Animal protection groups pitch for cleaner way of meat production, seek closure of illegal markets - - Telling the truth- always!

Animal protection groups pitch for cleaner way of meat production, seek closure of illegal markets

NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of the coronavirus spread, India’s five leading animal protection organisations on Thursday appealed for closure of illegal meat markets and unlicensed pet shops across the country with immediate effect and urged the Centre to take action against those who don’t follow food safety guidelines of the FSSAI in order to prevent the emergence of novel diseases.
Though the government and many institutions, citing scientific reports, have clearly said that the consumption of poultry, fish, meat and seafood is totally safe as the animals don’t carry coronavirus, these animal protection organisations in their joint letter to Union health minister Harsh Vardhan flagged that the COVID-19 had emerged from a meat and wildlife market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and therefore it’s very important to regulate how meat is being produced in India to keep the country safe from outbreak of any other unknown disease.
“Increase in industrial slaughter and factory farming of animals, the unchecked trade in wildlife and crowding of various species of animals in close confinement has been an invitation to deadly epidemics. The connection is unmistakable. Let’s learn from our mistakes. We are hopeful that the ministry of health undertakes the suggested measures to rectify this crisis and safeguard this country’s health,” said Gauri Maulekhi, Trustee, People for Animals (PFA).
The PFA is one of the five organisations which flagged the issue to the health minister. The other four are: Humane Society International/India (HSI/India) , Mercy for Animals India Foundation (MFA), Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) and Ahimsa Trust.
Noting that the live animal markets and facilities that confine animals in “crowded conditions’ are fertile hotbeds of zoonotic pathogens, the letter of these five NGOs sought the health minister’s immediate intervention. They urged the health ministry to work with animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries ministry to “regulate intensive animal agriculture”.
The minister in his response told these organisations that their concerns were noted and he would “consider (it) for action”.
The letter of these NGOs, while citing the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report, brought to the notice of the ministry that three out of four emerging pathogens affecting humans over the past decade have originated from animals or animal products.
They also noted that the country like India where raw meat is not handled carefully is more vulnerable to emergence of such pathogens.

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