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News "Wild animals and human health: a common and urgent fight"

Source Le Soir
Release date 09/07/2020
Contributor Lucie Ongena
Keywords press, article, zoonose, pandemic, covid-19

On the occasion of World Zoonoses Day (July 6th), staff of CEBioS, together with a number of scientists co-signed a text of WWF-Belgium, which stresses the importance of combatting illegal imports of wild meat and recalls the danger to public health of certain modes of production and consumption.

We have seen the frequency and number of infectious diseases increase significantly over the years, resulting in increased threats to our health, economy and security. In addition to well-known examples such as Ebola and SARS, Covid-19 illustrates the devastating effects these emerging diseases can have. (...) Research indicates that the main factors behind this alarming trend are due to our destructive behaviour towards nature. Firstly, the trade and consumption of wild animals, especially species with a high risk of containing virulent pathogens, is a major concern. (...) Secondly, the way we currently produce food and consume natural resources is leading to unsustainable logging, intensive livestock farming and land-use change due to activities such as deforestation. The amount of land converted to food production is increasing rapidly to feed a growing population (mainly for raw materials such as beef, soy and palm oil). These important factors greatly increase contact - and thus the risk of "spillover" - between people, their livestock and wildlife, which carry potentially dangerous pathogens.


Read the full text (in French) here