The outbreak of a novel coronavirus once again has shown the immediate need to permanently close wildlife markets to prevent further zoonotic diseases, according to a wildlife advocate group.

“It is clear that conservation is now an issue of public health: the urgent need to protect wildlife is necessary to protect ourselves,” WildAid said in a statement on Thursday.

Founded in 2000, the U.S.-based environmental organization WildAid works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products and to increase local support for conservation efforts.

“[…] We believe the time is ripe to permanently close wildlife markets and prevent future zoonotic

Read more: Time is ripe to shut wildlife markets: Advocate group