The world is reacting to and treating the health and economic symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic, but not addressing the cause; says a new UN report.
As a result, the report warns, a steady stream of new infectious diseases can be expected in the coming years.
While wildlife is the most common source of emerging infectious diseases, domesticated (farmed) animals may also be original sources, transmission pathways or amplifiers of zoonotic disease, says the report.
Industrial farming of animals, especially pigs and chickens, is one of the primary risks for future spillover of zoonotic diseases, say experts. The most important message in the report is that: "Pandemics such as the Covid-19 outbreak are a predictable and predicted outcome of how people source and grow food, trade and consume animals and alter environments."
This week, the message could not be starker as the Guardian detailed a new report from the UN warning that unless we address the causes of the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing destruction of nature will lead to more animal diseases spreading to humans.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Inger Andersen, said: "The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead."