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Animals Are Still Suffering in Wet Markets

Nine months after the World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 public health crisis was a pandemic, Animal Equality has released a new investigation that reveals wet markets that sell and slaughter live animals are still in operation – markets like those where scientists believe COVID-19 originated.

In collaboration with local activists, we filmed the investigation in several cities in China in May 2020. The footage reveals that despite the pandemic, live animal markets continue to sell animals such as chickens, turtles, frogs, ducks, pigeons and others, bringing together species that in nature would never live together. Experts believe this increases the risk of animal-borne diseases making the jump to humans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of all new or emerging diseases in humans come from animals. Research shows that high levels of stress, like that caused by the unnatural conditions animals in markets and factory farms are kept in, can lead to the deterioration of their immune systems making them more susceptible to diseases. In addition, the close contact humans have to animals in wet markets and facilities such as farms and slaughterhouses increases the risk of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.

The risk posed by wet and live animal markets is undeniable. Unfortunately, many wet markets are still operating despite media reports and government statements claiming otherwise. As these markets are a direct threat to human health and safety, as well as extremely cruel towards animals, it was our obligation to show the world that these markets are still in business and as such, are increasing the likelihood that another COVID-19 type virus could emerge.” said Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality.

How you can help

We are calling for the immediate closure of all wet markets worldwide, which are not only cruel to animals but also pose a substantial risk to human health and safety. To join the more than half a million people who are asking for the same, please sign our petition! If you’ve already signed, you can still help change the world for animals by sharing this investigation so that more people will support the end of these cruel and dangerous places.

All animal exploitation poses an urgent, global risk to public health. You can take further action to combat this threat by choosing to eat plant-based options more often. Take a look at our Love Veg website for tips, recipes and support.