Ricky Gervais is joining other celebrities in their call to shutdown wildlife markets. In partnership with Born Free, Gervais is supporting a Hampstead, England-based couple raising money to shut down these dangerous markets. Angela and Martin Humphrey are taking a one-hour “fast trot” every day for the next two months to raise money and awareness for wildlife markets.

Gervais said in an emailed statement, “My friends Martin and Angela, who have a combined age of 181, are doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the fabulous charity, Born Free. Check out the link. Please donate. Stay safe.”

The couple is hoping to raise £1 million for the organization to help shut down the markets. Angela Martin said of the couple’s goals and activism in an email, “We have been avid supporters of Born Free since Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers and their son Will established the charity back in 1984. This particular fundraising challenge came about after Virginia told us about a horrendous scene that she had once witnessed in Asia, where women were playing mah-jong together while tossing live kittens into vats of boiling oil. We knew then we needed to do whatever we could to stop wildlife markets and the ease with which these and other innocent animals are traded. Somewhat ironically, just a few months after that conversation, this devastating pandemic struck and the horrors of the markets, human consumption and trade, and how they had enabled this particular virus to spread, were thrust into the limelight.”

She continued, “Stuck in lockdown we weren’t sure how our fundraising could begin but then, thanks to the inspirational Colonel Tom Moore who raised a phenomenal amount for the NHS, it seemed only fitting that we too could push ourselves to the maximum on our daily walks – trying to raise just a fraction of what he did but this time for the beleaguered wildlife on our planet. We know that supporting Born Free’s efforts, and the coalition they have formed with so many other wildlife charities around the world, is the one step we, as members of the public, can take to help get these wildlife markets shut down for good – not only to prevent the decimation of wild species and the loss of animal lives, but to stop future viruses spreading to humans as they have done with COVID-19. We know that so many charities are asking for help at the moment and the world is a scary place, but we would be extremely grateful for any support we and Born Free receive as a result of our fundraising efforts.”

You can donate to Angela and Martin’s campaign here.

Virginia McKenna OBE, actress and co-founder of Born Free echoed the urgent need to shut down the wildlife markets in an emailed statement, “The coronavirus pandemic, and its devastating impacts on the lives of people and the global economy, has brought home once more the immense risks that commercial wildlife trade and consumption also pose to human society. The warning signs have been there for years, but we have failed to learn from past mistakes. We cannot afford to do so again.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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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