New Delhi: The World Health Organization on Tuesday called for a halt to the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases.
The WHO said that while traditional markets play a central role in providing food and livelihood to large populations, banning the sale of live wild mammals could protect the health of market workers and shopkeepers.
It stated that some of the earliest cases of Kovid-19 had links to a wholesale food market in Wuhan, China, with many of the initial patients being owners, market workers, or regular visitors to the market.
Interim guidance has been prepared with the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The WHO said, “The guidelines called for suspending the sale of live wild mammals in food markets.”
It states that wild animals, in particular, are the source of more than 70 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by viruses. Wild mammals, in particular, pose a risk for the emergence of new diseases. Traditional markets, where live animals are kept, slaughtered and dressed, pose a particular risk for pathogenic transmission to workers and customers alike. “
It called on governments to shut down parts of food markets that sell live wild mammals until adequate risk assessments are in place.