How wildlife trade is linked to coronavirus

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And why the disease first appeared in China.

NOTE: As our expert Peter Li points out in the video, “The majority of the people in China do not eat wildlife animals. Those people who consume these wildlife animals are the rich and the powerful –a small minority.” This video explains how the people of China are themselves victims of the conditions that led to coronavirus. The virus is affecting many different countries and cultures, and there is never justification for xenophobia or racism.

You can find further reading on this on Vox:




Correction: At 1:12, 1:20, and 8:09, Crimea is incorrectly labelled as a part of Russia. While it has been occupied by Russian forces since 2014, it is still legally a territory of Ukraine.

As of early March 2020, a new coronavirus, called COVID-19, is in more than 70 countries and has killed more than 3,100 people, the vast majority in China. That's where the virus emerged back in December 2019. This isn't a new phenomenon for China; in 2003, the SARS virus also emerged there, and under similar circumstances, before spreading around the world and killing nearly 800.

Both SARS and COVID-19 are in the "coronavirus" family, and both appear to have emerged from animals in China's notorious wildlife markets. Experts had long predicted that these markets, known to be potential sources of disease, would enable another outbreak. The markets, and the wildlife trade that supports them, are the underlying problem of these pandemics; until China solves that problem, more are likely to emerge.

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Further reading:
Peter Li:
Peter Daszak, EcoAlliance:
WildAid:
On the animal source:

Note the headline for this piece has been updated.
Previous headline: Why new diseases keep appearing in China

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