Inside NYC’s Wet Markets – A “Ticking Time Bomb”


The News

New York City has over 80 wet markets – businesses that sell live animals to the public and slaughter them onsite.  New York’s live animal markets are located in all five boroughs.

Since 2016, public health and animal rights advocates have been sounding alarm bells about the City’s wet markets, pleading with health officials and lawmakers to shut them down in order to prevent the transmission and spread of infectious disease. COVID-19 is believed to have been transmitted from animal to human in a wet market in Wuhan, China.

Sheep and chickens are among the approximately 10 different species of live animals sold at NYC’s wet markets

NYC’s wet markets sell approximately ten animal species, including goats, sheep, chickens, guinea hens, rabbits, pigeons, Muscovy ducks, and quail.  The animals are confined in small cages or pens where they can sicken each other and the people who work and shop there. Animal feces, body parts, feathers and blood are tracked in and out by customers and pedestrians who then carry the refuse on to the subways and into their homes, offices and communities.

Wet markets, or live animal markets, are storefront slaughterhouses that sell live animals to public and slaughter them on site

“New York City’s wet markets are a ticking time bomb,” said Jill Carnegie, a co-organizer with Slaughter Free NYC, an organization advocating to shut down wet markets and other slaughterhouses in NYC. “If avian flu or another infectious disease is transmitted to just one human, it could spread very rapidly in New York City and beyond, as we have seen with COVID-19.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the advocates’ sense of urgency. Slaughter Free NYC is now asking Mayor Bill de Blasio, Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot and Deputy Commissioner of Disease Control Dr. Demetre Daskalakis to prohibit the slaughter of live animals in the five boroughs of New York. In February, the organization launched a petition with its demand.

In a letter to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Bonnie S. Klapper, a New York City-based attorney working on several cases involving animal agriculture, wrote that City and State health authorities are turning a blind eye to the well-documented health code violations

Click letter to view in full

The NYC Department of Health claims that it has no regulatory authority over these markets and defers to NY State Department of Agriculture & Markets, but state health officials have told me that these wet markets are never inspected unless they receive numerous complaints,” Klapper told TheirTurn. “That said, no amount of oversight can prevent disease transmission in storefront slaughterhouses where sick animals are coming into contact with humans.”

PCRM Petition to the Surgeon General to outlaw live markets in the United State

On March 25th, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to the Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) encouraging him to call for the permanent closure of [wet] markets:  “Deadly outbreaks of mad cow disease, avian flu, swine flu, SARS, HIV, hoof-and-mouth disease and others have stemmed from capturing or farming animals for food. Live animal markets are perfect breeding grounds for diseases, which can jump from various others species to humans . . . If we’re to prevent future pandemics, we must heed the warning of top coronavirus researchers like Dr. Danielle Anderson, scientific director of the Duke-NUS Medical School, and cut them off at the source.”

In partnership with The Save Movement, an organization that stages vigils at slaughterhouses around the word, Slaughter Free NYC conducts vigils and educational outreach at New York City’s wet markets.

Forget about fur, Sundays and all days

Cruelty, not luxury.
Cruelty, not luxury. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is being dubbed an animal hero on the heels of a package of animal protection bills, from a ban on foie gras to new work standards for carriage horses.

Animals are in trouble if this is the best the city can do.

In the spring, Johnson sounded like an animal hero during the public hearing for a ban on fur sales. He berated the furriers in attendance for the horrific ways they treat animals before they kill them, and urged his colleagues to ban the sale of fur in the city, calling it the “moral thing to do.”

But the fur ban never made it over the finish line. I guess morality takes a backseat when there are political pressures.


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It seems that Johnson, who is eyeing a mayoral run in 2021, doesn’t want to draw the ire of a group of black clergy members, who came out in opposition, arguing that fur garments had a special significance in their community. We’ve read headlines like, “Proposed fur ban pits animal rights advocates against black ministers.”

But we disagree that because someone wants to defend the rights of animals, they’re somehow against African-American churchgoers. That’s insulting, and nothing could be further from the truth.

The storyline that fur is a natural fit for church, and that black people have some special affinity for animal cruelty, has been stoked by the fur lobby. Knowing it will always lose the animal cruelty arguments, it creates distractions.

Why is Johnson falling for this disgraceful move?

The reality is wearing your “Sunday best” is not exclusive to one community or another. I’m white and grew up in the Roman Catholic Church in a small town in Connecticut. When it got colder, my mom dressed my sister and me in rabbit coats and hand muffs, while she donned her red fox coat that my dad had given her.

My dad came from very humble beginnings, but eventually opened his own jewelry store. Those coats, and the Cadillac he drove around in, represented that he had made it.

Regardless of race, we all have a history of having seen fur as a status symbol. And regardless of race, we can all overcome that history to do the right thing.

