A global report titled ‘COVID-19: Urgent Call to Protect People and the Environment’ released on Wednesday by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), revealed that the use of wildlife meat to meet the growing demand for food and the destruction of the natural habitat of animals has led to a dangerous increase in new diseases caused by wild animals.
The report reveals that “every year three to four dangerous diseases are transmitted to humans by eating wild animal meat and these diseases are now emerging as a global epidemic, including Ebola, AIDS, SARS, avian influenza and swine flu are just a few examples in the recent past and now a dangerous global epidemic like the coronavirus has engulfed the world.
Addressing the online launch of the report, Dr. Babar Khan, Director WWF Pakistan, said: “Following the trend of using wild animal meat as human food, 9 to 23 billion dollar trade per year worldwide. Billions of dollar worth of wild animals are being bought and sold. This trade needs to be regulated globally.
According to the WWF report: “If the environment is not protected, these wildlife-borne diseases will prove to be extremely dangerous for mankind in the future, destroying human health as well as the economy and global security is also possible to be severely affected.”
The novel Coronavirus epidemic is a recent example of the end of human lives and the devastating effects on global economies. The epidemic has cost the global economy 8.8 trillion Dollars. More than half of the world’s employees have lost their jobs, which has had a negative impact on society.
The report added that “in order to meet the food needs of humans, deforestation is taking place and the natural habitat of wild animals is being used for agriculture or farming, which has led to increased human contact with wild animals.” The WWF report urges governments around the world to commit to a new treaty to protect humans and the environment in order to ensure credible action that begins to reduce biodiversity loss and restore nature and pave the way for a solution that will be beneficial to humans and the planet by 2030.
In the report, the WWF also called on industries to strengthen voluntary environmental measures during and after the global epidemic crisis and to take standard measures that reduce the supply of wildlife as human food. In the same way, by promoting standard food practices, buyers should be attracted towards the best food choices.