You can help prevent future outbreaks of COVID-19 through education.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 is a direct result of human exploitation of wildlife.
The world has woken up to the interconnectedness of our planet. We must help more people in China understand that the commercial wildlife trade is not sustainable. For the sake of human health, for animal welfare and for the future of our planet.
Our work to-date
COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic has caused chaos within a usually rigid and impenetrable political system in China. Historically, ACTAsia has been hesitant to use political lobbying and campaign tactics to push for change, but this new climate of global crisis calls for stronger methods.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) met in an emergency meeting on 24 February 2020 to discuss taking measures to stem the outbreak of disease in China. As a result, the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress agreed ‘a total prohibition of the illegal wildlife trade, eliminating the bad habit of excessive eating of wildlife, and effectively safeguarding the lives and health of the public’. This meant a temporary ban on the consumption of wildlife and announced the Wildlife Protection Law would be revised.
Following this decision, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has revised China’s Livestock Catalogue, and has postponed revision of the Wildlife Protection Law until later this year.
Where wild animals are sold as meat, it’s common for live animals to be kept alongside dead animals, presenting a high risk of cross contamination
Our actions so far
• We initiated joint action with the Fur Free Alliance and other major organisations to send letters to international Chinese embassies in support of a ban on all commercial uses of wildlife, including captive breeding.
• We launched a worldwide petition on change.org calling for support for a total ban on the commercial breeding and use of wild animals, and an additional petition within China to support a complete ban of captive breeding of wildlife for all commercial purposes, wildlife markets, eating of wild animals and trade in wild animals and derivatives in China.
• We are striving tirelessly to move four fur-bearing animals (raccoon dog, mink, blue and silver fox) from the livestock list to the wildlife list where they should receive appropriate protection, and ask for an end to the commercial use and captive breeding of all animals for fur. We will submit our proposal to the NPC by the 8 May consultation deadline.
• We’re preparing a further proposal for upcoming revision to the Wildlife Protection legislation (date to be announced).
ACTAsia submitted two proposals to the relevant authorities.
1. A proposal to the MOA in response to the livestock consultation, urging for a ban on commercial uses of wildlife, and removal of fur-bearing animals including mink, blue fox, silver fox and raccoon dogs from the livestock list along with other wild animals. By recataloguing these animals as wildlife, they would benefit from legislation to protect wildlife.
2. A proposal to the members of NPC also calling for a ban on the breeding, farming and commercial use of captive wildlife for clothing, medicinal use, and viewing/entertainment, while China’s Wildlife Protection Law is under the amendment.
Both proposals have potential human health benefits, preventing the spread of disease from captive wild animals to humans. In a captive environment when animals are under extreme stress, and their basic needs cannot be met, there is a much higher chance of developing disease. It has been speculated that mink are a potential intermediary host for COVID-19, as this is one species under suspicion that was for sale at Wuhan market.
How your donation can help end China's wildlife trade and protect human health
Education has the power to change attitudes and behaviours
With your donation, we will reach further in China, equipping more children, more consumers and more professionals with the understanding they need to stop the commercial exploitation of nature.
We believe that with the right education and encouragement to live a more compassionate lifestyle, the next generation will develop the critical thinking they need to put an end to cruel and exploitative commercial practices.
To protect human health, animal welfare, the future of our planet please donate now.
Without your donations, we cannot continue our work.
A list of recent articles discussing the wildlife trade, and China’s list of livestock species which is currently under revision
Insights from China: COVID-19 and the wildlife trade. ACTAsia’s Founder, Pei Su, talks to Elizabeth Novogratz from Species Unite.
In the wake of COVID-19
Anthea Turner on ACTAsia’s work to stop the wildlife trade in China
- “We CAN change attitudes to the wildlife trade in China through education. ACTAsia encourages compassionate lifestyle choices: not eating wild animals but also not exploiting any species for fur, entertainment or medicinal use. I personally hope governments around the world will wake up and urge China to completely ban the commercial trade in wildlife. This trade has nothing to do with the vast number of compassionate Chinese who are equally horrified by these abominable acts.”