Additionally, the global demand for wild animals as exotic pets creates huge pressure on wildlife populations and results in large-scale capture of many species.
Markets selling wild animals are common across the Greater Mekong region, with demand originating from a broad spectrum of people, from local villages to urban elites. In many local markets, humans, domestic animals, and live and freshly dead wildlife come into close contact － making them a breeding ground for pathogens. These pathogens can move between animals, infect humans, mutate and possibly escalate into global epidemic events affecting millions.
WWF is urging governments in the Greater Mekong region to end the commercial trade in high disease-risk wildlife, including mammals and birds, in order to stop wildlife extinctions and reduce the risk of viral pathogens in animals infecting and spreading among humans. With our partners, we are:
- Designing demand reduction campaigns for wildlife species which are often bought for wild meat, medicines or as pets
- Engaging governments to identify ways to institute and enforce stronger legislation
- Highlighting impactful actions at the national and regional level as examples to be replicated
- WWF Statement on Closing Illegal Wildlife Markets Across the Asia Pacific Region
- WWF calls for evaluation of wildlife markets to reduce pandemic risk
- Opinion Survey on COVID-19 and Wildlife Trade in Five Asian Markets
- “One Health” and COVID-19, one year later
- Consumption of wildlife drops almost 30% over perceived links to pandemics like COVID-19
- COVID19: Urgent Call to Protect People and Nature
- From Forest to Market: How Pandemics are Fueled by Nature Loss