Close Monitoring Of Wildlife Trade For keeping Zoonotic Diseases Away

Close Monitoring Of Wildlife Trade For keeping Zoonotic Diseases Away

COVID-19 pandemic and its suspected wild animal origins have spurred fresh consideration of how to reduce zoonotic disease risks associated with wild animal trade. But with Legal wildlife trade continuing to be a source of income and sustenance for communities worldwide, the spread of zoonotic disease can only be checked through a range of interdisciplinary responses and close monitoring of the trade.  

Coming up with a detailed guideline, the Traffic, an organisation that fights globally on trade in wild animals and plants, said that the wild animal trade should be closely monitored to ensure legality and improve sustainability and safety.

Wildlife TRAPS Project Officer and lead author of the Review Sam Campbell said, “Exploring how existing systems can be modified is a significant step towards better managing the trade in wild animals to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease transmission and the emergence of novel pathogens.

The Review includes three case studies of established wild animal trade systems to illustrate the supply chain management practices, traceability measures and regulatory structures involved. These include Australia’s kangaro meat trade, sourced from hunting of wild populations, South Africa’s ostrich meat trade sourced from captive farming and France’s venison trade, sourced from a combination of hunting and captive production

  • The risk of zoonotic spillover to humans tends to be higher via wild mammal and wild bird taxa;
  • Trade in live animals presents the highest risks compared to other wild animal products, followed by raw meat:
  • Disease risks may be amplified along lengthy trade chains with more intermediaries;
  • Risks are higher where different species come into contact with each other (including contact with domestic animals and humans).
  • Governments improve communication and collaboration among agencies working on public health, animal health, environmental health, wildlife trade management and their implementing partners such as Customs and law enforcement;
  • Government agencies involved in food safety regulation share knowledge and resources with agencies working on wild animal trade management;
  • Government authorities, donor agencies, and experts working in public health, animal health, food safety, natural resource management, law enforcement, and Customs collaborate to test supply chain management and traceability approaches across different wild animal trade systems, and to establish minimum biosecurity standards for legal wild animal trade;
  • Wild animal trade stakeholders map their respective supply chains to understand and mitigate risks to safety, sustainability, and legality:
  • Businesses and associations with expertise in animal supply chain management and traceability explore the costs of adapting such systems to priority wild animal trade systems, particularly in less regulated contexts.
  • Donor agencies and private sector partners financially support smallscale trade chain actors in adopting traceability measures.


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