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WHO urges halt on sale of live wild mammals in markets

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

WHO urges halt on sale of live wild mammals in markets:


Context:

The World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have called for a halt to the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19.

Need for:

Because traditional markets play a central role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations, banning the sale of live wild mammals could protect the health of market workers and customers alike.

  • Animals, particularly wild animals, are the source of more than 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses. Wild mammals, in particular, pose a risk for the emergence of new diseases.

About the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE):

  • The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924.
  • In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.
  • The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
  • It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • The organisation is placed under the authority and control of a World Assembly of Delegates consisting of Delegates designated by the Governments of all Member Countries.
  • The main objective of the OIE is to control epizootic diseases and thus to prevent their spread.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About WTO.
  2. About OIE.
  3. International Conventions governing trade of endangered species.

Mains Link:

Discuss why there is a need to halt the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19.

Sources: the Hindu.