Ms. Amanda Whitfort, CCPL Fellow, spoke on the “Links between Wildlife Trade, Animal Health and Human Health” at the “Sustainability Summit”.

Ms. Amanda Whitfort, CCPL Fellow, spoke in mid-January 2021 on the links between wildlife trade, animal health and human health in a sustainability summit jointly organised by the Institute of International Sustainable Development, the Hong Kong Chinese Manufacturers’ Association, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Finland.

Her newest research on the links between poor animal health and welfare, wildlife trade and COVID-19 was published this week in the Journal of Environmental Law. In her article, COVID-19 and Wildlife Farming in China: Legislating to Protect Wild Animal Health and Welfare in the Wake of a Global Pandemic​ she argues that the current legal framework to protect wild animal health, and consequently human health, is not working. In a significant part, this is because there is no international agreement to protect animal welfare.

The sole international reference organisation for animal health and disease control, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), recognises that animal health and welfare are inextricably linked yet international law relating to wild animals has historically focused on the conservation or the health of the animals, and, in a few instances on both, but rarely on their links with animal welfare. In the wake of COVID-19, this omission must now be rectified. Going forward decisions about animal welfare law and policy require a global vision.