“The new COVID-19 coronavirus, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Avian Influenza, and Swine Flu are all derived from animals. Serious rethinking of the food animal industries is called for, and we need strict laws banning the illegal killing and selling of small animals.”
Thanks to our modern global transportation systems, we can travel from one side of the world to the other in a day, and buy and sell goods from other countries with ease. But this also means that diseases can spread at the same speed and ease. Viruses emerging in one country or region are no longer only that country’s or region’s problem.
The new COVID-19 coronavirus is strongly suspected of being derived from infected pangolins and transmitted to humans from contact while being sold in a market in the city of Wuhan in central China.
Contagious diseases are quicker to spread between individuals of the same or different species when they are in close proximity to one another, such as in farms, markets, and slaughterhouses. There are large and small markets all over China where all sorts of wild animals are secretly traded and small animals, including stolen cats and dogs, are all shut up in cages. They are slaughtered and cooked on the spot, or their meat is taken somewhere else. Their blood, feces and other secretions are spread on clothing, on hands, and the ground. It is the perfect environment for the spread of infection, both within and between species.
In South Korea, there are illegal dog slaughterhouses and the illegal slaughter of small animals in street markets all throughout the country. And Korea is the only country in the world to have dog farms, in which dogs are raised in large groups in unsanitary conditions for their meat. Korean dog farms often breed chickens alongside the dogs, and the two species are slaughtered in the same facility.
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