COVID-19 Discovery — Smuggled Pangolins Carrying Related Strains

March 26, 2020
Article by Raise Vegan

(Patrick Fonseca/Shutterstock.com)

by | March 26, 2020

While the source of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has not yet been determined, a number of pangolins smuggled into China have been shown to be carrying related strains.

The study, led by Dr Tommy Lam of The University of Hong Kong, uncovered two similar strains in Malayan penguins smuggled into the country — a discovery some experts say is grounds for change.

“This is the time for the international community to pressure their governments to end illegal wildlife trade,” pangolin conservation office Elisa Panjang told BBC News.

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China and Vietnam both arranged for wildlife trade bans in the wake of COVID-19 (Musashi akira/Shutterstock)

COVID-19 & The Wildlife Trade

Anthropologist and primatologist Jane Goodall has also spoken out about international wildlife trade. A “too close” relationship between humans and wild animals, she says, is to blame for many of the lethal viruses humanity has faced to date.

The suspected connection between wildlife trade and the coronavirus prompted China to ban wildlife trade earlier this year. Vietnam has arranged for a similar ban to come into effect from April 1.

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