Curbing the wildlife trade | BC SPCA
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Curbing the wildlife trade

September 22, 2020

The BC SPCA is concerned about the global wildlife trade and is part of a coalition in Canada working to stop the trade to address the spread of zoonotic diseases (disease transmitted from animals to humans), help prevent future pandemics and protect millions of wild animals worldwide from suffering.

Wildlife markets

The science is clear that zoonotic diseases from wildlife are a serious threat and account for at least 70 per cent of all new diseases (Emre Can et al., 2019). Live wildlife markets have played a significant role in the current pandemic as well as the previous SARS epidemic, and are responsible for the poor treatment and exploitation of wild animals. Live animal markets, in which many animals come into close proximity with each other and with people, provide the ideal conditions for a virus in one species to be transferred to another, including humans. The crowded, unsanitary and stressful conditions for animals in live markets is unnatural and promotes the emergence and spread of infectious diseases.

Small mammals tied to strings at a market
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Global wildlife trade

Millions of wild animals are captured, bred and traded each year around the world for food, traditional medicine and as pets. At every stage of the trade, zoonotic disease transfer is a risk not only to surrounding communities but also globally.

In July 2020, the BC SPCA joined a coalition of Canadian and international organizations, academics, conservationists and zoonotic disease experts to take action nationally. We are calling on the Canadian government to bring this issue to the G20 Leader’s Summit in November 2020 and urge other countries to support the closure of live wildlife markets as well as end the international trade of wild animals and their products. We are also asking the Canadian government to address Canada’s contribution to the issue by curbing the import and domestic trade of wild animals and products.

Turtles and shrimp in metal buckets
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

What can you do?

Take action now and join the BC SPCA, other experts and fellow Canadians to voice your concern about the impact of the global wildlife trade to help prevent future pandemics and reduce animal suffering.

Learn more about the organizations involved, polling results and sign the national petition to curb the global wildlife trade:

  1. Read why we need to curb the wildlife trade from World Animal Protection.
  2. Sign the World Animal Protection petition to curb the wildlife trade.
  3. Check out the World Animal Protection polling results.
  4. Write to your Member of Parliament (MP) to voice your support for this coalition call to action.
  5. See which zoonotic disease experts and celebrities are backing this call to action.
Young parrots on display at a market
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals