COPY OF THE EMS FOUNDATION OPEN LETTER
ADDRESSED TO: His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, Honourable Ministers and Covid-19 Advisory Committee Members,
An Extraordinary Call for Global Emergency Measures by the World Health Organisation, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the United Nations Environmental Programme
In light of the continued devastating effects of the global pandemic, COVID-19, and in order to reduce public health risks associated with the sale of live wild animals for food in live and traditional food markets, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have issued a document, “food safety and Covid-19 guidance on actions that national governments should urgently adopt in order to make traditional markets safer and to recognize their central role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations”.
The WHO, OIE and UNEP have made an unprecedented call to governments and national authorities asking them “to suspend the trade in live caught wild animals of mammalian species for food or breeding purposes and to close sections of food markets selling live caught wild animals of mammalian species as an emergency measure”
The WHO/OIE/UNEP document, which focuses on the risks of disease emergence in the also markets where live animals are sold for food, also refers to other uses of wildlife and highlights how the utilization of wild animals requires “an approach that is characterized by conservation of biodiversity, animal welfare and national and international regulations regarding threatened and endangered species”.
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