Together with Four Paws and Humane Society International we are calling on the G20 to end wildlife trade
G20 time to lead
Leaders joining the G20 summit in Rome this weekend are presented with the most practical way to address pandemic prevention - ending the global wildlife trade and the exploitation of wildlife for traditional medicine, hunting trophies, food, fashion such as fur, entertainment and as pets.
Millions of wild animals around the world continue to live a nightmare at the hands of the brutal wildlife trade, endangering us all. This horrifying industry keeps wild animals captive and caged in cramped, squalid conditions – treating them as commodities, not sentient, living creatures that feel pain. And while animals suffer, their exploitation creates dangerous environments that act as a hotbed for emerging infectious diseases, putting us all at risk of the next global pandemic.
Right now, G20 countries are leading this trade that cruelly exploits wildlife, drives biodiversity loss and leaves the world vulnerable to future pandemics. This is why leaders gathering at the G20 summit must come together and agree to ban cruel and dangerous commercial trade in wildlife – to help prevent devastating future zoonotic pandemics like COVID-19 from happening again.
Disappointingly, the public health risks of trading wildlife was not mentioned when the G20 Health Ministers met at the beginning of September, or when the G20 Agriculture Ministers came together a few weeks later. The G20 world leaders are well placed to take steps towards a commercial wildlife trade ban. But now this does not appear to be on the agenda of this year’s G20.
Another pandemic, potentially even more devastating, could be lurking around the corner, unless world leaders work hard and fast on making a formal commitment to end the commercial trade in wild animals in conditions that jeopardize both human health and animal welfare and take definitive coordinated steps to make this a reality. It would be a mistake for the G20 to ignore this risk, when the fate of so many rely on their choices.
There’s no going back. We call on Governments in the G20 to ban cruel and dangerous commercial trade in wildlife, to end the suffering of wild animals and protect us from future pandemics.