Experts are warning that the illegal bushmeat trade in the United Kingdom could lead to additional zoonotic disease transmission.

According to the Mirror, the amount of illegal bushmeat smuggled into the country has doubled since 2015. Border staff seized over a thousand kg of meat in 2018/2019, a number that increases every year. Experts are saying that illegal bushmeat smuggling is just as dangerous to humans as it is to animals, considering the possibilities of diseases being transported in the meat.

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Dr. Ben Garrod, Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, told the Mirror, “While this global pandemic started in Wuhan, it is just as possible for the next one to start in London or Washington. Currently, animal meat and body parts are being illegally transported all around the world. Airlines and border agencies are great at stopping people, drugs and weapons from being smuggled. But here we are with something more fundamentally dangerous than any act of terrorism or natural disaster, yet it is allowed to go largely unchecked. Until those transporting products of animal origins internationally are stopped, we are going to see primates, pangolins and other exotic, endangered animals coming into the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.”

He added, “Unless that stops we are going to see more epidemics and more species in decline.” He recommended testing meat to ensure its safety and legality before transferring it between countries.

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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This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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