Boris Johnson to urge global leaders at upcoming G20 meeting to end the global wildlife trade.

"This global pandemic has had a devastating impact on all our lives and tackling the source of the problem must be a priority." Television presenter and author, Simon Reeve

The open letter was also co-signed by Simon Reeve, Sue Perkins, Evanna Lynch, Alesha Dixon, Alison Steadman, Liz Bonnin, Mark Carwardine, Ben Goldsmith, Peter Tatchell, Vanessa-Mae, Gillian Burke, Gordon Buchanan, Leona Lewis, Paul O Grady and Michaela Strachan. It was sent on behalf of World Animal Protection and the Campaign to End Wildlife Trade (CEWT) which includes 24 leading animal protection and wildlife conservation groups. 

The global wildlife trade is a primary cause of the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases like coronavirus (Covid-19), SARS, Ebola and MERS which are all believed to have passed from wildlife to humans and are a severe risk to world health.

A seized pangolin at the Natural Resources Conservation Center Riau, Pekanbaru, Indonesia

A seized pangolin at the Natural Resources Conservation Center Riau, Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Television presenter and author Simon Reeve said, "This global pandemic has had a devastating impact on all our lives and tackling the source of the problem must be a priority. 

“Ending the exploitation of wildlife for use in the exotic pet, traditional medicine and entertainment industries will take us one huge step closer to safeguarding our health and the future of the natural world." 

Millions of wild animals including snakes, parrots, iguanas, lizards, tortoises, and even otters are captured each year for the exotic pet trade. While animals like pangolins, bears and tigers are caught in the wild or farmed in captivity for Traditional Asian Medicine. 

We need to rethink of how we treat animals. If we continue to create these environments where diverse species that would never encounter each other in the wild are traded and kept in close proximity and in crowded, unsanitary conditions, we’re going to see more public health risks like this pandemic.

This pandemic is the latest wake up call that we must come together to end the cruel exploitation of wild animals. No one can ignore the danger of eating wild animals, using them as medicine, exploiting them in the name of entertainment or keeping them as pets.

Sign the petition calling on Canada and other G20 countries to ban the global wildlife trade.

Petition: Ban the wildlife trade

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We are calling on the Government of Canada to urge the G20 to support an immediate and permanent ban on wildlife markets and to end the global wildlife trade.

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