In light of the coronavirus, conservationists have placed increased pressure on the Vietnamese government to end wildlife trade and consumption. NPO Pan Nature sent a letter to the government urging them to protect wildlife. Around 14 other conservationist groups, including WWF, Animals Asia Foundation and Save Vietnamese Wildlife all signed the letter, according to One Green Planet.
The letter said: ‘The lesson from SARS and now Covid-19 are clear: new viruses will continue to move from wildlife to people while illegal wildlife trade and wildlife consumption continue.’
Vietnam is a known hotspot for illegal pangolin trafficking, as the meat is considered a delicacy there.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has since responded to the letter, according to VN Express. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have been ordered to ‘quickly’ compile a directive to ban these activities. The submission to government’s deadline is 1 April.
Vietnam’s government have drafted a plan to implement a ban on wildlife trade in the country.
Pan Nature’s director, Trinh Le Nguyen, said in a statement that the legislation would act as an example of how important conservation of the natural world and ending illegal wildlife trade is. ‘We expect that with this response of the Prime Minister, enforcement agencies will demonstrate their commitment to eradicate illegal wildlife trade and consumption in our country completely,’ said Nguyen.
Scientists believe that the coronavirus began in a wet market in Wuhan, China. Markets like these sell exotic wild animals, from pangolins to snakes to bats. Read: Pangolins likely link in coronavirus transmission
Image: Dave-Pusey/ Getaway Gallery