‘Wet markets’ with HUNDREDS of birds stuffed in cages to be slaughtered still open in NEW YORK despite outcry – The Sun

WET markets are still operating in New York City amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Video filmed this month at facilities in Queens and the Bronx – deemed essential businesses during the shutdown – show filthy spaces where workers slaughter live animals and sell their meat.

Blood and innards can be seen splattered all over the spaces, where carcasses of chicken and cattle hang from hooks or are piled in shopping carts.

At one facility, a dump truck arrived to collect buckets of red and brown muck.

Some chickens resorted to cannibalism, feasting on one of their own who had died in a cramped cage.

The coronavirus is believed to have emerged from such a market in the city of Wuhan, China late last year, leading the World Health Organization to urge countries across the world to close "dangerous" wet markets.

The NYC wet markets are in busy, densely populated parts of Queens and the Bronx, said Edita Birnkrant from NYCLASS, the animal rights group that filmed the videos.

“There is blood, guts and faeces all over the ground,” said Birnkrant, who has witnessed unsanitary conditions at several of NYC’s more than 80 wet markets.

“It often gets hosed onto the street and into the sewer, and you have New Yorkers just walking through this, who can track it on their shoes, into the subway, and home.”

“It’s a perfect storm for future pandemics. Anybody can see that this is not okay.”

There are more than 80 wet market facilities in New York City, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

A spokesperson from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets told ABC7:

“It is important to note that the CDC and the USDA have stated that there is no evidence that domestic animals can spread COVID-19 to humans. The greatest risk of transmission remains human to human contact."

Wet markets do not fall under the jurisdiction of the New York City Health Department.

New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is drafting legislation arguing these facilities should not operate as slaughter markets.

Wet markets traditionally sell fresh produce and live animals, such as fish and exotic animals, which are butchered in the open air.

They tend to be popular with shoppers who believe the items on sale are cheaper and fresher than in supermarkets.

But they're often poorly regulated.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr David Nabarro, a WHO special envoy on Covid-19, said its advice is to actually shut wet markets.

Although the group does not "have the capacity to police the world" and can only "offer advice and guidance, there’s very clear advice from the Food and Agriculture Organisation and WHO.

"There are real dangers in these kinds of environments.

“Seventy-five per cent of emerging infections come from the animal kingdom.

"It’s partly the markets, but it’s also other places where humans and animals are in close contact," he added.

He's urged people to "make absolutely certain that you’re not creating opportunities for viral spread."

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