Sydney – Already in 2021, PETA Asia investigators have visited live-animal markets in China, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. New video footage shows a virologist’s nightmare: sick and stressed animals packed closely together in filthy cages – conditions that created past pandemics and are predicted to start the next one.
Animals offered for sale include ferret-badgers and rabbits – currently under investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO) as vectors of the virus that causes COVID-19 – as well as bats, monkeys, and civet cats, who can be hosts of coronaviruses. Cages are so cramped that the animals cannot spread their wings or turn around, and some are encrusted with fecal matter. Workers display carcasses on offal- and blood-streaked countertops and handle both live animals and raw flesh without gloves.
WHO is recommending a suspension of the trade in live mammalian wild animals but ignoring the plight of chickens, ducks, fish, and frogs who live in packed, stressful cages and are slaughtered in filth. In light of these findings, PETA is calling on WHO to demand the closure of all live-animal markets worldwide.
“A year after COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill and killed over 4 million humans, live-animal markets are still cesspools of filth and suffering that put the whole world at risk,” says PETA Asia Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA is calling on global leaders to shut down these markets before they create COVID-21.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”, and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that outbreaks of swine flu, avian flu, HIV, foot-and-mouth disease, mad cow disease, and other illnesses have also stemmed from capturing or farming animals for food.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.