US funding Chinese virus labs!
We begin by welcoming Justin Goodman from White Coat Waste, where he serves as vice president of advocacy and policy. The US Government is the world’s largest funder of animal experiments, estimated at 20 billion dollars per year.
Tens of millions of dollars go overseas yearly. White Coat Waste is gradually exposing the ties the National Institutes of Health has to foreign laboratories, whereby US tax dollars fund experiments on animals, often in facilities with poor oversight and substandard practices.
Their recent investigation revealed that the US has been funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is suspected of releasing or permitting to escape the coronavirus which caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
US live animal markets under scrutiny
Our next guest is Judie Mancuso who leads Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL). There are many cruel and unsanitary live animal markets in the US, and the pandemic is raising everyone’s awareness of them, and consequently, sentiment to shut them down is high.
Social Compassion in Legislation’s mission is to save and protect animals in the wild, on the farm, or in our homes through public policy advocacy in California and beyond.
SCIL is now assisting legislators in California and New York in drafting legislation to close these markets or restrict their operations.
What are the chances of zoonotic diseases breaking out?
Continuing on the coronavirus theme, Peter then welcomes Adam Peyman from Humane Society International (HSI), where he is manager for programs and operations for the wildlife department.
Bats are known reservoirs for many types of corona viruses, and bats live all over the word, except Antarctica.
Both SARS and MERS (each caused by a coronavirus) were transmitted from bats to intermediate hosts.
Adam explains how the trade in wild animals (both legal and illegal), encroachment upon natural environments, and exploitation of animals increases the chances of zoonotic diseases breaking out.
We conclude with a lighter topic, beautiful butterflies!