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Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, Activists Rally at City Hall to Shut Down the 85 Live Animal Markets and Slaughterhouses in NYC

March 18, 2020 by 9 comments


The News

As New York City began to shut down due to the spread of COVID-19, approximately twenty public health and animal rights activists staged a rally at City Hall to demand that city and state health authorities shut down the 85 live animal markets and slaughterhouses in NYC. COVID-19, also known as the corona virus, is believed to have jumped to humans from animals being sold in a live animal market in Wuhan, China.

“Live markets, which are storefront slaughterhouses open to the public, are a petri dish of infectious diseases that jeopardize the health of all New Yorkers,” said Jill Carnegie, an organizer with Slaughter Free NYC.

Amid COVID-19 outbreak, public health and animal rights activists are asking New York City and State health officials, including NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot and Assistant Commission Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, to shut down the 85 live animal markets and slaughterhouses in NYC

After the corona virus outbreak was traced back to a “wet market” in Wuhan which sold wild and domesticated animals for meat, the Chinese government is reported to have shuttered live animal markets across the country.

“The pandemic didn’t happen to us; we brought it upon ourselves because we didn’t learn our lesson from bird flu, swine flu, mad cow, SARS and the many other infectious diseases that jumped to humans from the animals who we eat,” said Maureen Medina, an organizer with Slaughter Free NYC. “Mother Nature has sent us so many warnings, and we’ve put bandaids on all of them instead of taking the most obvious measure to prevent them, which is to switch to a plant-base diet.”

An estimated 85 live animal markets in NYC sell cows, chickens, goats, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits and others animals who they slaughter on site

Slaughter Free NYC and The Save Movement have been staging vigils and conducting educational outreach at live markets in NYC. Organizers hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will be a wake-up call for elected officials and for the New York City Department of Health and NY State Ag & Markets who have, until now, ignored their pleas to shutter the city’s live markets.  Slaughter Free NYC has launched a petition.

Slaughter Free NYC Petition to Shut Down Live Animal Markets and Slaughterhouses in heavily populated five boroughs of New York


Animal Rights Activists Protest Canada Goose’s Flagship Store in NYC

February 26, 2020 by 2 comments


The News

Animal rights activists with Total Liberation New York confronted dozens of pedestrians wearing fur while staging a protest at the Canada Goose’s flagship store in Soho, New York City. Canada Goose, a luxury outerwear company, has been a target of anti-fur activists for several years because it uses coyote fur as a decorative trim on its popular winter coats and claims that the animals are “ethically sourced.”

“At a time when the mainstream public was moving away from fur, Canada Goose normalized wearing it again,” said Shay Navon, a protest organizer with Total Liberation New York. “To make matters worse, the Company preys on its customers good intentions, making them feel good about purchasing fur by claiming that the animals slaughtered for the coats were treated humanely.”

Canada Goose decorates the hoods of its winter coats with the fur of coyotes who are captured in steel leg hold traps and shot in the head

In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission threatened to take false advertising enforcement action against Canada Goose over its claims about animal sourcing, but it decided against it because the company took “corrective action.” Nevertheless, Canada Goose continues to claim on its website that the animals slaughtered for their coats are treated humanely.

On its website, Canada Goose claims that the coyotes and geese slaughtered for its coats are treated humanely

Animal rights activists have been protesting Canada Goose stores in its North American and London retail stores, at the Company’s corporate headquarters in Toronto and at the home of owner, Dani Reiss.

Anti-fur activists protest at the Canada Goose store in New York City


Animal Rights Activists Protest at Manhattan Slaughterhouse

February 21, 2020 by 7 comments


The News

Slaughter Free NYC, a grassroots animal rights group advocating to shut down the nearly 100 slaughterhouses in the five boroughs of New York City, staged a protest at a “live market” in Inwood, a largely Hispanic neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. Live markets are storefront slaughterhouses where consumers can pick out animals in cages and have them slaughtered on site.

