Get rid of wildlife markets or risk another outbreak, say ...

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Get rid of wildlife markets or risk another outbreak, say conservationists

Places like the filthy market in Wuhan – ground zero for coronavirus – simply must go, over 200 groups urge

Josie Ensor

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has come under pressure to recommend that governments shut down wild animal markets to prevent future pandemics.

More than 200 conservationist and wildlife groups have signed an open letter calling on the WHO to do all it can to shut down markets such as the one in Wuhan, China, believed to be “ground zero” of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The evidence suggests the virus has animal origins, probably from bats, and may have come from “wet markets” where live and dead creatures are sold for eating. This led to a temporary ban on the markets imposed by the Chinese government. Until January, these markets sold animals such as live civets, wolf pups and pangolins kept in small cages, often in filthy conditions, where they incubate diseases that can spill into human populations...

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