return icon

Coronavirus: Australia urges G20 action on wildlife wet markets

It's thought the Covid-19 outbreak may have begun in a Chinese market that sold wildlife alongside food.

The Australian government is calling for the G20 countries to take action on wildlife wet markets, calling them a "biosecurity and human health risk".

Australia is not yet calling for a ban - but says its own advisers believe they may need to be "phased out".

"Wet markets" are marketplaces that sell fresh food such as meat and fish.

But some also sell wildlife - and it's thought the coronavirus may have emerged at a wet market in Wuhan that sold live, "exotic" animals.

The Huanan market in Wuhan reportedly offered a range of animals including foxes, wolf cubs, civets, turtles, and snakes. 

What did Australia say?

The Australian government called for an investigation into wildlife wet markets after a meeting of G20 agriculture ministers.

Speaking to the ABC on Thursday, agriculture minister David Littleproud said he was not targeting all food markets.

"A wet market, like the Sydney fish market, is perfectly safe," he said.

"But when you add wildlife, live wildlife, exotic wildlife - that opens up human risk and biosecurity risk to the extent we have seen.

"And in fact, China themselves reported this to the World Organisation for Animal Health, that that was the cause of Covid-19."

Mr Littleproud said he wanted to "get the science" first, but said: "Even our chief veterinary officer is telling us that he believes they [wildlife wet markets] may need to be phased out."

What is the risk of wildlife wet markets?

The exact origin of the new coronavirus is not known, but the evidence suggests it came from an animal.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, Covid-19 is a "close relative" of other viruses found in horseshoe bats.

So the virus could have passed from bat to human, or via an "intermediate host" - one theory is bat, to pangolin, to human.

The Sars coronavirus is thought to have emerged in bats before passing to civets and then humans. The Mers coronavirus passed from camels to humans, after probably emerging in bats.

What has China done so far?

In January, China issued a temporary ban in the trade in wild animals, as it did during the Sars outbreak.

A month later, the government "thoroughly banned the illegal trading of wildlife" and "eliminated the consumption of wild animals to safeguard people's lives and health".

But since then, a number of reports have said wildlife is still being sold in markets in China and elsewhere.

More recently, the head of the World Health Organization said all governments must "rigorously enforce bans on the sale and trade of wildlife for food".

WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "When these markets are allowed to reopen, it should only be on the condition that they conform to stringent food safety and hygiene standards." BBC

Legal loopholes hinder Vietnam’s efforts in wildlife protection

Legal loopholes hinder Vietnam’s efforts in wildlife protection

Despite strengthened law enforcement to protect wildlife, legal loopholes are hindering Vietnam’s efforts, activists have said.

Film launched to warn against wildlife consumption to prevent disease outbreaks

Film launched to warn against wildlife consumption to prevent disease outbreaks

It is part of the campaign 'Don’t Consume Wildlife to Protect Your Health And Of the Community'.


Stormy time for HOSE: network pending, leader disciplined

In 2021, the HCM City Stock Exchange (HOSE) reported a 21-year high profit. However, it was also the year when many problems occurred.

Facebook to register, declare and pay foreign contractor tax in Vietnam

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, on the occasion of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the National Innovation Center (NIC), made the tax payment commitment.

Prime Minister’s ‘3-in-1’ business trip to the US

The business trip to the US of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has brought important bilateral and multilateral results, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc.

Corporate bond issuance drops sharply after arrest of Tan Hoang Minh chair

After the cancelation of nine corporate bond issuances of three companies related to Tan Hoang Minh, the volume of private offerings fell sharply by 33 percent to VND30 trillion in April.

Why the stock market sell-off when VN’s economy is strong?

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index sold off 11 per cent last week and was down 21 per cent in the year to date at the end of last week after being nearly flat until March end.

Two Vietnamese beauties among Top 50 of Miss Grand Slam 2021

Miss Grand Slam, Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien, Miss Grand International, Nguyen Huynh Kim Duyen, Top 16 finish in Miss Universe

Vietnamese banks expected to get better credit ratings

Ratings of Vietnamese banks are expected to be continually improved thanks to Vietnam’s positive sovereign credit rating.

Vingroup completes issuing international bonds worth US$525 million

Vingroup Joint Stock Company (Vingroup) has completed its bond issuance on the international market with a total value of US$525 million, according to details given by the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX).

Deputy Finance Minister Nguyen Duc Chi takes charge of State Securities Commission

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc had assigned Deputy Finance Minister Nguyen Duc Chi to directly take the charge of the State Securities Commission (SSC) from May 19.

Hanoi approves more than 1 billion USD for Ring Road No. 4 project

The Hanoi People's Council for the term 2021 - 2026 on May 20 agreed to spend 23.5 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD) from the city budget for the Ring Road No. 4 project.

Gov't may recall unused funds for public investment projects

Undisbursed funds for public investment projects could be recalled if local governments failed to implement the projects for an extended period of time,


CPTPP helps leverage Vietnam-Australia investment cooperation

FDI quality in need of fresh policy boost

Despite good performance in foreign investment attraction over the past year, the number of high-tech projects from developed countries investing in Vietnam is modest as compared to the incentives set forth.


Singapore parliament speaker wraps up visit to Vietnam

HCM City to launch Saigon River cruise

Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism is planning to launch a three-hour cruise tour along the Saigon River that is expected to be among key tourism products in the area this year.