Kind Dining at Meena Rice Based Cuisine

December 9

Kind Dining at Meena Rice Based Cuisine introducing ‘Say No To Illegal Wild Meat’ The new Kind Dining campaign urges Thais to say no to illegal wild meat, alongside celebrities and social media influencers such as actor Sky Wongravee Nateetorn, wildlife veterinarian Dr. Lot Patarapol Manee-on, and chef Tam Chudaree Dhepakam, to combat illicit wildlife trade and to reduce the risk of disease transmission from wildlife to humans such as SARS, and potentially COVID-19. The campaign aims to discourage the consumption of illegal wild meat in Thailand and encourage people to join together in pledging to #SayNotoIllegalWildMeat. Thanya Netithammakun, Director General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), stated, “I believe that it is crucial to implement conservation efforts to stop the consumption of illegal wild meat. Once the illegal consumption stops, protected wild animals will be able to live and perform their roles in nature, which goes hand in hand with DNP’s mission to conserve, promote, and restore wildlife and plant species.” Persistent demand causes illegal hunting, killing, and trading of wildlife, which leads to declines in the populations of wild species, including some protected and/or endangered species. It also increases the risk of disease transmission from wild animals to humans. The virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused such devastating impact worldwide, likely had a wild animal source. Dararat Weerapong, Senior Project Manager at TRAFFIC said, “Social and behavioral change, together with clear policy and effective law enforcement, are needed to reduce illicit activities and protect wild animals from the illegal wild meat trade. Kind Dining was created to reduce consumer demand for illegal wild meat. For instance, the negative impact on the environment and the risk of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are topics discussed in the campaign.” In June 2021, GlobeScan research commissioned by TRAFFIC and ZSL (Zoological Society London) revealed wild meat consumption among Thais. The report discovered that 32% of the urban population had consumed wild meat in the past 12 months, some of which is illegal, and a similar proportion intended to consume it in the future. “The research provided important insights into the attitudes and behaviors of wild meat consumers in Thailand. Understanding the consumer is crucial to designing effective campaigns to stop illegal wild meat consumption. The Kind Dining campaign is designed to have both online and offline activities to help consumers move away from eating illegal wild meat” said Dr. Eileen Larney, ZSL Thailand’s Acting Country Manager. The survey revealed that typical wild meat consumers are 18-30 year-old urban Thais who have high income [purchasing power], are not seeking wild meat for sustenance, and enjoy traveling. Wild meat consumption often happens during travels and social gatherings.

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