At Animal Equality, our mission is to end cruelty to animals raised and killed for food. Over the years, our investigations have shown that farmed animals all over the world are in urgent need of help.
Within our work, we’ve found a connection between animal abuse, human health, and our planet. This is especially the case in wet markets, where live animals are transported, traded, and killed without any concern for their suffering.
This is why 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 569,000 worldwide signatures.
On June 17, 2021, the signatures were delivered to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, to the H.E. Mr. Munir Akram, President, U.N. Economic and Social Council c/o Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, and to the H.E. Nicolas de Rivière, U.N. Security Council President c/o Permanent Mission of the Republic of France to the United Nations.
We are 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. With the work that Animal Equality has done since its foundation, we’ve collaborated with many important institutions. Today, we’ve contacted one of the most important organizations in the world with a message from animal advocates like you asking that our cause be included in their global policy decisions. We have made farmed animals visible to these world leaders and have done so with your support.
As Sharon mentioned in her video, this incredible achievement would not have been possible without you. We’re very grateful for everything you’ve done for this campaign and for advocating for animals.
Actions like this one will make our world a better place for animals, and we hope we can count on your support again. You can help us continue our life-saving work by making a donation today. Together, we can change the world for animals!
With rich emotional lives and unbreakable family bonds, farmed animals deserve to be protected. You can build a kinder world by replacing animal food products with plant-based ones.
Singapore to Ban the Sale and Slaughter of Turtles and Frogs in Wet Markets
We are starting to see the first steps of progress to end the cruel practice of the sale and slaughter of live animals at wet markets.
In April 2020, Singapore’s Parliament began reviewing the treatment of live animals at wet markets after many scientists raised concerns about the risks of disease transmission. After more than a year of deliberation, the Singapore Food Agency has directed that there be a ban on the sale and slaughter of turtles and live frogs in the country’s wet markets.
This fantastic news has the potential to spare thousands of animals unnecessary harm. For example, Singapore was the number one importer of Asian softshell turtles in 2019—18,200 turtles were captured and sold alive.
As the images collected by our investigators show, slaughtering turtles and frogs is a common practice in wet markets around the world, not just in Southeast Asia.
This ban is just the latest good news to come out after our investigations into wet markets. And while the road to obtaining more protections for farmed animals is long and full of obstacles, each day we are making significant strides toward creating a world where all animals used for food can live free from pain and suffering.
Wet Markets Revealed
Public support for our campaign has been overwhelming—a campaign that began to take root a few years ago.
It’s common that when we’re investigating one situation, we’re led into another. That was the case during our 6-month investigation into chicken markets in India between 2017-2018, when our investigators infiltrated farms and markets in the cities of Pune, Raigad, and Delhi.
Similar to various countries around the world, chickens raised for meat in India are often slaughtered when sold to meet the demand for fresh meat. This usually takes place at traditional (wet) markets, and consumers are accustomed to witnessing the deaths of the animals. In some cases, they can pick out the animal they want while it’s still alive. This is exactly how some chickens are sold and killed in India.
As you can see in the video, chickens in India’s wet markets suffer in overcrowded conditions and are deprived of food and water, sometimes for days. Slaughter is carried out without stunning, with the animals left to suffer for minutes after their throats are slit. Aside from this cruelty, hygienic conditions are clearly insufficient to ensure that traders, visitors, and consumers are safe from diseases such as malaria and typhoid.
Coupled with the popularity of these markets is the rise of chicken consumption in India, which has been catastrophic for the animals: More and more of them are being raised, transported, overcrowded, and killed, and increasingly so at traditional Indian markets.
Our First Investigation Into the Cruelty of Wet Markets
Our investigators are people who, in addition to infiltrating intensive livestock farming facilities, research, study, and review materials that allow them to know and recognize situations that are illegal and cruel, but also potentially dangerous for humans and the planet.
That is why when they covertly visited the markets in Vietnam and China, they noticed that the situation was similar. In April 2020, our investigators revealed at the beginning of the COVID-19 health emergency that the sale and slaughter of animals in wet markets was a public threat. These investigations were made possible by financial contributions from our supporters, and your donation today will ensure that our investigators can continue to do this important work.
Supported by our footage, we again showed the unsanitary and cruel conditions of unregulated wet markets. We also drew attention to the fact that wild and farmed animals are kept side by side in small cages—animals that in nature would never coexist together.
These animals suffer not only from mistreatment, but also from a weakened immune system from the stress of their transport, confinement, and unhygienic living conditions. Add to that the many shoppers that traffic the markets, and you create the perfect breeding ground for animal-borne diseases that can make the jump to humans.
As you may recall during the early stages of the pandemic, there was much speculation about Asia’s wet markets, and some experts pointed to the need to review these sites for safety.
Wet markets exist all over the world, not just in Asia. That’s why Animal Equality has called for a worldwide ban on the sale and slaughter of live animals at wet or traditional markets.
In April 2020, we launched an international campaign and petition asking for the ban. In our exclusive footage shot by investigators 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.
Despite Their Danger: Wet Markets Continue to Operate
A few months later, we released a second investigation that revealed that the markets’ threat to public health and safety was ongoing. Despite their danger, these places are still open to the public, drawing massive crowds of people, and worse, continuing to trade and brutally kill animals of all kinds.
Given this information, our petition took on greater urgency, and we continued to collect signatures.
After a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly called for the worldwide suspension of the sale of live wild mammals in traditional markets around the world due to the high risk they pose for disease transmission to humans, our urgency to create change increased.
While the report calls for wild animals to be spared, we believe that no animal should be subjected to cruelty at wet markets. Upon delivering over half a million signatures, we have asked the UN to ban the sale of all animals at the world’s wet markets.
Once again, together we give voice to the animals that suffer the most and in the greatest number, ensuring that none are left behind. And as long as we have generous people like you on our side to help fund our work, we will continue to create a world where all animals are respected and protected.