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Peter Knights: The Next Pandemic Is On It’s Way, Unless We Shut Down Wildlife Markets

Elizabeth Novogratz 21 April 2020 1


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There’s not much that we can be certain about in such uncertain times but there are a few things. One is that unless we change the way that that we treat animals, the next pandemic is most definitely coming. Only next time, it could be much worse, much more infectious and even more fatal than the current crisis we’re now facing. 

COVID-19 most likely started at a wild animal market in Wuhan, China and was transmitted to a human from an animal, probably a pangolin. Wild animal markets are breeding grounds for diseases – and in order to stop the transmission of the diseases to humans, we need to shut down the markets, end the global wildlife trade, and change the way that we treat animals across the board. 

If there’s one upside coming from this pandemic  (I certainly hope there’s more than one), it’s that wild animal markets have shut down in China (at least they are closed right now) and hopefully, many other countries will soon follow suit. There’s still much confusion surrounding the wild animal markets in China and elsewhere in terms of what’s shut down and what hasn’t. So, I asked Peter Knights the Executive Director of WildAid to explain.

Peter has been investigating and working to end illegal wildlife trafficking for the past thirty years. WildAid is different from other conservation organizations, because instead of focusing on fighting the supply side of the illegal wildlife trade, they work to reduce demand and to increase local support for conservation efforts. They’ve been a massive force in the reduction of the demand for ivory, rhino horn, shark fins, and much other illegal wildlife for decades. 

Their campaigns have changed the world. If you haven’t seen them (although, you probably have and just didn’t know it) take a look at their website. There are two incredible campaigns for pangolins on there, one with Jay Chou and the other with Jackie Chan

Peter and I spoke on Friday from our respective quarantines. He graciously explained the current situation with what’s happening with wild animal markets across the planet. And, he shared what the future looks like if we don’t put an end to these markets and the wild life trade. I hope you learn as much as I did. 

Species Unite is a podcast focused on those who fight the good fight on behalf of animals around the globe. It's a collection of the stories of the people who are healing the world one creature at a time.

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Species Unite
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share playlist_add
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  • 1

iROAR member

Tim Harrison: Lions, Tigers, and Bears… and Wolves, Pythons, Cougars, Alligators, and Sloths Living in America’s Basements and Backyards

Elizabeth Novogratz 23 January 2020

In neighborhoods all over the United States, there are homes with large predators, venomous snakes, and wild animals from every country on the planet. The desire to own and “master” some of the worlds most dangerous creatures, from lions to …continue

Read more trending_flat

Proudly brought to you by: Elizabeth Novogratz 23 January 2020