VHS is shifting the focus of our campaigns and communications to include the wildlife and exotic pet trade, which has been implicated in the emergence of COVID-19.
The emergence of new zoonotic diseases (diseases that spread from animals to humans) has been ignored for far too long, especially its connection to the international wildlife trade (explained in our recent op-ed). It’s time the international community and all levels of government in Canada took action to put and end to the illegal wildlife trade, which is not only inhumane but also is a threat to biodiversity and public health.
Here in B.C., the provincial government’s Controlled Alien Species Regulation governs “the possession, breeding, shipping, and releasing of alien animals that pose a risk to the health or safety of people, property, wildlife, or wildlife habitat.”
We’re calling on the government to review the regulation to ensure it addresses the threat of zoonotic disease from the trade in wild and exotic animals.
Please send a message to the provincial government’s Wildlife and Habitat Branch, asking them to take action to address this important issue.