Tighter wildlife monitoring needed

25 Jul 2020

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Global wildlife experts are calling for improvements to pathogen testing and tracking in wildlife to reduce the risk of future pandemics in people.

Scientists from the Wildlife Disease Surveillance Focus Group, which includes experts from the University of Edinburgh, say that to prevent another pandemic on the scale of the current Covid-19 outbreak, there must be greater wildlife testing in areas that are at high risk of emerging infectious diseases, and more advanced technology should be used.

The focus group has outlined its concerns and recommendations in an article published in the journal Science. Its recommendations include increasing lab testing capacity in areas where there is significant interaction between wildlife and people, and improving testing technology, particularly the use of portable DNA sequencers.

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