WASHINGTON, May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Angela Grimes, the CEO of leading wildlife advocacy organization Born Free USA, will showcase the group's ongoing work to counter the global wildlife trade and prevent future pandemics like COVID-19 in a webinar later this month.
"Wildlife Trade and the COVID-19 Pandemic" will stream live on Thursday, May 14, starting at 3 p.m. EDT. The webinar is free but registration is required.
Grimes will be joined by Alice Stroud, Born Free USA's Africa Policy and Capacity Building Director. Together, they will present an overview of the legal and illegal wildlife trade around the world and its dangerous connection to the outbreak of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19, HIV, and SARS that spread from animals to humans.
"Experts estimate that 60% of all infectious diseases that affect humans originated in animals, and it's unfortunately becoming more common as we encroach on wildlife habitats and contact between humans and animals increases," Grimes said. "At 'wet markets' like the one in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 is thought to have originated, people buy and sell animals from around the world – live specimens as well as carcasses and body parts. The proximity of different species with different immunities makes these markets ideal for zoonotic transmission."
Born Free USA is a leader in the fight against the wildlife trade. Born Free USA works with law enforcement in West and Central Africa to counter illegal wildlife trafficking; advocates for greater protection for wildlife species at international conferences, like CITES; publishes investigative reports on the wildlife trade and its effects; and raises public awareness.
"Wildlife trade poses a serious risk to global health and also to the world's economic, social, and political stability," Alice Stroud said. "We're experiencing the consequences of increased human contact with animals that have been extracted from their natural habitats for profit. It's critical that the world recognizes the danger and takes steps to eliminate wildlife trade."
Grimes joined Born Free USA in 2010 as Director of Development and Operations. She has been CEO since 2019. Stroud is an attorney based in France who specializes in international, environmental, and natural resources law and has 16 years of experience leading capacity building programs in Africa.
To register for "Wildlife Trade and the Covid-19 Pandemic," or for more information, visit bit.ly/wildlifetradewebinar.
For more information about Born Free USA, visit https://www.bornfreeusa.org.
About Born Free USA
Born Free USA works to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. We oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild. Born Free USA's Primate Sanctuary is the largest in the United States and provides a permanent home for more than 450 primates rehomed from laboratories or rescued from zoos and private ownership.
SOURCE Born Free USA