NYC, one of the fashion capitals of the world, is missing an opportunity to be a role model for consumers across all ethnicities by showing them a look of status, or a desire to dress up as a sign of respect, can be achieved with faux fur.

It’s the same fur look, but it doesn’t kill. In my own household, we evolved. I vividly remember the pink faux-fur coat that replaced the real thing when we realized animal cruelty does not look good on anyone.

Surely, one would assume people attracted to fur as a status symbol would reject a mink coat once they learned the confined animals are riddled with injuries, covered in sores and living in their own feces because their cages often go uncleaned for weeks. Fur farms are as far from luxury and prestige as one can get.

Furthermore, New York City is already becoming one of the most vibrant places for faux fur — successful, eco-friendly, luxury fashion labels have opened here.

A ban on retail fur sales in the nation’s fashion capital will spare the lives of millions of animals who skins are sold here in the name of luxury and status.

The city’s fur industry is already disappearing; the number of manufacturers and retailers selling it has dropped precipitously. Dozens of big-name fashion designers — many headquartered here — have already spurned fur. Macy’s, whose flagship store is in New York, just announced it is ending fur sales by the end of 2020. Multiple municipalities have banned fur sales, including Los Angeles and the entire state of California.

It’s more than disappointing that this bill has stalled just because it’s going to be tougher than others to pass.

We humans are capable of being guided by reason. Let’s act like it.

Rivard is editor at Friends of Animals.

Canada goose hunting season opens in New York state

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Canada goose hunting season is open throughout most of New York state.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says the September goose hunting season is designed to help reduce the resident Canada goose population, which has expanded to nuisance levels in some areas.

New York’s population of non-migrating Canada geese has grown from 80,000 in 1995 to more than 340,000 today. Hunting seasons have been liberalized in efforts to curb population growth.

The September Canada goose season runs from Sept. 1 through Sept. 25 in upstate goose hunting zones.

Hunters are allowed to take eight to 15 birds a day depending on the zone.

New Poll: New York City Voters Reject Fur

An overwhelming majority of NYC voters support banning the sale of fur apparel in the city, according to the results of a newly released poll<>.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research earlier this month, found that 75 percent of respondents support a citywide law to prohibit the sale of fur apparel. The results show widespread support for legislation introduced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson – Intro 1476<> – that would ban fur apparel sales in the city. The Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing is holding a hearing on the bill Wednesday.

“The results show that New York City needs to take action to catch up to what is clearly society’s sentiment, that cruelty is not fashionable,” said Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral. “NYC can be the ultimate fashion forward role model by passing this legislation. Showing compassion for animals, and all sentient beings, is one of the purest expressions of our humanity.”
Friends of Animals has joined with FurFreeNYC,<> a coalition of public interest organizations, to support the fur sales ban legislation. FoA will be showing support for the bill at a Wednesday rally at noon at City Hall and testifying at the hearing as well.

The poll showed that about two-thirds of voters surveyed in every borough supported the ban.

In a statement Monday, Feral noted there has been widespread misinformation about the fur ban bill circulating by opponents. The bill prohibits the sale of any fur or fur apparel including any skin in whole or part with hair, fleece or fibers attached. It does not restrict or prevent residents in any way from wearing fur apparel they have already purchased. The bill does not ban leather; it has exemption for fur worn as a matter of religious custom and for used fur.

Additionally, while opponents contend fur is environmentally sustainable, the fur industry likes to ignore studies that have found real fur to be the most harmful of all fabrics. The production of real fur is significantly more harmful than other types of fabric in 17 out of 18 areas including climate change, in part because of chemicals used to prevent the skins from decomposing and decomposing of mink feces, according to a study by CE Delft. Increasingly, faux fur manufacturers and fashion houses are using innovative, sustainable fabrics.

“The fur industry is trying to divert attention and scare the public,” said Feral. “But New York City residents understand the issue and want to see an end to the cruelty.”
Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in New York in 1957 and headquartered in Darien, CT, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world. It has been a decades-long leader in the anti-fur movement. Friends of Animals is proud to be a woman-founded and led organization.

Fran Silverman

George Coniglio on Holley NY coyote-kill contest

Image result for Holley NY coyote-kill contest
“Today, I’m embarrassed to be a human being.
I’m amazed at the depths some of us can sink to, all in the name of good, clean fun for the whole family.
I’m perplexed at how some of us can rationalize our deviant behavior regardless of how much pain and suffering results from it.
And I’m disgusted that some of us will attempt to justify the invalidation of the sanctity of all life in order to satiate an appetite for blood drawn by their own hands.
What happens in Holley, New York later today isn’t about hunting. Nor is it about guns or Second Amendment rights or nuisance abatement or the industrial agriculture vs. living off the land debate or feeding the hungry.
What happens in Holley, New York later today is about the sad fact there exists in a certain segment of our society a mindset that derives a perverse pleasure from needlessly preying on the weak and defenseless. for no good reason other than it’s fun to kill them.
i can’t imagine seeing the world through their eyes.
What an ugly place it must be.
Where we see the miraculous beauty of all living things, they instead see unfeeling objects there for the plundering, whose life value can be minimized to the point where it’s worth little more than prize redemption in a killing contest.
Be mad.
Or be sad.
But be something.
If we’re indeed the superior species on this planet (as so many seem to think), isn’t it high time we act the part? If not for their good, at least for our own?”

