Regarding the April 18 opinion piece “Can China end its wildlife trade?” the writer’s solutions to the Chinese live animal markets and wildlife trade will do nothing to stop the pandemics and epidemics that emanate from these evils and will certainly not stop the horrific abuse of animals that define them.

It needs to be recognized that the live animal markets and wildlife trade can never be regulated. After decades of an animal rights movement with all kinds of regulations and laws passed, undercover videos have shown that all the abuses continue resulting from the lack of enforcement. Both the markets and the trade need to be abolished.

The writer speaks of ending “the worst aspects of the wildlife trade.” How will the worst be defined? Will it be the human diseases that can be spread, the clubbing, stabbing and skinning of living animals, the denial of all natural living conditions for the animals, or the eroding of any moral center for people who exploit other living beings? When the writer tries to make a “legal distinction between captive-bred and wild populations,” he is creating a false distinction. These animals are who they are. People cannot change their identity by putting them into different categories.

Irene Muschel
New York

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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