From the Viewsroom

Stop unethical farm practices

PT Jyothi Datta | Updated on January 24, 2021

The pandemic is only a trailer of the havoc they can cause humanity

Last January, China reported it’s first death from the novel coronavirus. And soon enough, the Wuhan wet market became infamous across the world, as the possible source of the virus that jumped species from bat to humans.

Wet markets sell live, sometimes wild and endangered animals as well, to cater to those that seek exotic meat. A year on, a team from the World Health Organization is in China to trace the origin of the virus.

This takes place even as India deals with bird-flu, and poultry farms kill their birds to break the transmission-chain. Such scenes have been witnessed from across the world, following the “mad-cow” disease, swine-flu, and so on. Farm animals including cows and pigs were culled, calling into question practices at these farms. A new study into aquaculture by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small, has found hazardous levels of lead and cadmium in fish and shrimp farms. “With careless use of antibiotics and insecticides, uncontrollable disease outbreaks, no attention to fish welfare, and a looming threat of anti-microbial resistance, aquaculture is a ticking time bomb,” observed the study of 250 such farms across the 10 highest producing States in India.

Virologists caution that species-jumping (zoonotic) viruses are likely to recur with increasing regularity, unless certain practices are addressed with the might of international collaboration. It involves sustainable agricultural practices, stopping the trade of wild and endangered animals and maintaining the sanctity of animal habitats.

Unfortunately, consumers and businesses return to their damaging old ways, every time humanity turns a corner with a public health catastrophe. The Covid-19 pandemic has, if anything, only been a trailer of the havoc that can be wreaked on humanity if we don’t mend our ways. In fact, consumers can drive the change by demanding better practices of their governments and businesses, by supporting only those products that follow ethical and sustainable practices.

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Published on January 24, 2021
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