WHO, agencies urge countries to suspend sale of live wild mammals at markets

(VOVWORLD) - International agencies including the World Health Organization urged countries on Tuesday to suspend the sale of live wild mammals in food markets, warning they may be the source of more than 70% 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.

The WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the UN Environment Program 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.

The WHO-led team, which visited the Huanan market in Wuhan where the first human infections of COVID-19 were detected, said the new virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal.