We Are All Sitting Ducks Until Poultry and Other Markets Close, Says Brooklyn Native
For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2020
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
New York – As the novel coronavirus—which originated in a market in China where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption—devastates New York City, Honorary PETA Director Edie Falco has sent a letter and video today urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to shut down the more than 80 live-animal markets still operating in the city.
The new video of live-animal markets in New York City shows terrified animals confined to cages smeared with feces and corpses, body parts, and blood contaminating public sidewalks. Virologists agree that markets where sick and stressed animals are caged in their own waste are breeding grounds for deadly influenza viruses and other diseases that cross the species barrier—and that only luck has prevented previous pandemics. PETA has launched an international petition urging the World Health Organization to call for the permanent closure of live-animal markets worldwide.
“You are uniquely positioned to help stop future pandemics and set an example for other leaders by closing the city’s live-animal markets immediately,” writes Falco. “That step could be pivotal in stopping other deadly viruses from ever jumping to humans.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, visit PETA.org.
Falco’s letter to de Blasio follows.
April 10, 2020
The Honorable Bill de Blasio
Mayor of New York City
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
I hope this letter finds you well. Thank you for all that you’re doing to help keep New Yorkers safe from COVID-19. However, there is one thing that I was shocked to learn from my friends at PETA: There are some 80 live-animal markets and slaughterhouses, much like the one public-health experts believe that COVID-19 originated in in China, operating right here in the city. As a New Yorker and an honorary PETA director, may I urge you to take whatever action is necessary to effect the immediate and permanent closure of all live-animal markets in our city? That step could be pivotal in stopping other deadly viruses from ever jumping to humans.
This two-minute video shows these dangerous, bloody markets—breeding grounds for deadly viruses—operating across New York City. Many of these 80 live-animal markets and slaughterhouses are near schools, parks, and residences, where animal waste and animal blood can easily be picked up on shoes and tracked down sidewalks and into restaurants and homes. In some, animals are slaughtered on public streets and left to bleed out on the ground.
Deadly outbreaks—including those of avian flu, swine flu, SARS, HIV, Ebola, mad cow disease, and hoof-and-mouth disease—have originated from animals butchered and confined for food. This recent New York Post feature details the dangers that these markets pose.
We need your decisive leadership on this life-or-death issue. You are uniquely positioned to help stop future pandemics and set an example for other leaders by closing the city’s live-animal markets immediately. I wish you well and look forward to hearing from you.