Australia has called for international experts to scrutinise wild animal markets thought to be the source of the coronavirus in China.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud urged his international counterparts from G20 countries to take up the fight, to protect health and agriculture.
A Chinese wildlife market is likely to be the source of the deadly disease being transferred to humans.
"It only makes sense that we go and investigate these wildlife wet markets, to understand the risks that they pose to human health and also to biosecurity," Mr Littleproud told reporters in Toowomba on Thursday.
"It is the responsibility of all global nations to undertake this work in a scientific manner, in a calm and methodical way, to understand the risks and whether they can be mitigated."
He said agriculture was also at risk from disease threats posed by trading exotic animals.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese backed the government's push for more scrutiny of wet markets.
"David Littleproud's comments on this are spot on. He's representing the Australian national interest," he told Sky News on Thursday.
"What we're talking about here is markets that are unregulated, that are engaging in some exotic species that are dangerous.
"There needs to be an assessment about how this has occurred."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week scolded the World Health Organisation for supporting the reopening of China's wet markets.
Mr Morrison said it was unfathomable to back live animal markets.
"I'm totally puzzled by this decision," he said.
China has resisted Australia's calls for an independent international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
The push for scrutiny of wild animal markets could further inflame tensions between the two nations.
Mr Littleproud said agriculture ministers had a responsibility to engage international organisations to look at the significant risks of wildlife wet markets.
"Our people should have confidence that the food they eat is safe. We owe it to our domestic population and our international markets," he said.
Agriculture ministers also agreed emergency measures to stop the spread of the virus must not upend global food supply chains.
The G20 ministers said they would guard against measures leading to excessive food price volatility in global markets and threats to food supply.
Australian Associated Press
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