Upstate NY man faces 3 charges after shooting a bald eagle over deer carcasses

A mature bald eagle up close and personal on the western shore of Owasco Lake.
A mature bald eagle up close and personal on the western shore of Owasco Lake. (Paul Pflanz)

A Tompkins County man has been charged with three violations of state Environmental Conservation Law after he shot an adult bald eagle Saturday, using deer carcasses as bait.

The DEC said Donald N. Mix, of Caroline, N.Y. shot the protected bird in the Town of Caroline. Bald eagles are listed as a “threatened species” in New York.

According to the DEC, Environmental Conservation Officer Ozzie Eisenberg responded to a complaint Saturday from a town resident who “who heard a shot and then spotted a large bird round in a nearby field.”

The conservation officer found a dead adult bald eagle at the scene, and “a subsequent interview with a neighbor revealed that the man had placed deer carcasses in the field to shoot coyotes and turkey vultures, another protected species.” It is legal to shoot coyotes over bait. Read more about hunting coyotes.

According to the complainant, the neighbor found the eagle “still breathing slowly,” and was with the bird as it died while she awaited the DEC officer’s arrival.

The DEC said Mix “thought the bird was a turkey vulture and was unaware that he had killed a threatened bald eagle.”

The man is due to return to Town of Caroline Court on Jan. 22.

According to the DEC, Mix faces the following charges and penalties: 

Illegal taking of protected wildlife ECL 11-0107 (1) – “No person shall, at any time of the year, pursue, take, wound or kill in any manner, number or quantity, any fish protected by law, game, protected wildlife, shellfish, harbor seals, crustacea protected by law, or protected insects, except as permitted by the Fish and Wildlife Law.”

The fines and punishment can range from up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail or both.

Illegal taking of wild birds ECL 11-0901 (9) – “No protected wild bird for which no open season is established by law or fixed by regulation shall be taken.”

The fines and punishment can range from up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail or both.

Illegal taking of a bald eagle ECL 11-0537 –  “It shall be unlawful to knowingly or with wanton disregard for the consequences of this act to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or in any manner, any bald eagle commonly known as the American eagle, or any golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof of the foregoing eagles without a permit from a lawful authority. ”

The fines and punishment can range from, in the case of a first violation, up to $5,000 and up to 90 days in jail or both.

For more Upstate New York outdoors on Facebook, go to Upstate NY Outdoors on We’d appreciate a “like.”

Bowhunters on Binghamton University campus can kill up to 50 deer in 'controlled hunt'

Bowhunters on Binghamton University campus can kill up to 50 deer in ‘controlled hunt’

The entrances and exits of the school’s Nature Preserve will be cordoned off to stop anyone from entering the area during the “controlled hunt.”

Question to deer hunters: Could you -- should you shoot a coyote?

Question to deer hunters: Could you — should you shoot a coyote?

“They bring out more hatred and passion in us than any other animal species,” Frair said.

DEC tickets ‘deer jackers’ after buck thought to be dead jumped out of truck

Video Exposes Multiple Health Code Violations During Illegal Mass Animal Sacrifice in Brooklyn NOVEMBER 26, 2018 BY

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Every year during the week leading up to Yom Kippur, several sects of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn sacrifice an estimated 60,000 chickens in makeshift slaughterhouses that are erected without permits on public streets.  The practitioners of the ritual slaughter, called Kaporos, violate multiple city health codes:

The NYC Department of Health defends the illegal sacrifice, arguing that the city has not observed any “disease signals” associated with the practice. The NYPD, which is charged with enforcing the laws, instead aids and abets in the crimes.

A toxicology report confirmed that Kaporos poses a “significant public health hazard.”

“The Chief of Police and Health Commissioner are political appointees, and their boss, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, has clearly instructed them to assist in the illegal Kaporos massacre because the practitioners represent a powerful voting bloc,” said Donny Moss, an organizer in the effort to compel the city to enforce the laws. “Not only does the City provides police barricades, floodlights and an army of police officers and sanitation workers, but it also provides the traffic cones where tens of thousands of chickens are bled out into public streets.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio instructs the NYPD to aid and abet in the illegal slaughter of an estimated 60,000 animals on the streets of NYC (Unparalleled Suffering Photography)

On October 17th, during oral arguments about Kaporos in the the New York State Court of Appeals, a city attorney confirmed that laws are broken but argued that the city has discretion over which laws to enforce.

