WRITTEN BY: Jared Kukura
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS) released a statement opposing a ban on wildlife trade in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICCS advocates for better regulation of wildlife trade in the hope of benefitting people and wildlife.
There are four main objectives in the ICCS’s statement, three of which should be supported by every organisation.
- Prevention of illegal, unsustainable, unhygienic and high-stress use of domestic and wild animal species.
- Support of well-regulated, sustainable and cruelty-free trade in wildlife, based on evidence that a particular trade is helping to protect wildlife and their habitats against threats whilst meeting livelihoods and food security needs.
- Limitation of destruction of natural ecosystems for agriculture, mining, infrastructure development and urbanisation, working towards halting further loss and restoring nature.
- Better management of industrial agriculture, to prevent disease outbreaks in humans and livestock, animal welfare issues, pollution of the land and watercourses, and antibiotic resistance.
But the second objective is a missed opportunity to protect wildlife. The ICCS states conservation efforts need to conform to livelihood and food security needs. However, at this stage in the human game, the opposite is needed. Livelihood and food security needs must be met through alternative avenues and must conform to conservation efforts if we wish to protect wildlife.