We had been hearing a lot about how the current pandemic was originated from the consumption of wild animals. In our last post we talk about the reasons for people to use and consume animal parts. So in today’s post we are going to talk about how that have different impacts on wildlife and humans.
The impact that hunting wild animals for consumption had on those animal populations depend on different factors influenced by the behavior and biology of those animals. For example, hunting monkeys for consumption or to use some of its parts had a high impact on their populations. The reason for this high impact is because most monkey’s species had a very low reproduction rate, this means they have babies not every year. This is specially true for medium and large monkeys, which have babies every three up to six years, depending on the species. In animals like rats or capybaras and other rodents which reproduce more often, it’s impact can be less strong.
This practice also affects people because when we eat other animals, wild and/ or domestic we had the probability to get some of the parasite, bacteria and viruses that they usually have. That is one of the reasons for all the regulations that domestic animals production had to comply with.
Those regulations are not in place for wild animal consumption and the conditions in which these animals are kept and traded increase the risk of contamination between animals of the same and other species as a recent study showed (Huong et all. 2020). Data from this study showed that the amount and prevalence of viruses, specifically coronavirus, such as the one causing the current pandemic, increases through the supply chain that market wild animals for human consumption in Vietnam and which present similar conditions to wildlife markets in South America, where multiple species are kept together in crowded and poor hygienic conditions.
Huong, N.Q. et al. 2020.Coronavirus testing indicates transmission risk increases along wildlife supply chains for human consumption in Viet Nam, 2013-2014. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.05.098590
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