Green Pulse Podcast: Can raised awareness of Covid-19 help end Asia's wildlife markets?

A vendor selling bats at the Tomohon Extreme Meat market on Sulawesi island in Indonesia on Feb 8, 2020, despite a government request to take them off the menu over fears of a link to the deadly coronavirus.
A vendor selling bats at the Tomohon Extreme Meat market on Sulawesi island in Indonesia on Feb 8, 2020, despite a government request to take them off the menu over fears of a link to the deadly coronavirus.PHOTO: AFP
Mr Rohit Singh, zero poaching lead at the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore, speaks in The Straits Times' Green Pulse podcast on wildlife markets and their link with zoonotic diseases.
Mr Rohit Singh, zero poaching lead at the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore, speaks in The Straits Times' Green Pulse podcast on wildlife markets and their link with zoonotic diseases.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROHIT SINGH, WWF

Green Pulse Ep 15: Can raised awareness of Covid-19 help end Asia's wildlife markets?

11:20 mins

Synopsis: Green Pulse is an environmental podcast series at The Straits Times which analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change. 

This month, ST’s environment correspondent Audrey Tan chats with Mr Rohit Singh, zero poaching lead at World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore, on wildlife markets and their link with zoonotic diseases.

In December, a string of pneumonia-linked cases caused by a mystery virus sprang up in Wuhan, China. Preliminary studies showed that bats were likely a natural reservoir for the virus.

Scientists are still studying how the virus made the “jump” to humans, but wild animal markets have been implicated in the process as the first cases of the new Covid-19 coronavirus were workers at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, which also sold wild animals.

The Chinese government has since introduced a temporary ban on wildlife markets in China, but environmental advocates are calling for the ban to be made permanent.

Tune in to this episode for more on what these markets are like, why they have been linked to the emergence of new infectious diseases, and what could be done to prevent it.

Produced by: Audrey Tan (audreyt@sph.com.sg) & David Fogarty (dfogarty@sph.com.sg)

Follow Audrey Tan on Twitter

Follow David Fogarty on Twitter

Edited by: Adam Azlee

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