Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jul 24 (efe-epa).- The Government of Vietnam has banned the import and trade of wild animals and has ordered the closing of markets where they are sold illegally, to prevent new pandemics such as COVID -19.
The order was signed on Thursday by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, with immediate effect, and was well received by the environmental organization WWF, which said in a statement today that “it could indicate a major change of direction in the conservation of the nature in Vietnam.”
“All citizens, especially cadres (of the Communist Party), public employees and their families, will be prohibited from hunting, trading, transporting, killing and storing wild animals,” stated the Prime Minister’s directive, as reported by the state news portal VGP.
Furthermore, the Government has ordered the competent authorities to review the existing laws and introduce the necessary amendments to more strictly control the trade in wild animals.
The government measure comes amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, a virus that could originate from some wild animal that would have come into contact with humans in a live animal market, widespread in East Asia – including Vietnam. -, from the Chinese town of Wuhan.
“The directive is a timely response (…) recognizing the possible threat of an upcoming pandemic if urgent measures are not taken to confront the environmental factors that are causing the emergence of zoonotic diseases, where hunting, trade and consumption high-risk wildlife play an important role, “noted WWF.
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, numerous environmental organizations, such as WWF, or animal advocacy organizations, such as PETA, have called for markets for live animals in Asia to be closed.
In this regard, China announced earlier this month that it will gradually close all markets where live birds are sold to reduce public health risks.
Vietnam has been one of the most effective countries in the fight against COVID-19 and thanks to its forceful containment measures, such as the early closure of borders and the isolation of entire communities if only one case was detected in it, it has managed to contain the pandemic; In a population of 95 million people, there have only been 412 confirmed cases, with no deaths. EFE-EPA