THE Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud was pleased to see the strong international support, which he led in April at the G20 to investigate wildlife wet markets as part of the broader review of COVID-19. Minister Littleproud said his call for the expert review would provide a greater understanding of how to prevent another devastating event.
“Since 1980, two pandemics have been linked to wildlife wet markets and a further two linked to unsustainable wildlife practices – this is acknowledgment we need to work globally to protect ourselves from these risks,” Minister Littleproud said. “We have long known about the dangers associated with wildlife wet markets and the potential for pandemics they pose but they also are a risk to agriculture and food security.
“That is why I worked with Australia’s chief veterinary officer Mark Schipp to push for global reforms underpinned by a scientific review. The review will be a joint World Health Organisation, World Organisation for Animal Health and Food and Agriculture Organisation collaboration.
“It will take a global effort to reduce the risks for disease to emerge and spread, and the threat to agriculture that the mix of wildlife, domestic animals and humans provide in wildlife wet markets. Together we can gather information that will contribute to the betterment of all nations. Let’s hope the outcomes of the review finds ways to protect human life and the agriculture that underpins global food security.”