Vietnam has announced a ban on wildlife imports and markets. (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

“Vietnam has announced it will ban wildlife imports and close wildlife markets in response to renewed concerns about the threat from diseases that can jump from animals to humans, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. It also merits tougher penalties for crimes involving the trade in wildlife,” said a recent article on the ABC news, entitled: “Vietnam bans wildlife imports and markets amid concerns over coronavirus spread”. 

It quoted Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud saying, "Vietnam is reducing the risk of future pandemics and showing the world how we can manage these markets into the future", and “all nations have a responsibility to keep people safe from harm and regulating the production and sale of wild animals that carry diseases is a critical part of that."

According to Mr. Littleproud, “the Vietnamese Government should be congratulated for its leadership in taking an "evidence-based approach to reducing the risk of animal-to-human diseases being spread.”

Talking with the news agency, Steve Galster, the director of Freeland, a group working on ending the wildlife trade, also said "the new directive includes recommendations that conservationists have been making for years, including cracking down on domestic markets”. “COVID-19 elevated the issue of wildlife trade, so Vietnamese lawmakers got involved with the issue in the past few months and helped push the directive forward," he added./.

Compiled by BTA