WHO new guidance on sales of live wild mammals

5 May, 2021

We have long discussed on HIFA the exploitation of wild animals such as pangolins for traditional medicine, with multiple harms on animals and humans and no proven benefits. This new guidance from WHO and partners is overdue but nevertheless welcome... I look forward to further guidance on other wild animal products.

Pangolins are of course one of the possible intermediary hosts for COVID-19. Exploitation of (wild) animals is not only inhumane but carries huge health risks.


WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Programme issued interim guidance on reducing public health risks associated with the sale of live wild mammals in traditional food markets.

Issued on 13 April, the guidance calls for the suspension of sales of captured live wild mammals in food markets as an emergency measure.

Animals are the source of more than 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses.

As the website [https://bit.ly/3sfw2ck] says:

'All uses of wild animals require an approach that is characterized by conservation of biodiversity, animal welfare and national and international regulations regarding threatened and endangered species' - in addition to threats to human health.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org