The WHO is calling for a ban on the sale of live animals on food markets

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus - WHOPhoto: Jean-Christophe Bott / Keystone via AP / File

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for a ban on the sale of live animals in food markets in order to prevent the spread of diseases.

“Animals, especially wild animals, are the source of over 70% of emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by new viruses. Wild mammals pose a particular risk for the emergence of new diseases,” the WHO said in a statement on Tuesday.

Traditional markets play an important role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations, but a ban on the sale of live wild animals can protect the health of both those who work in the markets and the customers, the WHO pointed out.

Some of the earliest known cases of COVID-19 are related to such a market in Wuhan, China, where many of the first patients were employees or customers, the WHO statement said.

“Traditional markets, where live animals are kept, slaughtered, and exhibited, pose a particular risk of transmitting the disease to employees and customers,” the WHO noted, encouraging countries to suspend the sale of captured live wild animals in food markets as an emergency measure.

The organization also urged governments to close parts of food markets where live wild animals are sold without safety assessments.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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