USAID Supports Efforts to End the Commercial Trade and Consumption of Wild Birds and Mammals

Speeches Shim

Friday, December 11, 2020

COVID-19 has highlighted the pandemic risks of spillover of zoonotic viruses from wildlife to humans. The major risk in Vietnam, as in China, is the extensive wildlife-human interface interactions in the wild, on farms, and in markets and restaurants, which can be markedly reduced by an enforced ban on commercial trade. Since June 2020, USAID has co-led a Task Force on pandemic prevention with FAO, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and representatives of several wildlife-focused NGOs, UN agencies, and the U.S. and German Embassies. The Task Force developed a position brief on ending wildlife trade. Last month, they presented it to the broader development community, and, on December 1, they presented the brief at a meeting of like-minded Ambassadors and senior staff from nine diplomatic missions, hosted by the U.S. Ambassador. Next month, a joint letter will be sent to the Prime Minister of Vietnam requesting an advocacy discussion on legal and inter-sectoral collaboration and interventions.

So What? By advocating to ban the commercial trade of wild birds and mammals, USAID is helping reduce the pandemic risks of another spillover of zoonotic viruses from wildlife to humans, with additional benefits for wildlife trafficking.