| Last updated
WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
Lawmakers in New York and California are calling for a shutdown of 'wet markets' in their states.
California state Senator Henry Stern and New York Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal have joined forces with an animal protection advocacy group called Social Compassion in Legislation to put together a plan for their states which would mean the markets would no longer be able to operate.
The calls have come following concerns that such markets, where animals are slaughtered and butchered, could spread 'zoonotic' diseases, such as Covid-19, which is believed to have started in a wet market in Wuhan, China.
Speaking to ABC7, Rosenthal said: "It's too great a danger to have these markets that have been shown through inspection records and hidden camera investigations to be filthy. It's not safe. It's not safe.
"And in this Covid-19 period, we know diseases jump from animals to humans, especially when species are mixed and that is the state at a lot of these markets."
In New York alone there are more than 80 of the live-animal markets and slaughterhouses selling a wide range of meat including chickens, rabbits, quail and goats.
Rosenthal told Fox News: "Many live animal markets in New York are filthy places where neighbours complain about unbearable odours and blood and animal faeces covering the surrounding public sidewalks and streets.
"These markets, where live animals are slaughtered on site and sold directly to the public, are breeding grounds for cruelty and disease.
"In addition to the well-documented cruelty to animals, unsanitary conditions like these endanger the health and safety of New Yorkers, and these markets must be closed down.
"The devastation wrought by Covid-19 should serve as a grim warning that live animal markets have no place in today's society."
In California, Stern's bill would mean that the import and sale of exotic or wild animals would be outlawed.
In a statement he said: "We need to stop the brutal trade in exotic and endangered wildlife once and for all. Whether it's a pangolin being sold for faulty medicine, a white Bengal tiger being enslaved for entertainment, or a black rhino 'trophy' used to satisfy some misguided hunter's ego, California must put an end to wildlife trafficking."
Animal rights group PETA has thrown its support behind the new bills, saying it 'applauds the progressive legislators' for showing compassion towards animals.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read