Australia calls for international action on wildlife wet markets

Australia calls for international action on wildlife wet markets

The Australian Federal Government has called for increased international scrutiny of wildlife wet markets to avoid a repeat of the Covid-19 outbreak.

At the virtual G20 meeting of agricultural ministers, Australian Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said wet markets are a biosecurity concern and pose a global health risk.

"We must learn from Covid-19 on how we better manage and mitigate both human and animal biosecurity risks and to ignore wildlife wet markets in that assessment would be wrong," Littleproud said.

"There are risks with wildlife wet markets and they could be as big as a risk to our agricultural industries as they can be to public health so we have to understand them better."

Littleproud called upon the G20 to take action and lead the way by drawing upon global experts and engaging international organisations to contemplate and mitigate the risks of wildlife wet markets.

"Our people should have confidence that the food they eat is safe," Littleproud said.

"We owe it to our domestic population and our international markets."

During the G20 meeting of agricultural ministers Littleproud also pressed the leaders to accelerate trade negotiations to remove technical trade barriers and alter tariffs that pose an impediment to food supply chains.

He said while there is not a shortage of food globally, international supply chains are being stressed by technical trade barriers that is hindering supply efforts globally.

Updated at 9:46am AEST on 23 April 2020.

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