Many sellers wear masks but seem disconnected from the fact that scientists believe the coronavirus started in a market similar to Epe Fish Market. Over 1,000 people have died in Nigeria from the coronavirus, but the Reuters story explains that pangolins are still being killed and then descaled while rodents and other animals are skinned and sold.
Market vendor Kunle Yusaf told Reuters, “We are not afraid of it because the coronavirus is not inside the meat. We do eat the meat, even during this coronavirus, and we do not have any disease.” Attitudes seem unchanged despite the fact that 800,000 people have died across the globe from the coronavirus.
Scientists pleas to end the global wildlife trade and wildlife markets have only intensified since the pandemic started. Hundreds of organizations have signed a letter calling for a ban on wet markets. But in Nigeria, those pleas haven’t changed the industry.
University of Cambridge epidemiologist Dr. Olivier Restif told Reuters that education was necessary to spread awareness about animal hygiene and safe trade, “We’re very concerned with the risk that it poses,” he said of exotic animal markets.
Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.
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