Escalation in Outbreaks of Animal-to-Human Diseases – Oxford University Professor

Published 2 September 2020

Lead scientist of Oxford University’s project to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, professor Sarah Gilbert, has warned of the rise in infectious diseases spread from animals to humans.

Pointing out that human activities are the driving force behind the increasing risks of future zoonotic outbreaks, professor Gilbert cautioned, “There will be another flu pandemic in the future.”

About 60% of known infectious diseases and up to 75% of new or emergent communicable diseases in humans, have come from animals.

As of today (2nd September 2020), the Covid-19 pandemic is responsible for nearly 26 million cases worldwide and, sadly, over 860,000 deaths.

According to scientific sources, the novel coronavirus was transmitted from a bat to an intermediary host, most likely the pangolin, then to humans.  and

 

What are the human activities that cause the spread of zoonotic infections?

Humanity’s exploitation of animals is the major factor of zoonotic outbreaks, namely:

  • Animal agriculture (both intensive and free-range)
  • Deforestation and loss of habitat due to livestock raising
  • Hunting, trade or any farming of wildlife

 

Do we want to live in a world plagued by pandemics?

Do we want a world in which our liberties become akin to how we treat the majority of animals imprisoned in intensive farming systems –  do we want to live our lives in lockdown?

If humanity’s exploitation of animals is the source of immeasurable anguish to both humans and animals, surely the logical course of action would be to stop animal exploitation.