Animals: Markets

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of David Mundell David Mundell Conservative, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that wet markets do not reopen.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

‘Wet markets’ sell a range of fresh produce and can be found across the globe, including farmers markets and seafood markets in the UK. They are an important source of food and income for many people globally. The Government recognises that markets selling live animals and meat are a high risk environment for the transmission of zoonotic diseases if they are not subject to high standards of biosecurity and hygiene. We therefore agree with the World Health Organization that markets should close if these standards are not met.

The Government is fully committed to tackling the environmental drivers of pandemics, including by reversing global biodiversity loss, tackling unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, and driving up standards in food production and food safety around the world. We will continue to support swift policy interventions where these are shown to be effective in mitigating future risk of zoonotic diseases and are underpinned by sound evidence.

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