City health codes that are violated during Kaporos

During Kaporos, an estimated 60,000 six-week old chickens are intensively confined in crates without food or water for up to several days before being slaughtered and discarded. Many die of starvation, thirst and exposure before the ritual takes place. A toxicology reported commissioned by residents in the neighborhoods that are contaminated with the blood, feces and body parts of chickens states that the ritual a “significant public health hazard.”

Hunters make the great outdoors war zones

By Nicole Rivard

UPDATE 12/1/17: Hunter Thomas Jadlowski has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and hunting after hours. 

Tis the season for putting your life at risk if you want to go outdoors to walk a dog, ride a bike or hike on public or private land.

That’s because trigger happy hunters are out trying to kill any wildlife in their crosshairs, and no amount of orange clothing is going to make human animals safe.

We are sickened and saddened by the news that Rosemary Billquist, 43, who was just walking her dogs near her western New York home, was fatally shot last week by her hunter neighbor Thomas B. Jadlowski, who told police he mistook her for a deer. He was hunting after sunset, which is prohibited by law in New York, however Jadlowski faces a measly fine not to exceed $250 and 15 days or less in jail, according to an environmental conservation police officer from the NYDEC. Outrageous! (A criminal investigation is also ongoing, so hopefully that will yield some more justice, however it won’t bring Billquist back.)  

And this wasn’t the only hunting accident that involved a non-hunter in the news last week. Police in New Hampshire reported that a woman was shot by a hunter near Elm Brook Park in Hopkinton. Authorities say the woman was riding a mountain bike along a trail when she was shot. The area is used for a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, hiking and biking. Luckily, she is in good condition.

Both incidences highlight how important it is for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife watchers to call for changes. State wildlife agencies receive funding from hunter license fees and taxes on guns and ammo, a clear conflict of interest that explains why wildlife is not respected and forests and parks are being turned into killing grounds.

We need to vote for politicians who are willing to stand up to the hunting agencies and conservation officers who want to continually expand hunting. We need to tell our local elected officials we do not support hunting in our state forests or parks or in nature preserves where other outdoor activities take place.

Let’s face it, hunting safety is an oxymoron. However, agencies don’t care as they just want more clients. This year New York, where now only 5 percent of the population still hunts, has decided to allow junior hunters (14-15 years old) to take bear as well as deer during the youth firearms hunt and one of the requirements is that both the junior hunter and mentor must wear hunter orange visible from all directions: shirt, jacket or vest with at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned orange (the pattern must be at least 50% orange) OR a hat with at least 50% orange.

How ridiculous! Bullets are color blind.

We hope this latest hunting tragedy will lead to even more people to call on public officials to create hunting free zones in our state parks in forests. In Connecticut, for example, it is possible to reverse a decision and eliminate hunting from an area. In Colorado, a proposal was being considered to eliminate shooting on lands that are less than a half-mile from homes or in areas of highly concentrated recreational use.

Human and non-human animals should not have to senselessly lose their lives to recreational violence called hunting.

Nicole Rivard is editor of Friends of Animal’s quarterly magazine Action Line. She brings 18 years of journalism experience to the front lines, protesting and documenting atrocities against animals.

Woman fatally shot by hunter who mistook her for deer


A hunter in western New York fatally shot a 43-year-old woman after he mistook her for a deer, authorities said.

Rosemary Billquist was taking her dogs for a walk in her hometown of Sherman near the Pennsylvania border on Wednesday when she was shot once by Thomas Jadlowski.

Jadlowski heard her scream and called 911. He stayed with Billquist until emergency personnel arrived.

Billquist was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital in Pennsylvania.

“They tried saving her,” husband Jamie Billquist told the Buffalo News on Friday. “It was just too bad…. It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.”

“This is a horrific incident,” Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace told the newspaper. “….This destroyed two lives.”

The shooting occurred at around 5:30 p.m., about 40 minutes after sunset, when officials say it’s illegal to hunt.

 Jamie Billquist was told about the shooting after he heard his dogs barking and saw an ambulance, according to the newspaper. He went with his wife to the hospital.

“She was always out to help somebody,” he told the Buffalo News. “She never wanted credit and was always quiet about it. She’s just an angel. An angel for sure.”

Jadlowski has not been charged, but the investigation is ongoing.

“Hunters have to understand there are other people using trails, using parks in areas where we as sportsmen hunt,” Dale Dunkelberger of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s hunter education program told the Buffalo News.

“In this case, it appears from what I gathered this was after sunset, and he shouldn’t have been out there hunting after sunset. You’re done. That’s the law.”