WHO urges countries to stop selling wild animals at food markets - New York Daily News
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World Health Organization urges countries to stop selling wild animals at food markets

The World Health Organization on Tuesday called on all countries to temporarily halt the sale of live animals that were captured in the wild at food markets.

While the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been sourced, a common theory is that the virus originated with a wild animal sold at a Wuhan market. Still, wild animals sold at markets have been linked to other infectious disease outbreaks.

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A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus shops at a wet market in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, April 24, 2020.
A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus shops at a wet market in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, April 24, 2020. (Vincent Thian/AP)

The WHO, along with several partner organizations, issued new guidance saying that animals — particularly wild animals — “are the source of more than 70 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses.”

“Globally, traditional markets can play a central role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations,” WHO said in a statement. However, “Banning the sale of the animals can protect people’s health — both those working there and those shopping there.”

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The World Organization for Animal Health and the United Nations’ environment program co-signed the new guidance.

With News Wire Services

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