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Animals: Markets

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 39742, tabled on 24 April 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he plans to make to his international counterparts to secure a global ban on wet markets.

Answered on

5 May 2020

Research into COVID-19's origins is ongoing, and the UK is working with the international scientific community to determine the source of the outbreak. The sale of wildlife has been suspected as the source, but conclusive evidence about the mode of transmission is not yet available. Wet markets can be found globally and the majority of such markets do not sell wild animals. We agree with the advice of the World Health Organisation that strict food hygiene and health standards should apply to wet markets and that they should be closed if those standards are not met. The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to regulate global trade in wild animals. Once the immediate challenge presented by the virus has been overcome, we will be looking to make use of all relevant fora and opportunities to press for international action to avoid a repeat of this pandemic, including within the G7/G20, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), CITES. The World Animal Health Organisation, of which the UK is a member, will be addressing wildlife trade at the next general session in October 2020.