Petition: To be delivered to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, the State Administration for Market Regulation, and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
Chinese food markets are in the global spotlight, giving us a window of opportunity to push for an end to the trade in wild animals which is decimating wildlife populations, facilitating extreme cruelty, and, as evidenced by the recent Coronavirus outbreak, a risk to public health.
A temporary ban on the sale of wild animals was announced in late January as an effort to contain the virus and protect the people. We are calling on the Chinese government to make the ban permanent to protect the animals.
Human culture can be the cause of much suffering. The Chinese trade in wild animals is well known – markets are filled with a diverse variety of wild and domestic creatures intended for human consumption – including rare species. This desire for novelty and the unsubstantiated use of animal products for traditional medicine, has devastating consequences.
Sold in “wet markets” which are typically unsanitary, live animals are held in cramped and filthy conditions close to prepared food. They often witness the killing of others to fulfil customer orders, and some, in a particularly horrendous practice, are served and eaten while still alive. Cruelty is a daily reality, along with unacceptably low standards of animal welfare; these markets are a hell for all animals who pass through them.
Wildlife trafficking is driving struggling species to extinction. The Chinese pangolin for example, is confirmed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This classification means they are one step away from being extinct in the wild, and yet, they can be found offered as a delicacy, and their scales used for traditional medicine.
The 2020 outbreak has caused human deaths, illness, and poses a serious threat to public health on a global scale – the cost to animals is even greater.
Tradition which causes suffering has no place in the modern world.
It’s time for change.