Stop sale of live wild mammals at food market: WHO

The World Health Organisation and Partners have urged to stop the practice of selling live wild animals in food market. 

The WHO said: “To reduce the public health risks associated with the sale of live wild animals for food in traditional food markets, WHO, OIE and UNEP have issued guidance on actions that national governments should consider adopting urgently with the aim of making traditional markets safer and recognizing their central role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations. 

In particular, WHO, OIE and UNEP call on national competent authorities to suspend the trade in live caught wild animals of mammalian species for food or breeding purposes and close sections of food markets selling live caught wild animals of mammalian species as an emergency measure.” 

The partners noted that some of the earliest known cases of COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, were linked to a traditional food market in Wuhan, China.  Many of the first people to have the disease were stall owners, market employees or regular visitors.  

“It is likely that the virus that causes COVID-19 originated in wild animals, as it belongs to a group of coronaviruses normally found in bats”, they said.     

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