Party for the Animals places trade in wild animals as a cause of infec­tious diseases on the WHO agenda

11 February 2020

The Dutch House of Representatives supported a motion by the Party for the Animals last week to add the trade in wild animals to the agenda of the next meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO). As far as the Party for the Animals is concerned, this is the first step towards a European import ban on wild animals.

The trade in and consumption of wild animals, and products that incorporate wild animals, are the main risk of outbreak of new infectious diseases among humans. The outbreak of the new corona virus in China also has its origins in a market where wild animals were sold legally and illegally.

Party for the Animals member of parliament Eva van Esch: "This adopted proposal is an important first step. If it were up to the Party for the Animals, this would be the prelude to a European ban on the trade in wild animals. With that we would take a huge step to reduce the risk of new infectious diseases. Every time the world is astonished when a new disease breaks out, while we know its cause", says Van Esch. "After SARS, MERS, and now the corona virus, it is high time that the trade in wild animals be curtailed."

The Dutch Minister for Medical Care and Sport will now discuss the possibility of an import ban with the Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality. Van Esch: "The advantage is that this topic is now on the map. We have to break this absurd cycle: outbreaks of diseases, limit the consequences with all power, and then wait until things go wrong again. Stopping the trade in wild animals and leaving them alone in nature can be the crucial step."