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China: Animals

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3184, tabled on 21 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they made to the government of China (1) prior to, and (2) subsequent to, the global outbreak of COVID-19 with respect to the regulation or closure of ‘wet’ markets.

Answered on

5 May 2020

Wet markets exist all around the world. All wet markets should follow best practice on hygiene and safety to avoid health issues, whether in China or elsewhere and that should include safe sourcing of animal and other products.

The UK has always been at the forefront of international efforts to ensure global trade in wild animals is sustainable and well regulated, including through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We are investing over £36m between 2014 and 2021 and last year pledged a further £30 million over three years to crack down on the abhorrent illegal trade in animals and plants.

On 24 February 2020 China's National People's Congress announced a ban on the trade and consumption of wildlife for food. We welcome this decision and urge China to ensure it is strictly enforced so that all meat for sale is sustainably and legally sourced and poses no threat to human health. We have been in regular contact with the Chinese authorities since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, including a phone conversation between the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Wang-Yi on 20 March.