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Carnism

June 01, 2020 - The Independent (UK)

If leaders want to protect humans from coronavirus, then we need to act quick on animal rights too

If leaders want to protect humans from coronavirus, then we need to act quick on animal rights too
Pigs on factory farmFile Photo / © Photabulous!

The authorities in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, have officially banned eating, hunting and breeding wild animals. The new policy will stay in place for five years, according to a notice released by the Wuhan government.

The origins of the pandemic are still being investigated but the suspected source is the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, which included a live animal section selling many species of wild and farmed animals.

Generally, scientists agree that the most plausible explanation is that the virus jumped from an animal to a human in a zoonotic manner. (Three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals, including HIV, Ebola, influenza, MERS and SARS.)

The move in Wuhan comes amid mounting pressure for China to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade blamed by many for the pandemic, but whilst the emergence of Covid-19 has been linked to eating wildlife, it shows strong parallels with other viruses which have emerged from a different route – industrial farming – such as highly pathogenic strains of Avian Influenza and Swine Flu. The effects of those diseases have been devastating; and they are believed to have come from keeping living, breathing, sentient creatures, chickens and pigs, in the most unnatural conditions – caged, crammed and confined on intensive farms.

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The Independent (UK)


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