Thank you to everyone who signed the petition to close the live animal markets in San Francisco, CA. The petition has been forwarded to the Humane League of Voters in CA that will present the names to the authorities who govern the market.
San Francisco's live markets abuse not only domestic fowl like chickens and ducks -- but also frogs, turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, game birds, fish and lobster. Turtles suffer some of the worst conditions...
To date, no merchant has been prosecuted under California Penal Code 597(a),597(b), 597a, and 597t, which outlaw cruelty to ALL animals. California's
food/agriculture code is also ignored each time customers move live birds on public transit and inside car trunks. Animals are ferried into restaurants,
buses, trains, and shared dwellings -- often kept alive to be "fresh killed" prior to meals -- in violation of San Francisco's Health Code 050.
SF authorities have not enforced animal welfare and human safety laws, citing an exemption for "poultry" and domestic fowl. But California law 599b identifies "animal" as "all dumb animals" and 597(b) specifies that "every person who causes any animal...to be tortured, tormented, deprived of sustenance, drink, or shelter...is guilty of a crime."
Regarding the live animals being sold at markets in San Francisco - I am dismayed the District Attorney has failed to prosecute merchants functioning in violation of state law. I understand a poultry exemption, listed exclusively under California Penal Code section 597.3, is cited as justification to do nothing -- even as birds are routinely confined without water or shade, squashed upside-down in closed bags, thrown to the ground from trucks, and crushed inside filing-drawer size cages.
California Penal Code sections 597(a), 597(b), 597a, and 597t outlaw cruelty to all animals. I hope the District Attorney's office prosecutes violators and seeks maximum penalties as defined by complete law.
I respectfully urge the Commission of Animal Control and Welfare to direct Animal Care and Control and the DA to uphold cruelty laws. Additionally, please ensure enforcement of the California Food and Agriculture Code. Section 26602 requires those transporting poultry to bring proper records or face arrest without warrant. Why doesn't this Code apply to consumers who move live birds on public transit or inside car trunks for use in slaughter, religious sacrifice, or animal fighting?
I call upon the Department of Public Health to investigate live animal markets from a human safety perspective. Animals are ferried into restaurants, buses, rapid transit trains, and shared dwellings -- often kept alive to be "fresh-killed" prior to meal preparation. Please impose regulations such as San Francisco's Health Code 050: "No live bird or fowl shall be kept or allowed in a food facility."
Lastly, I ask market management itself to consider the potential for personal liability in cases that involve illegal actions by their vendors. Unethical and law-breaking vendors should be banned from markets.
Cruelty is cruelty. Wrenching animals by their feet or wings is cruel. Audible cries of distress from animals indicate suffering. California law 599b identifies "animal" as "all dumb animals" and California Penal Code 597(b) specifies that "every person who causes any animal...to be tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter...is for every such offense, guilty of a crime."
San Francisco's live animal markets are disgraceful, but city officials have an opportunity to set a humane precedent. Thank you for your prompt attention to this disturbing matter.
The Stop Live Animal Markets! petition to California League of Humane Voters was written by Kinship Circle and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.