Never again! Taking steps to prevent the next pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has shattered the world, resulting in the loss of more than 600,000 human lives so far and putting the world’s population at risk. The pandemic has also wreaked havoc on the global economy, impacting commerce and trade, closing businesses, putting people out of work, and costing governments trillions of dollars to respond to the crisis.

Covid-19 is the latest deadly disease suspected to have originated from wildlife. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, about 70% of all infectious diseases over the last 30 years are zoonotic, including HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, swine flu, SARS, Ebola, and MERS.

In response to the global crisis, ENV has launched the “NEVER AGAIN” campaign, calling on the Vietnamese government and the public to take drastic measures to eliminate the illegal wildlife trade and curb the demand for wildlife.

As part of the “NEVER AGAIN” campaign, ENV released its first Covid-19 Public Service Announcement (PSA) in April, which has been featured on major national TV channels and continues to air on more than 50 channels throughout the country. From April to June, ENV and media partners Goldsun Focus Media and Chicilon Media broadcasted ENV’s messages on thousands of screens in apartment building elevators to reach more than 17 million airings daily.

This week, ENV released a new VLOG, also titled “NEVER AGAIN”, where ordinary people share their real-life experiences about the effects that Covid-19 has had on their lives and what they believe can be done to prevent the next pandemic. Moreover, ENV’s “NEVER AGAIN” campaign includes viral posts and media, including infographics, polls, targeted ads, and the results of an online survey, all aimed at making the mantra “NEVER AGAIN” part of the Vietnamese consciousness and encouraging action against the wildlife trade. Additionally, another “NEVER AGAIN”-themed Public Service Announcement (PSA) film is currently in production and set to be released later this year. The message will also be integrated in public exhibits hosted by ENV’s Wildlife Protection Volunteer Clubs in urban cities.

“We commend the exceptional containment of Covid-19 from the Vietnamese government to protect the Vietnamese public; however, we must also take proactive measures to permanently eliminate the threat” says Nguyen Phuong Dung, ENV’s Vice Director. “Never again should we be exposed to the risk of disease originating from the wildlife trade.”

ENV calls upon the public to avoid unnecessary exposure to wildlife. “Be healthy and safe by avoiding contact with wild animals or frequenting restaurants where wildlife is advertised or sold,” says Dung.

ENV also urges the government to aggressively eliminate potential high-risk hotspots for zoonotic disease transmission. This includes restaurants and markets that advertise or sell wildlife and residences that keep wildlife, either as pets or on a wildlife farm. As a nation, we can reverse the public’s growing interest in keeping wild animals as pets and actively enforce better management of thousands of wildlife farms across the country, many of which are disguises for laundering animals that originate from the wild.

ENV’s efforts will continue for as long as necessary to protect Vietnam’s wellbeing by effectively eliminating the risks posed by the trade and consumption of wildlife.

ENV wishes to thank NGO partners Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and World Animal Protection, as well as national and provincial TV stations for their ongoing support. ENV also acknowledges leading Vietnamese media companies Chicilon Media, Goldsun Focus Media, and Saga Media for their generous assistance in making ENV’s wildlife conservation messaging available to the broader public. Through the combined efforts of supporters and the individual actions of all Vietnamese citizens, we can make sure another zoonotic global pandemic is never again possible.

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