Coronavirus: Experts call for global ban on live animal markets, wildlife trade
As the coronavirus outbreak continues, a group of scientists and experts are calling on governments around the world to "reduce the risk of future infectious disease epidemics" by closing wildlife markets, reducing demand for live wild animals and ending the exploitation of wild animals for trade.
Last week, more than 200 individuals and organizations issued an open letter to world health authorities urging them to work with governments to take global action.
They warned that the rapid expansion of live wild animal markets, also known as wet markets, is "increasing the risks to global human and animal health, compromising animal welfare, and placing biodiversity under sustainable pressure."
The current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has been linked to markets selling live animals in the city of Wuhan, China. Last month the Chinese government issued a nationwide temporary ban on the trading of wild animals, according to state news agency Xinhua. But many experts want these measures to be made permanent, and others want to see a global ban.