Thursday, 14 May 2020
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the science is well established on the link between wildlife consumption and the transfer of zoonotic diseases, such as Coronavirus, to humans,
(ii) closing wildlife markets will not be enough to prevent future pandemics like COVID-19; it must be accompanied by an end to the trade of wildlife for consumption and other purposes,
(iii) ending the trade of wildlife would not only help keep the global community safe from future pandemics but also help protect the world's precious wildlife for future generations,
(iv) wildlife trade impacts biodiversity, can cause diseases to be transferred between other wildlife species putting them at risk, drives poaching and trafficking and ultimately fuels the extinction crisis around the world, and
(v) the G20 meets in November and will focus on the global response to the pandemic; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to advocate for a global ban on the trade of wildlife.
The government has called on the international community to acknowledge the risk associated with wildlife wet markets and to take action to protect human health and agricultural industries. Australia's Chief Veterinary Officer, as President of the World Organisation for Animal Health, is seeking to deliver global reforms to wildlife wet markets to minimise the associated risks, or to phase them out where practical. This approach will reduce the risk of future pandemics and their subsequent far-reaching impacts while sustaining desirable global food security outcomes. Australia has some of the strictest wildlife trade rules in the world and is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, resulting in over 1,000 species being prohibited from trade for commercial purposes.