Experts think the trade in wildlife could be greatly cut because of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus probably started at a market selling wild animals. It came from either a bat or an animal called a pangolin and crossed over to humans. The conservation group Humane Society International said eating wild animals, "which can carry diseases that can cross the species barrier poses a real threat to human health." Other conservationists called for a ban in the wildlife trade. They said: "Not only will this help to prevent the spread of disease, it will [help to stop] species extinction."
The Zoological Society of London said animal markets could be "time bombs". It said they have perfect conditions for new viruses to start. It added that if we continued to buy and sell animals, we would be in trouble again. About 75 per cent of new infectious diseases come from animals. Recent examples are SARS, MERS and Ebola. Infections from animals lead to millions of illnesses and deaths worldwide every year. An expert said the world must act soon, because, "realistically, it's just a matter of time before the next [animal] disease risk emerges".