Over one lakh Indians have signed the petition, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support the call for a global ban on trade of wild animals, during the forthcoming meeting of G20 leaders in Saudi Arabia, later this month.
World Animal Protection has also written to Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi to take note of the strong support from the people of India to the petition.
In its letter, World Animal Protection states this - It is crucial that the G20 shows global leadership on the issue of COVID-19, by both bringing this current pandemic under control and taking steps to prevent future pandemics.
It must be noted that during the meetings of the G20 Agriculture ministers and G20 Environment ministers in September, on this important matter, a consensus was reached regarding commitments to pandemic prevention and preparedness and the link with wildlife.
However, there was no joint communique from the ministers meeting and hence their deliberations and decisions were not made public.
Now World Animal Protection is urging the G20 leadership to include the commitment to pandemic prevention and preparedness with linkages to wildlife in their Leaders Communique after the summit.
Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India said, "As we are moving closer to the G20 summit, we appeal to Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi and the Government of India to support the call for a global ban on wildlife trade. The signatures of 1,00,220 Indian citizens is a reflection of the growing demand to give wild animals a better life. India is an important member of G20 and its voice of support on this issue will push G20 nations to take this vital decision to end all wildlife trade." "Given that progress was made in the Ministers meeting on a commitment towards pandemic prevention and preparedness and the link with wildlife, it falls on the leaders of G20 to build on those commitments and make them public. We appeal to the G20 leaders, including Mr. Narendra Modi, to include these commitments in the official meeting communique and for the world to see." Wild animals are traded for the purpose of our entertainment, for medicine and are treated as products. This cruel trade causes the suffering of millions of animals and endangers the health of people with pandemics like COVID-19. It also has a terrible impact on our environment.
World Animal Protection has also requested World Health Organisation to permanently ban all wildlife markets around the globe in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and to take a highly precautionary approach to the wildlife trade.
The aggravated risk to human health caused from close contact to wild animals in the wildlife trade and in entertainment can no longer be ignored.
Recently, a new report from World Animal Protection also exposed the dismal conditions of elephants at entertainment venues in India and alarming elephant tourism trends across Asia. These trends are expected to get worse as venues try to fill the income shortfall following COVID-19.
In India, World Animal Protection is working to phase out elephant rides at the Amer Fort in Jaipur, where over 100 elephants are providing daily rides to thousands of tourists.
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