Knowledge for better food systems

Opinions on COVID-19 and wildlife trade in five Asian markets

This report by wildlife charity WWF gives the results of a survey of people in Hong Kong, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Respondents were asked about their sentiments on the COVID-19 outbreak in their respective country and their opinions on illegal and unregulated markets selling wildlife.

The survey found that the majority of people (more than three quarters in every country) are either very or extremely worried about the COVID-19 outbreak, with only 1% not being worried at all. 

79% of respondents believe that closing illegal and unregulated wildlife markets would be either very or somewhat effective at preventing similar pandemics from occurring in the future, while 93% of people would be likely or very likely to support government efforts to close illegal or unregulated wildlife markets.

9% had purchased or knew someone who had purchased wildlife products in the last 12 months, and 87% intend to consume no wildlife in the future.

The survey does not appear to include any questions about the role of conventional farmed livestock in starting or spreading infectious diseases.

Read the full report, Opinion Survey on COVID-19 and Wildlife Trade in Five Asian Markets, here. See also the Foodsource chapter What is the connection between infectious diseases in humans and livestock? Read other COVID-19 content in the FCRN’s research library here.

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Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent. It hosts many densely populated and large cities as well as enormous barely populated regions, which all together host over half of the human population. Agriculture as a source of income is of major importance in the region. In most Asian countries, agriculture is the biggest user of water and in some regions can be responsible for to 90% of total water consumption through irrigation.

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