A growing awareness of the links between wildlife trafficking and SARS, COVID-19, and other infectious diseases has prompted the Vietnamese prime minister to issue an executive order to clamp down on this vast smuggling trade in endangered species.
During recent months, conservation NGOs and Hanoi’s Ministry of Health have alerted the government to the increasing danger of new zoonotic diseases being triggered by the nation’s wildlife trade.
HIV originated in monkeys; Ebola is believed to come from bats; H1N1 influenza came from pigs. Most recently, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is believed to have originated in bats. The number of such “zoonotic” epidemics is rising, according to a new UN report.