Disease Outbreaks Sited
On Wednesday, World Animal Protection, a global animal welfare non-profit organization, fired off a letter to officials at Camp Jordan Arena asking them to end its relationship with a national reptile expo company, to help prevent the next disease outbreak.
In an open letter, World Animal Protection called on East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams to no longer host Repticon – the latest of which is due to take place this weekend, April 24-25. World Animal Protection has also reached out to local health officials in the area to help put an end to the hosting of these events.
“It is inconceivable that after the World Health Organization recently confirmed that COVID-19 likely originated in wild animals that Camp Jordan Arena would consider playing host to a live wild animal market,” said Ben Williamson, Programs Director, World Animal Protection in the United States.
“Reptiles are known vectors of zoonotic diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention holds them responsible for salmonellosis outbreaks every year which hospitalize people. Households with children under five are specifically warned against keeping reptiles, yet worryingly, there are no age restrictions at these events.
“At a time when we’re observing the CDC’s continued advice over COVID-19, it seems crazy not to follow its guidance on avoiding contact with reptiles.
“No amount of hand sanitizer or social distancing is going to make reptile expos completely safe for humans and animals.”
Williamson said that it’s time for the city and Camp Jordan to cut ties with the “risky business once and for all.”