The coronavirus pandemic originated in China, but the details of exactly where it started are unclear.
The cause of the current pandemic appears to have originated in a Wuhan seafood and livestock market where wild animals, including marmots, birds, rabbits, bats and snakes, were traded illegally. Such markets are common in China, and as a consequence, millions have fallen ill and over a million people have died so far across the world. Why did it take a global pandemic to shine the light on the dark practice of wildlife trading?
The global pandemic has made it very clear that we need to think again when it comes to the way we treat wild animals. The 2003 SARS outbreak, which was traced to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats, also emerged in China but was controlled before it spread all around the globe.
Since the devastating disaster known as COVID-19, the Chinese government has banned the trade and consumption of wildlife. However, this does not take away from the suffering that has been caused by the virus. Also, not only humans have been affected, as over the years innocent animals have been victims to the cruel wildlife markets.
Nobody knows how long the consequences of this pandemic will last, but what we do know is that it’s never going to be easy to accept that more people will suffer before we can control it. We’ve had to stop seeing our family, friends and the people we love, and we’re unsure when we will be able to see them again without worrying about spreading or catching a deadly virus.
Putting a stop to the wet markets will help prevent a similar catastrophic pandemic in the future. We must reduce the possibility of new viruses emerging as a result of people disturbing the habitats of wild animals and even eating them without knowing the risks. COVID-19 started with China, so China’s move to ban the trade of wild animals in these markets is a positive step. Let’s stick to eating legally and morally and thinking more carefully about the impact of human behaviour on the natural world around us.