World leaders are being urged to ‘stop ignoring the root cause of pandemics’ and address the risks of factory farming.
Chiefs from organizations such as The World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations (UN) received a letter from FOUR PAWS.
It highlights how around 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases such as SARS come from animals – and that zoonoses cause a staggering one billion cases of illness in people and millions of deaths every year.
A ‘dysfunctional relationship’
“It’s become clear, that for complex matters of animal health, pharmaceutical responses are not the sole and long-term solution,” the letter reads.
“Instead, more must be done to address the dysfunctional relationship between humans, animals, and nature.”
FOUR PAWS says the conditions that a ‘huge proportion of animals’ are raised in ‘encourage pathogen excretion and uptake’.
Moreover, it says these ‘cramped and overcrowded’ environments create ‘an ideal situation for the exchange, genetic modification, and emergence of new pathogens’.
Prevent future pandemics
The letter continues: “While the recent outbreak was most likely from a live market… These conditions are reflected in almost every large-scale trade of animals.
“In light of the pandemic, your roles have become more relevant than ever. You can prescribe the necessary pathways to prevent future zoonotic disease outbreaks.
“This must cut across all sectors and societies as outlined in the points below. It’s imperative that we address the unsustainable use, financing, and promotion of animal exploitation. When they suffer, we suffer.”
Risks of factory farming
Moreover, the letter demands leaders to ban several practices such as fur farming, wet markets. And, calls for ‘a crackdown on risks created by factory farming’.
It also calls on the organizations to acknowledge the importance of reducing meat consumption. Citing both public health risks and the climate crisis.
You can read the full letter here