Right now, every donation is matched until 30th June or until we reach our goal of £140,000. Don't miss out! DONATE NOW


In 2020 we launched an international campaign to demand a ban on the sale and slaughter of live animals at wet markets around the world. Our petition addressed to the United Nations (UN) has collected more than 500,000 worldwide signatures.

On June 17th 2021, the signatures were delivered to the UN asking the governing body to publicly acknowledge the risks live animal sales pose to global health and urging policymakers all over the world to restrict wet markets from selling live animals. 

This international action marks a great milestone in the fight for animals that would not have been possible without you.


By signing, you accept our privacy policy.

You can unsubscribe or amend your preferences at any time.


In collaboration with local activists, we returned to the places where it’s believed COVID-19 began: China’s live animal markets.

Our team determined that it was important to monitor the situation within the country’s wet markets to find out if anything had really changed, as many media outlets repeatedly announced. We had an obligation to the more than half a million people who had already signed our petition to end these markets — places where humans come into contact with wild and farmed animals, creating breeding grounds for emerging zoonotic diseases. We had to return to these live animal markets to report the truth and we did so with the help of local activists.

This is not the first time our investigators have infiltrated these markets where living and dead, wild and domestic animals are sold for consumption. Between 2014 and 2019, we captured shocking images of animal cruelty in wet markets in China, Vietnam, and India.

The footage we were able to capture when we returned to China reveals that the threat to public health and safety continues. Despite the pandemic that has changed our lives as we know it, these sites (where COVID-19 is believed to have originated) are still open to the public and continue to trade and kill a wide range of animal species.


An Immediate Threat to Public Health

Animal Equality has launched a worldwide campaign and petition calling for the immediate closure of wet markets across the globe. Wet markets get their name in part from the blood, guts, scales and water that soak the stalls’ floors, remnants of animals brutally killed so customers can eat freshly killed meat.

In exclusive footage shot by Animal Equality at wet markets in China, Vietnam and India, animals such as deer, raccoons, crocodiles, and dogs are shown living in filthy conditions, suffering from dehydration, starvation and disease.

These markets are also a threat to public health and have been the source of documented disease outbreaks in the past, including SARS. Researchers also believe COVID-19 most likely originated from a wet market notorious for trading in wild animals in Wuhan, China.

It is because of the public health crises wet markets cause, as well as the intense suffering inflicted on farmed animals, that Animal Equality is urging the United Nations to demand a ban on all wet markets. Not only do these markets pose an immediate danger to humans, they are also intensely cruel to animals.

3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals


Wet Markets Expert Quotes

If you take wild animals and you put them into a market with domestic animals or other animals, where there’s an opportunity for a virus to jump species, you are creating … a superhighway for viruses to go from the wild into people. We can’t do this anymore. We can’t tolerate this anymore. I want the wild animal markets closed.


The animals have been transported over large distances and are crammed together into cages. They are stressed and immunosuppressed and excreting whatever pathogens they have in them. With people in large numbers in the market and in intimate contact with the body fluids of these animals, you have an ideal mixing bowl for [disease] emergence.


Animal Cruelty Worldwide

**Animal Equality is an international organisation working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals. Our investigations are the most important work we do and have helped millions of animals.**