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Diplomats implicated in illegal wildlife trade
Concern mounts as a UN peacekeeper leaving Sierra Leone is caught with a live chimp in his baggage – he claims diplomatic immunity

Did the chimp claim immunity or the UN diplomat? Seriously, because one of the great dangers of illegally exporting wildlife is the huge amount of pathogens these animals carry with them. Many pathogens pose no danger to public health, but specific species have adapted to being infected with specific pathogens and have developed immunity against them. HIV-1 is closely related to the chimpanzee strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), and humans can get infected by contact with blood of the monkeys. The examples are countless; pigs for instance are a great source of organs for humans, but they also carry many viruses that could be a bigger problem for the human host than their failing organs. Animals and pathogens evolve together and if a newcomer, like an illegal wildlife tradesman, butts in he could spread a disease that humans have no immunity for themselves. Not even diplomats…