The coronavirus pandemic has been an eye-opener for many into how illegal wildlife trade can destroy lives of many people. Now, authorities are shutting down wildlife markets, and strengthening the laws for endangered species to protect public health.

In a survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund and strategic consultants GlobeScan, they found that more people are supportive of stopping illegal wildlife trades and strengthen laws to protect both animals and people.

“Questions remain about the exact origins of COVID-19, but the World Health Organization has confirmed it is a zoonotic disease, meaning it jumped from wildlife to humans,” Christy Williams, regional director of WWF’s Asia Pacific program, said.

“China has taken great steps prohibiting the hunting, trade, transport, and eating of wild animals, and Vietnam is working on similar directives. Other Asian governments must follow by closing their high-risk wildlife markets and ending this trade once and for all to save lives and help prevent a repeat of the social and economic disruption we are experiencing around the globe today,” she added.

1,000 people from Hong Kong, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam joined an online poll for a total of 5,000 responses. The respondents were randomly selected.

“Respondents predominantly believe that wildlife are the source of the coronavirus pandemic, with 38 percent believing wild animals are the primary source and 63 percent believing they are one of the top two sources,” they found.

They found only 2 percent of the respondents who said they were not worried about the wildlife markets, with 98 percent trusting the government and their fellow citizens to combat the coronavirus outbreak by strengthening wildlife protection laws and making sure to catch illegal wildlife traders.

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