Coronavirus has been all over the news for weeks. The virus has been linked to an exotic food market in Wuhan, and therefore the wildlife trade. The exact path of the virus is still unclear, but it is certain it is linked to animal markets. Scientists and experts are now linking these “new diseases,” of which coronavirus is one, to factory farms.
In the Wuhan in the exotic animal market, animals are clustered together in close quarters, much like those in factory farm conditions. In the Wuhan market linked to coronavirus, animals are slaughtered on site. The conditions are similar to those of factory farms.
According to Bloomberg News, China’s significance as a player in the food market directly impacts the spread of disease and viruses like coronavirus. In the past, disease outbreaks have started with infections from factory-farmed livestock. Because of the rapid increase in the number of factory farms in China and other places, epidemic conditions are possible in these crowded spaces. The H5N1 avian flu was linked to migratory birds getting too close to factory poultry farms. Several studies have suggested that H1N1 swine flu is linked to the movement of pigs and poultry in between North America, Asia and Europe.
Kevin J. Olival, a biologist and vice president of research with EcoHealth Alliance, told the New York Times of Wuhan markets, ” This is where you get new and emerging diseases that the human population has never seen before.”
An African swine fever outbreak in China in 2019 led to concerns about meat-eating. The outbreak killed 40% of China’s pig populations. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shared that 75% of emerging diseases start in animal populations. Meat markets, factory farms and slaughterhouses are now under watch for transmitting diseases.
According to the Guardian, “Many of those infected either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city, which also sold live and newly slaughtered animals. New and troubling viruses usually originate in animal hosts. Ebola and flu are examples.”
Read all One Green Planet’s coverage of coronavirus. Check out these articles:
- How Coronavirus and the Wildlife Trade are Linked
- Chinese Citizens Being Ordered to Dispose of Pets Despite Any Connection with Coronavirus Outbreak
- China Acts on Coronavirus and Temporarily Bans Wildlife Trade
- Coronavirus Update: Chinese Citizens Begin Disposing of Pets, Footage of Corpses Lining Street
- Coronavirus Update: Indonesians Called to Stop Eating Bats and Animal Activists Saving Pets in China
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