These Live Markets are Still Open, and They Could Spark COVID-21
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.
The World Has Changed, but Live-Animal Markets Haven’t
Conditions were nearly identical to those documented in two previous PETA Asia investigations into these markets. Sick and stressed animals of uncertain origin were packed closely together in stressful environments. Chickens, personable animals who enjoy socializing, didn’t even have enough space to spread their wings, and larger animals such as a macaque and a caracal cat, animals who roam far and wide in nature, had barely enough space to turn around in. Some cages had faeces encrusted at the bottom, and stacking them up facilitated the spread of disease. Dead squirrels, civet cats, bats, birds, and rats were sold in open-air markets without any apparent hygiene protocols.
An investigator was told that customers could purchase the flesh of bats and monkeys purportedly for medicinal purposes.
The Risks Are Real
Most scientists are convinced that the coronavirus originated in a live-animal market in China, where animals of a wide range of species are sold alongside dead animals and produce.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating live rabbits, bats, civet cats, and ferret badgers as carriers of the virus that causes COVID-19, all are still offered for sale. Deadly outbreaks of mad cow disease, avian flu, swine flu, SARS, HIV, and more have all stemmed from capturing animals in nature or farming them for food.
The Horrors Must End
Just as we don’t want to be infected with the coronavirus or die of COVID-19, other animals don’t want to suffer or be killed for food. Most of us dislike being quarantined in our homes, yet billions of animals who are exploited for food spend their entire lives in small, cramped, filthy spaces, unable to turn around or stand up and suffering from respiratory diseases caused by living amid their own waste. Their only escape is when their throats are slit and their bodies dismembered, often while they’re still conscious.
All live-animal markets must go, including the ones that operate right here in Australia.
Since the start of the pandemic, PETA has pushed the World Health Organization (WHO) to call for the closure of live-animal markets worldwide. As of April 2021, 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.
This is a good start but does nothing to stop diseases caused by confining and killing frogs, snakes, chickens, and other beings in filthy live-animal markets. As long as these markets remain open and any animal is sold, intelligent and sensitive beings will continue to suffer and humans will be at enormous risk.
Join the thousands of people who have already signed our action alert urging the WHO to call for an end to all live animal markets.
And do your part right now to help prevent the next global pandemic by dumping meat, eggs, and dairy. The only truly sustainable and ethical way to live is vegan.