New report recently released World Animal Welfare explains the degree Canadian is involved in supporting the cruel and dangerous wildlife trade and why it needs to be curbed – not only to protect animals, but also to protect our health and prevent future pandemics such as COVID-19.
“We cannot ignore the fact that the current pandemic and previous major epidemics around the world are fundamentally linked to our wild animal abuse and exploitation,” said Melissa Matlow, Campaign Director of WWC Canada. statement. “Our well-being is connected. This is why World Animal Protection is urging the Canadian government to adopt One health – one well-being approach to protecting animals, our planet and our health ”.
The report states that although Canada accounts for only 0.5% of the world’s population, it makes a major contribution to the wildlife trade through the import and export of various wild animals such as exotic pets, as well as animals for so-called “entertainment” and “trophies”. Canadian black bears are also hunted for their gallbladder for use in “traditional medicine” and beyond. 340,000 wild animals are intensively grown for fur production throughout Canada.
In addition, many Canadians would be surprised to learn that the government does not actually know the full number and variety of wildlife species imported into the country each year. The report notes that between 2014 as well as 2019, at least 1.8 million wild animals were imported into Canada of 76 countries, including known foci of emergence of new diseases. There is a complex network of agencies at the border, each of which regulates different aspects of the import and export of wild animals.
Each of these overwhelmed agencies have their own data collection systems and requirements. Each agency also has limited jurisdiction, which means there are gaps. No agency is responsible for importing wild animals and they are not properly screened for pathogens.
Recent poll by Northstar Research Partners and by order World Animal Welfare showed great support for government action. Some 70% Canadians support stricter laws to reduce wildlife trade in Canada and support a permanent ban on commercial wildlife trade.
The report calls on the government Canada take the following initial steps:
Create and finance a comprehensive monitoring system for the import, export and sale of wild animals and their parts within Canada…
Work with provinces and territories to harmonize and strengthen regulations to dramatically reduce captive breeding, transport and trade, both physically and online.
Strengthen measures to ensure legal and illegal trade in wild animals and plants by improving coordination between departments and federal, provincial and territorial bodies, as well as increasing funding and resources.
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The World Animal Protection report publishes a new report on Canada’s involvement in the global commercial wildlife trade first appeared in World Animal News.