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China to phase out live poultry sales at food markets

On 3 July, China vowed to gradually phase out the slaughter and sale of live poultry at food markets.

6 July 2020, at 12:04pm

The International Business Times reports that the announcement was welcomed by animal rights activists.

The 3 July announcement came as China makes moves to step up inspections of wholesale food markets. China has also recently outlawed the sale and consumption of wildlife, after a recent spate of COVID-19 infections were traded to a major wholesale food market in Beijing.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have emerged late last year at a market in Wuhan that slaughtered and sold live animals.

At a press briefing, Chen Xu, an official at the State Administration of Market Regulation said:

“China will restrict the trading and slaughter of live poultry, encourage the mass slaughter of live poultry in places with certain conditions and gradually close live poultry markets.”

Chen urged local governments across China to "strengthen supervision of food safety at agricultural wholesale markets" and "investigate hidden safety risks", taking the Beijing Xinfadi market virus hotspot as an example.

"It is understood that more than 70 percent of meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables enter the market through wholesale agricultural markets," he said.

The announcement was welcomed by animal rights groups.

Jason Baker, senior vice president of PETA Asia said:

“We are happy to see that live-poultry markets are on their way out in China. PETA hopes the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration continues to stretch their wings and ban all live-animal markets nationwide.”

Read more about this story in the International Business Times.