The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), an institution focused on biodiversity conservation, calls for the need to protect wildlife aside from safeguarding public health in the Southeast Asian region.

ACB said protecting and conservation of wildlife and improving animal health and welfare are important factors to the public’s good health status after the coronavirus outbreak began at a live animal market in Wuhan, China.

“The ACB promotes effective measures to conserve wildlife and their habitats,” said ACB executive director Theresa Mundita Lim.

In a report by PhilStar, ASEAN member states (AMS) have been working together to regulate trade of the world’s species and protect thousands of species to ensure their survival. Lim added that AMS are also ensuring the implementation of Chiang Mai statement on illegal wildlife trade to crack down wildlife trafficking.

Lim said the evidence of Covid-19 shows its link to consumption of wildlife meat, which can have adverse consequences to wildlife trade, aside from its environmental impacts.

“While wild animals can carry organisms that could be pathogenic to humans, some can still appear healthy, especially if they are the natural hosts,” Lim, former chair of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network and former director of the Philippines’ Biodiversity Management Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resouces, said.

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