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Campaign to Ban Wet Markets Wins Prestigious Award


Animal Equality has achieved another major milestone in its international campaign to ban so-called ‘wet markets’ that sell and slaughter live animals, winning the coveted #Campaign4Animals Award 2020 for the campaign’s creativity and far-reaching impact.

The award was presented to Animal Equality by Eurogroup for Animals – a pan-European animal advocacy organisation whose key focus is to improve the wellbeing of as many animals as possible through effective legal advocacy and public awareness work. 

We were one of eight finalists to present to 130 attendees across 77 member organisations at Eurogroup for Animals’ 2021 Annual General Meeting. Nominees were asked to evidence the ways in which their campaigns responded to the COVID-19 crisis, mobilised supporters and impacted animals.

Presenting on our international campaign to ban the sale and slaughter of live animals at wet markets, we highlighted our carefully-curated strategy, resourcefulness and ability to mobilise hundreds of thousands of people around the world to take action for animals. In response, representatives from Eurogroup For Animals’ member organisations voted for Animal Equality to win the prestigious #Campaign4Animals Award 2020.

In 2020 we released two investigations, armed with footage obtained by our investigators and with help from brave local activists in China, Vietnam and India, showing the shocking conditions in which animals are kept and killed in markets around the world. Investigators documented the extremely cruel conditions for animals, in addition to a total lack of compliance with hygiene rules. In these markets – which still continue to function today, despite the warnings of health officials – both wild and farmed animals are confined in filthy cages, creating the perfect breeding ground for dangerous diseases to arise. 

With this groundbreaking campaign, Animal Equality mobilised a community of people around the world, encouraging them to use their voice for all animals and to demand an end to this cruelty. Within months, our campaign collected over half a million signatures from across the world and garnered support from high-profile individuals including Stephen Fry, Peter Egan, and Evanna Lynch.

The campaign – which ran in two phases across 2020 – generated over 440 media stories, with news pieces in major publications including: The Guardian (UK), The Independent (UK), Le Iene (Italy), Reforma (Mexico), El Pais (Spain), and The Times of India (India). Animal Equality representatives were also invited to speak about the campaign on several major TV and radio channels.

During the campaign, our investigative footage of live animal markets was viewed over two million times. Through a coordinated large-scale ‘Tweetstorm’ action, we also saw over 220,000 tweets posted on the issue, resulting in our campaign trending on Twitter in Mexico, Italy, Spain, and the US.

In April 2021 the World Health Organisation called for a ban of slaughtering and selling live wild mammals – a historic moment for animals. While this is a hugely positive first step to be celebrated, Animal Equality believes that it does not go far enough and continues to urge relevant officials to extend the ban to all animals, wild and domesticated, mammals or otherwise. 

Thanks to the work of our brave team of investigators, courageous local activists, and our dedicated supporters, we have brought the cruelty of live animal markets to light. With around 75% of new and emerging infectious diseases coming from animals, our campaign helped to ensure that the world is now far more aware of the dangers of animal consumption. 

Many of the worst pandemics in history have one thing in common: animals. Whether it happens in factory farms or at live animal markets, animal farming puts us all at risk of deadly disease. It’s not too late to add your name to our petition to help combat this threat to public health.

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