Coronavirus Pandemic Pushes Vietnam To Ban The Trade & Consumption Of Wildlife

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to “quickly” draft a directive to ban the trade and consumption of wildlife and submit it to the government of Vietnam no later than April 1st.

The move comes after 14 conservation and animal welfare organizations urged the country to ban their wildlife trade in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and to prevent future outbreaks.

“The lesson from SARS and now COVID-19 are clear: new viruses will continue to move from wildlife to people while the illegal wildlife trade and consumption of wildlife continues,” the organizations stated in a letter sent to the Prime Minister last month.

The letter also acknowledged that in early February, the Vietnam Administration of Forestry had sent a directive to provinces on controlling wildlife trade to prevent the spread of the coronavirus following a government directive on combating the epidemic.

But it said the government “should take more concrete action.”

Trinh Le Nguyen, Director of PanNature, said that the government’s actions would help show that Vietnam is a “regional leader” in combating the illegal wildlife trade and biodiversity conservation.

“We expect that with this response of the Prime Minister, enforcement agencies will demonstrate their commitment to eradicate illegal wildlife trade and consumption in our country completely,” Le Nguyen said in a statement.

As previously reported by WAN, COVID-19 is believed to have originated from a live animal market in Wuhan, China, most likely through human contact and consumption of bats.

Last month, China subsequently made the life-saving decision that it would permanently ban the wildlife trade.

The heads of: PanNature, Animals Asia Foundation, TRAFFIC, Save Vietnam Wildlife, and Wildlife Conservation Society were among the signatories on the important letter.

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