New Controls Needed on Wildlife Trade to Prevent Disease, Scientists Say

Leading wildlife and conservation experts from 10 nations say that stronger controls on global wildlife trade are needed to stem the spread of deadly diseases from exotic animals to humans. “Most wild-caught animals found in pet shops and food markets have never been tested for diseases and parasites that can harm humans and other animals,” said Mary Pearl, head of the New York-based Wildlife Trust. The scientists, who made their announcement from Bangalore, India, said that unscrupulous trading also could wipe out wild populations of endangered species such as gorillas and chimpanzees. Claudio Padua of the Brazil-based Institute for Ecological Research was in on all the action in Bangalore this week and reports from the scene as a Grist diarist. Also, check out scintillating facts on the interconnections between wildlife trade and disease in a new Counter Culture — only on the Grist Magazine website.