Leonardo DiCaprio says animals are ‘worth more alive’, calls for wildlife trade ban

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Leonardo DiCaprio took to Instagram to applaud Vietnam’s move to ban all imports of wild animals, dead or alive, to reduce further pandemic risk.

Hollywood celebrity and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has once again pushed for the need to ban illegal wildlife trade saying animals are ‘worth more alive’.

In April, the Oscar winner joined the End The Trade movement, a campaign launched by Global Wildlife Conservation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and WildAid “to put an end to all commercial collection and sale in markets of wild terrestrial animals.

On Saturday, he reposted WildAid’s Instagram post announcing Vietnam’s move in banning all wildlife imports and a crackdown on illegal hunting, killing or advertising of wild animals to reduce further pandemic risk.

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The post mentioned: “Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc today issued a new directive with urgent and powerful measures to restrict #wildlife trade and consumption, and reduce further pandemic risk.  

“With immediate effect, the directive (29/CT-TTg) bans imports of live wild #animals and wildlife products, strictly eliminates any wildlife markets, and prohibits any hunting, transporting, slaughtering, selling, buying, storing, consuming, or advertising of wildlife, including online sales.

“Vietnam’s government shows strong leadership with this comprehensive action…These actions will help save many species while also protecting global health.”

View this post on Instagram

From @wildaid: Breaking News! Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc today issued a new directive with urgent and powerful measures to restrict #wildlifetrade and consumption, and reduce further pandemic risk. With immediate effect, the directive (29/CT-TTg) bans imports of live wild #animals and wildlife products, strictly eliminates any wildlife markets, and prohibits any hunting, transporting, slaughtering, selling, buying, storing, consuming, or advertising of wildlife, including online sales. “Vietnam’s government shows strong leadership with this comprehensive action and focus on stopping imports, closing all wildlife markets and prohibiting any consumption, buying, and advertising. These actions will help save many species while also protecting global health. We will work with our partners to help make this a success,” said John Baker, Chief Program Officer at WildAid. “This provides a great example to other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on how to address the threat of the wildlife trade to economic security and public health.” In the next few weeks, CHANGE, WildAid, the Pangolin Crisis Fund, and other partner organizations will continue to carry out a series of activities that will promote the Prime Minister’s instructions, raise awareness, and ultimately change wildlife consumption behavior, especially around wildlife sold in markets and restaurants. Activities will include: producing videos and media messages, mobilizing business leaders, organizing wildlife journalism awards, training journalists in wildlife trade and consumption hot spots, and campaigning to remove wild meat from restaurant menus. At the same time, these conservation organizations will work with relevant authorities and assist with activities designed to strengthen law enforcement, helping to strictly enforce violations on wildlife trade and strengthen monitoring of wildlife farming activities, in an effort to ensure products are not laundered into trade. This is huge for both the protection of wildlife and ourselves. We must end the trade. #EndTheTrade#WhenTheBuyingStopsTheKillingCanToo#WorthMoreAlive Photo Credit: @paulhiltonphoto

A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on

The post concluded stating: “This is huge for both the protection of wildlife and ourselves. We must end the trade,” after detailing steps on how the participating organisations will promote the Prime Minister’s instructions, raise awareness, and ultimately change wildlife consumption behavior.

Environmentalist DiCaprio

DiCaprio regularly uses his platform to raise his voice in protecting animals and the environment.

In May, the actor helped raise $2 million in funds to protect the Virunga National Park and its endangered mountain gorillas after the Unesco World Heritage site came under a “series of unprecedented threats”, which included the ongoing pandemic and a recent attack on its rangers.

Read: Factory farms responsible for breeding contagions like coronavirus, say Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara

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