The problem is, pigs and other animals do fly
A consortium of scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society announced this week that one way to reduce the risks of future SARS-like diseases is to control wildlife markets. Specifically, markets selling wild animals for their meat not only threaten wildlife populations, but also present a grave threat to humans. A recent example of the problem is the suspected link between wildlife markets in China and the outbreak of SARS in humans. Other possible cases include bushmeat and Ebola outbreaks in Africa, West Nile virus and monkeypox. Even the primate origins of HIV point to a link between wildlife and human disease.
Since humans first walked upright they have eaten wildlife. But human population densities were far lower than today – well under one person per square mile in most tropical forests, for example. Animals were only hunted on a scale to support the subsistence needs of local human populations, and international trade in wildlife was negligible or absent.
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
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