The early version of the manuscript, which is yet to be proof reviewed before being published in its final form, states the ‘discovery of multiple lineages of pangolin coronavirus and their similarity to SARS-CoV-2 suggests that pangolins should be considered as possible hosts in the emergence of novel coronaviruses’.
It also argues pangolins, which are the most-commonly illegally trafficked mammal, should therefore be ‘removed from wet markets to prevent zoonotic transmission’.
According to National Geographic, Conservation Biologist and Co-Founder of Save Pangolins said: “If there is one clear message from this global crisis, it’s that the sale and consumption of pangolins in [live animal] markets should be strictly prohibited to avoid future pandemics.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) is already under pressure to close live animal markets from animal-rights charity PETA – who has already gained more than 39,000 signatures in an online petition.
PETA created the petition as it is believed Covid 19 started in a wet market in Wuhan, China*, in December 2019. Since then, it has spread to countries around the world, killing more than 24,000 at the time of writing.
*While this particular virus is understood to have started in China, animal advocates have pointed out that conditions in which animals are kept in all countries around the world can encourage the transmission of diseases from animals to humans.