Pre­vent next pan­demic by end­ing an­i­mal traf­fick­ing

Times Standard (Eureka) - - OPIN­ION -

I am writ­ing to ex­press my con­cern about il­le­gal wildlife traf­fick­ing, and to urge elected of­fi­cials to pass leg­is­la­tion to stop it. Wildlife traf­fick­ing is a com­mer­cial en­ter­prise that en­tails il­le­gal poach­ing, tak­ing, and trade of wild plants and an­i­mals. We now know that it is also the cause of wildlife-hu­man viruses like COVID-19 — the coro­n­avirus that is caus­ing thou­sands to get sick.

To bet­ter restrict the wildlife trade, our elected lead­ers need to im­me­di­ately pass leg­is­la­tion that pro­hibits the wildlife trade and traf­fick­ing in the U.S. and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion should en­force ex­ist­ing laws at home and abroad.

As in­di­vid­u­als and as a so­ci­ety, we can be dili­gent about know­ing the source of prod­ucts we con­sume. The wildlife trade ex­ists around the world — in­clud­ing here at home. Not buy­ing prod­ucts that are de­rived from wildlife is a cru­cial ac­tion we can each take.

We can pre­vent more wildlife diseases from in­fect­ing hu­mans by putting an end to il­le­gal wildlife traf­fick­ing and stop the ex­ploita­tion of wildlife gen­er­ally. I hope our elected of­fi­cials will take ac­tion to do so. Robert Ma­son, Ar­cata

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