BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- China will close all live poultry markets in a step-by-step manner in a bid to reduce public health risks, an official said Friday.
China will crack down on the illegal wildlife trade, ban the consumption of wild animals, and impose restrictions on the trade and slaughter of live poultry, Chen Xu, an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation, told a press conference.
Authorities will step up supervision over farmers' markets to ensure food safety amid the COVID-19 epidemic, he said.
China has 44,000 farmers' markets nationwide, including more than 4,100 wholesale markets, said Hu Jianping, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, at the same conference.
About 70 percent of the country's agricultural products are distributed through wholesale markets, which are the main channels for the sales of farm produce, she said.
Farmers' markets, both wholesale and retail, have contributed immensely to ensuring market supplies as they continued to operate normally amid the epidemic, Hu said.