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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 the “survival exercises” pose a risk for the spread of diseases similar to Covid-19

International military troops travel to Thailand every year to take part in the Cobra Gold exercises

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

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

Royal Thai Marine instructors show them how drinking snake blood can help them stay alive when there is no drinking water, and they can also provide essential nutrients

Last year around 4500 US employees from Singapore, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia added

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

An “urgent” letter was sent to Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace urging organizers to “permanently replace the use of live animals in food-gathering survival exercises with more effective and ethical animal-free training methods”

A spokesman said: “Sending military personnel to Thailand to drink the blood of decapitated snakes is the kind of absurdity that could spark the next pandemic

“Using live animals during Cobra Gold carries the risk of spreading zoonotic diseases such as Covid-19 and endangering troops and the general public

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

“While the training exercise is being marketed as a grocery-gathering exercise, officials have admitted that it is intended to build camaraderie among troops in a manner resembling a barbaric ritual of harassment

“This goal could easily and safely be achieved in other ways, without animals suffering and dying”

PETA highlighted that about 75 percent of recently-emerged infectious diseases affecting humans began when diseases began in animals, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Scientists have predicted that every five years we could face a health emergency or pandemic, likely caused by “zoonotic” diseases – when infections spread from animals to humans

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

It has been warned that more deadly diseases like this are on the horizon – with warnings, the next pandemic could be on the order of the Black Death, which has killed an estimated 75 million people

The threat posed by unknown viruses, which can be transmitted to humans and potentially cause widespread epidemics, is referred to as Disease X by the WHO

And according to the EcoHealth Alliance, 67 million unknown viruses on the planet could grow up to 827000 of them infect viruses from animals

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World News – GB – Army exercises with troops eating LIVE geckos & drink BLOOD ‘could trigger a pandemic’