Recognition of Public Health Threats from Live Animal Markets Called for in the Wake of Human Coronavirus Outbreak

Closing live animal markets that trade in wildlife, strengthening efforts to combat trafficking of wild animals, and working to change dangerous wildlife consumption behaviours are all needed, said the leading wildlife conservation group, WCS.

With the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has called for governments to recognize the global public health threats of live animal markets and to strengthen enforcement efforts on trafficking of wild animals. 

Poorly regulated, live animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spillover from wildlife hosts into the human population, and for viruses to exchange viral components amongst the multiple species being traded, creating new viruses with new host spectrums, it said.

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