The COVID-19 challenge: Zoonotic diseases and wildlife – A CPW Joint Statement

Amid the massive fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the human fear of zoonotic diseases is on the rise, fueling an international movement to ban harvesting, trade and consumption of wild meat. Yet, this reaction, stemming in part from the belief that COVID-19 first jumped to humans from animals in a wildlife wet market, has the potential to jeopardize food security and the livelihoods of millions of Indigenous peoples and local communities.

Blanket bans on the use and consumption of wildlife may sate the appetites of those looking for a quick fix to the threat of viral pathogens but can also create significant problems. To protect biodiversity and the well-being of Indigenous people and those who depend on wild meat as a significant source of protein, a more targeted and science-based approach will yield better results.

Read our joint partner statement to learn more