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Military exercises where soldiers eat live geckos and drink snake blood ‘could spark the next pandemic’

Animal rights activists have warned that “survival drills” pose a risk of spreading diseases similar to Covid-19

International military troops travel to Thailand every year to participate in Cobra Gold exercises

Participants kill chickens with their bare hands, skin on, and eat live geckos, and consume live scorpions and tarantulas, according to animal rights group PETA

They also behead cobras, drink their blood, and “revel in the ritual killing and eating of animals”

Royal Thai Marine instructors show them how drinking snake blood can help them stay alive if there is no clean water, and can also provide them with essential nutrition

Last year, approximately 4,500 U.S. military personnel were joined by forces from Singapore, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia.

But PETA is now calling for a ban on these exercises ahead of this year’s event

He sent an “urgent” letter to Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace, urging him to demand that organizers “permanently replace the use of live animals in survival exercises for the food supply with more efficient and ethical animal-free training methods “

A spokesperson said: “Shipping military personnel to Thailand to drink the blood of decapitated snakes is the kind of nonsense that could spark the next pandemic

“The use of live animals during Cobra Gold poses a risk of spreading zoonotic diseases similar to Covid-19, endangering troops and the general public

“Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 probably originated in bats and were first transmitted to humans through contact with an animal intermediate host

“While the training exercise is marketed as a food-buying exercise, officials admitted that it was intended to build camaraderie between the troops in a manner resembling a barbaric hazing ritual

“This could be easily and safely achieved by other means that do not involve the pain and death of animals”

PETA pointed out that about 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting people started as diseases in animals, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Scientists have predicted that we could face a health emergency or pandemic every five years, possibly caused by ‘zoonotic’ diseases – when infections pass from animals to humans

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this month that it believes Covid is likely one of those types of infections, as it is believed to have passed from animals such as bats to humans

It has been warned that even more deadly diseases like this loom on the horizon – with warnings the next pandemic could be on the scale of the Black Death, which is believed to have killed 75 million people

The threat of unknown viruses that can be transmitted to humans and potentially cause generalized epidemics is known as disease X by the WHO

And of the 167 million unknown viruses on the planet, as many as 827,000 of them may have the ability to infect people from animals, according to the EcoHealth Alliance

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World News – GB – Military exercises where troops eat geckos LIVE & drink BLOOD “could trigger pandemic”