Advance the video to 13 minutes 23 seconds and you will hear Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first Minister, say that the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) is nobody’s fault. Yes, she said that this worldwide pandemic is no one’s fault. I find that extraordinary and I am going to allege that she has been lobbied by the Chinese ambassador to Britain to say that. The Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming addressed an event hosted by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) on Monday. Is this when he had a chat with Sturgeon?
China is deeply embarrassed by the coronavirus pandemic because it is known that it started in China either in the Wuhan wet market or possibly in their bio lab where they test germ warfare. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences is a research institute on virology administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Some conspiracy theorists say that they deliberately let the virus leak from this large laboratory but the general consensus is that due to lack of regulations and government carelessness, even negligence, the 22,000 wet markets in China operated in a way which brought what would have been and should have been a contained virus inside a wild animal into the open where it could be transmitted to people working in the market. But for this careless approach to wild animal welfare and slaughter in unregulated markets, this particular virus would not have been transmitted between a wild animal and humans (zoonotic disease). One can say with conviction that this virus is somebody’s fault and you have to lay the blame at the Chinese government and indeed the local authorities operating within China who have, as I understand it, the authority to set out regulations for the operation of markets.
That’s why accusing and alleging (and please note that this is an allegation and no more) that Nicola Sturgeon has been deliberately and expressly encouraged to make this statement by the Chinese is fair comment. I would argue that this happened because China has promised trade deals with Scotland if and when they become independent or they have promised some sort of cooperation with Scotland to support their economy. The Scottish economy desperately needs support because they have a large deficit despite each Scottish citizen receiving £1,400 from the UK annually to prop up the country.
In other words, in layman’s language, Scotland spends more than they earn. Their welfare benefits are too generous and they can’t afford the kind a welfare state that they desire. They are spending beyond their means. The coronavirus pandemic is making things far worse. No doubt in due course updating figures on their economy will be published and they will. I predict make shocking reading. This projected economic catastrophe that Nicola Sturgeon faces would have encouraged her to do a deal with China and make this statement which is clearly inaccurate but which supports China. It is the first statement that I have noticed being made by a country leader which absolves China of any wrongdoing in relation to this crisis. There must be something behind it because I do not believe that Nicola Sturgeon would be this careless.
What has this got to do with animals and the animal-to-human relationship? Not a lot directly but the coronavirus pandemic affects people worldwide. When something affects people it affects their animal companions as well. It also affects the great challenges of today namely climate change and wildlife conservation because the coronavirus pandemic is costing trillions. This was unbudgeted for. Money which has gone into supporting businesses and people could have gone into projects to minimise climate change. It could have gone into wildlife conservation. All this money has gone leaving these major projects in a much worse state. This affects animals worldwide. There are direct consequences so fault needs to be assigned to China so that countries can seek compensation in due course. Why should countries suffer such huge financial losses because of the negligence of one country? There must be compensation for people, the planet and for the animals that live on it.