GENEVA: International agencies including the World Health Organisation urged countries on Tuesday to suspend the sale of live wild mammals in food markets, warning they may be the source of more than 70pc of emerging infectious diseases in humans.
The guidance, aimed at ensuring the global food system is safe and sustainable, follows a WHO-led mission to Wuhan, China, to investigate the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “This + other recommendations will contribute to the risk of emerging #zoonoses,” Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO official who led the January-February mission, said in a tweet.
The WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) urged national 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 unless demonstrable effective regulations and adequate risk assessment are in place.”
They said animals, particularly wild animals, were reported to be the source of more than 70pc of all emerging infectious diseases in humans.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021