Petition: To be delivered to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, the State Administration for Market Regulation, and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

How can we ever beat Covid-19 and similar, when the actions which caused the outbreak are allowed to continue?

To walk through a wet market is to experience a kind of hell. Bodies of wild and domestic animals lay on blood soaked tables and floors next to stacks of filthy cages – from which eyes peer out in fear. They know death surrounds them. It will be their turn soon.

In China, there are few limits on which lives can be bought and ended in these places – dogs, cats, snakes, wolf cubs, peacocks, and raccoons to name a handful. So many risks exist when a variety of animals are crammed together in poor housing, and unsanitary conditions. One of the most disturbing factors is the legal torture of animals – permitted to “improve the meat” by raising adrenaline levels prior to slaughter.

The new form of Coronavirus, Covid-19, was traced back to a wet market in Wuhan where it is believed to have been able to jump species from bats kept in squalid conditions to be sold for human consumption.

The virus spread quickly – leading to the extended lockdown of the whole city and the suspension of wet markets as people fell ill and began to die. It turned out to be too little too late, and yet, in response to the closures of markets and the justifiably increased global outrage at the treatment of animals, there was a backlash from those who would rather maintain the diabolical status quo.

• A campaign was launched to encourage citizens to eat dog meat to show “cultural support”.
• A dog (suspected to be stolen) was slaughtered in the street as business “advertising”.
• The demand for dog meat has increased in belief it will protect against coronavirus.
• Some markets continued through China’s outbreak despite being temporarily illegal.

The virus has spread to 180 countries around the world to date, has affected millions, and caused thousands of deaths from the virus and related complications. It is also causing lasting damage to businesses and the economy as entire countries shut down as part of the measures to control the spread. Social Distance has become a new normal in a frighteningly short time, and people are afraid.

Misinformation is rife and causing the abandonment and killing of pets across the world in the mistaken belief owners will contract the disease from their companions.

China – now out of the danger zone, has lifted the restrictions and wet markets are open again. Some are even selling bats – the very animal whose captivity and killing is said to have enabled this particular outbreak to spread. Did China learn nothing? The move is irresponsible at best.

We are calling on the Chinese government to make wet markets and street slaughter illegal, and to properly enforce the law. This practice is horrendously cruel to the animals, and, as we have witnessed, poses a risk to the entire world.

The highest price is the devastation to animals who are entirely innocent – wild populations are being driven to extinction, animals we call “companions” are being slaughtered in front of each other, and it’s only a matter of time before we see yet another disease spread through selfish human actions.

Globally, we are sitting on a knife edge, and the world would be unable to cope with a second wave of horror.

It has to end. 


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