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Filthy 'Wet Markets' Still Peddling Animals and Flesh Despite COVID-19


Update: 13 April 2021

The first domino has fallen! Since the start of the pandemic, PETA has pushed the World Health Organization (WHO) to call for the closure of live-animal markets worldwide. Over 380,000 supporters of PETA and our international affiliates have contacted WHO, and it’s now happening: WHO is urging countries to suspend the sale of live mammalian wild animals in food markets as an emergency measure, saying that wild animals are a leading cause of emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19. We told you that a year ago!

This is a good start but does nothing to stop frogs, snakes, chickens, and others from being sold, even though confining and killing them in filthy live-animal markets also contributes to the spread of disease. As long as live-animal markets remain open and any animal is sold, intelligent and sensitive beings will continue to suffer and humans will be at enormous risk.

Thank you to everyone who took action below – please keep going: share this alert with your friends and family and anyone else you know until WHO calls for the closure of all live-animal markets.


Original Post:

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Asia’s deadly live-animal markets are open for business, creating a living hell for animals and putting humans at risk of the next pandemic.


In 2021 – over a year after the COVID-19 outbreak began – PETA Asia investigators visited live-animal markets in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, and Sri Lanka. Customers can buy both living and dead animals at these markets. 


PETA Asia’s new footage shows chickens, bats, monkeys, civet cats, and other animals, both dead and alive, on sale for food or to be used in traditional medicine, in entertainment, or in other ways. Carcasses were displayed on blood-streaked countertops, and both live animals and raw flesh were handled without gloves. These markets are cesspools of filth.


These Live-Animal Markets Could Be Where the Next Pandemic Originates

This new footage, shot just days ago, takes viewers inside live-animal markets in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, where chickens, ducks, fish, and dogs as well as bats, monkeys, and other exotic animals are sold. 

Terrified live animals, bloody carcasses, and rotting flesh were all being peddled for human consumption. At multiple sites, investigators observed marketgoers walking around in flip-flops on floors covered with bodily fluids and handling raw flesh and touching blood-streaked countertops with their bare hands. At two other markets, civet cats and bats were sold for food—even though they're a reservoir species for severe acute respiratory syndrome (commonly known as SARS), another deadly coronavirus.  


Blood and Rotting Flesh Everywhere

Weeks before, PETA Asia investigators had visited wet markets in Indonesia and Thailand and were shocked even back then that any were still operating. At the Tomohon Market in Indonesia, the flesh of wild boars, snakes, dogs, and rats (whose babies like to put their arms around their mother's neck while being bathed) were openly sold at the market. Gloveless workers and customers were seen handling the body parts of animals who had been killed on site. A mutilated snake was curled up on a table, blood staining the white tiles red. Chickens with open wounds were bound to other birds slated for slaughter.


Cats Are Caged and Sold for Meat, Too

Terrified, exhausted cats—sensitive and intelligent, just like the cats we share our hearts and homes with—were kept in a crowded, dirty cage without food or water until they were purchased for their flesh.


Suffering and Death in a Thai 'Wet Market'

At Bangkok's Khlong Toei Market, PETA Asia's investigator saw mesh bags jam-packed with live, frightened frogs (some of whom use trees as "drums" to send messages to one another) being plunked down next to the mutilated bodies of other slaughtered frogs.


Live Birds Caged With Their Dead Companions

Live ducks and chickens (who have their own unique language, with more than 30 different sounds) were kept in cramped, filthy cages, sometimes with the bodies of birds who'd already been purchased and killed. Live turtles (some of whom can hold their breath under water for over 100 days) and other "exotic" sea animals were also available for purchase. Like all animals, they just want to be left in peace, not killed for food. 


Enough Is Enough

All wet markets are potential breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, SARS, and MERS. At such markets, feces and other bodily fluids can easily get on traders' and customers' shoes and be tracked into restaurants and homes. The workers who handle the animals often don't wear gloves (as seen in the video footage) and can also spread bacteria. Flies swarm around the bodies of dead pigs and other animals, and the countertops and floors are streaked red with the blood of gutted fish and slaughtered animals.

PETA Asia has written to health officials in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam to call for an end to deadly live-animal markets.

Shutting down foreign wet markets isn't good enough. To prevent more diseases like COVID-19, we must do more than crack down on these markets only in certain areas of the world. All live-animal markets must go. 


Since PETA released the initial footage on April 8, more than 200,000 people have joined PETA and our affiliates in urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to call for an end to deadly live-animal markets around the globe. More than 60 bipartisan congressional lawmakers followed in our footsteps, too, writing their own, similar letter to WHO urging the agency to request the closure of all such markets immediately. And with hundreds of thousands of human lives claimed by COVID-19, it's more critical than ever that we all take action. 


Help Prevent the Next Global Pandemic: Take Action Now!

There is one decisive action that we can all take right now to help prevent the next global pandemic: Ditch meat, eggs, and dairy.

Remember: The only truly sustainable and conscientious way to live is vegan.

And as we all continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, please also urge WHO to call for the closure of all live-animal markets worldwide.

Join PETA in urging the World Health Organization to call for an end to all deadly live-animal markets around the globe.

Dr.
Adhanom
Ghebreyesus
World Health Organization

Take Action Now

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