The Greens have called on the Federal Government to push to end the global trade of wildlife, backing the calls of conservation and animal protection groups including Humane Society International and World Animal Protection, who want the commercial trade and sale in markets of wild animals to be banned.
Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“If the Australian Government wants to really lead from the front on this issue it will call for an end to the global trade of wildlife, not just an investigation into wildlife markets.
“The science is well established on the link between wildlife consumption and the transfer of zoonotic diseases to humans.
“There cannot just be an investigation of wildlife markets in China or other countries like Indonesia as the Prime Minister seemed to be suggesting today. Ultimately the trade of wildlife for consumption and other purposes, which is a global issue including in Australia, must end.
“A push to end wildlife markets is welcome but it must be accompanied by a push to end the trade of wild animals, otherwise very little will have been achieved in the battle to prevent future pandemics like Covid19.
“The Prime Minister also needs to commit to looking at wildlife trade in his own backyard. The Federal Government needs to close the loopholes in our laws that allow our rare and endangered native animals to be traded for profit and ensure they are protected here where they belong.
“Ending the trade of wildlife would not only help keep the global community safe from future pandemics but also help protect the world’s precious wildlife for future generations.
“Wildlife trade impacts biodiversity, can cause diseases to be transferred between other wildlife species putting them at risk, drives poaching and trafficking and ultimately fuels the extinction crisis around the world.
“We cannot go back to the way things were before COVID-19, we must change our ways for the sake of our own health and the planet’s.”