The protesters were joined by local area residents who assert that the slaughterhouse compromises their quality of life by polluting their sidewalk with contaminants and exposing them to infectious disease. “You never saw that in a good avenue,” said a local Dominican American man of the slaughterhouse. “This is Hispanic neighborhood. Poor people. They don’t know the infections this could bring to you.”

Activists with Slaughter Free NYC stage a protest and conduct educational outreach at a slaughterhouse in upper Manhattan

Mariolis Espinal, a woman in her 20s who lives on the same street as the slaughterhouse, joined the protest to speak out against both the public health risks and the animal cruelty. “I walk my dog through here every morning, and they leave a lot of dead animals on the floor. It’s wrong, so why is it still happening?”

At live markets in NYC, customers choose the live animals who the want to buy, and workers slaughter them on site.

Slaughter Free NYC launched in January 2020, when local activists learned of a New York City mandate that prohibits issuing new slaughterhouse licenses to any location within 1,500 feet of a residence, which is most of NYC.  “The language of this mandate, passed unanimously, illustrates the very reason why all slaughterhouse operations should cease within city limits, not only new businesses,” said Jill Carnegie, a co-organizer of Slaughter Free NYC. “These slaughterhouses not only pose a health threat, but they also jeopardize property values, exploit workers who are mostly undocumented immigrants, and dramatically impact quality of life for neighborhood residents with horrible odors and sounds of animals fighting for their lives.”

Before the vigil began, several activists entered the live market to document the conditions in which the chickens are held prior to slaughter. “You can hear them screaming. They’re intensively confined. They cannibalize each other. They’re dead in the cages,” said Slaughter Free NYC co-organizer Maureen Medina.

Chickens are stored in feces covered cages until they are purchased and slaughtered

The group is flooding the city reporting mechanism, 311, and New York State’s Agriculture and Markets agency with violation complaints. “Live Markets operate in a grey area between multiple city, state, and federal agencies. According to Jill Carnegie, these agencies consistently pass responsibility to each other, leaving these slaughterhouses free to violate the laws and with little to no oversight.

After customers select the live chickens who they want to purchase, slaughterhouse workers grab them from their cages and bring them into the back room to be killed

“Slaughterhouses are bad for everyone – animals, workers, communities, and the planet,” added Carnegie, “They have a devastating impact on public health and even undermine our struggles against prejudice, inequality, injustice, and violence.”


Animal Rights Activists Stage “March of Silence” in Grand Central Station

February 17, 2020 by 3 comments


The News

On Valentine’s Day, dozens of animal rights activists in New York City staged a silent demonstration in the center of Grand Central Station. Displaying posters with messages of peace, love and nonviolence, activists captured the attention of thousands of commuters and tourists during the afternoon rush hour.

According to the March of Silence, the organization behind the silent demonstrations, participants promote “human rights, animal liberation and environmental conservation.” while silently demonstrating “in solidarity with all who suffer from violence.” The organization’s goal is to “generate peace in the world by bringing awareness to the exploitation of all beings, as well as environmental devastation.”  The March of Silence has 19 chapters in five countries, including the United States, France, Mexico, Switzerland and Columbia.

Animal Rights Activists Stage “March of Silence” in Grand Central Station, NYC

“Veganism is not about being angry,” said Kiirstin Marilyn, an organizer with the NYC chapter of the March of Silence. “It really is a love-based movement, so we thought it would be a great thing to come out here on Valentine’s Day.”

Animal Rights activists in New York City participate in a Valentine’s Day March of Silence in solidarity with the human and non-human victims of violence


Animal Rights Activists Protest at the NYC Homes of Trophy Hunters Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr

February 14, 2020 by 2 comments


The News

During the 2020 Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH) on February 8th, dozens of animal rights activists in New York City staged protests at the homes of America’s two most infamous trophy hunters, Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. Activists marched 20 blocks from Eric and Lara Trump’s apartment on Central Park South to the Central Park West home that Donald Trump, Jr. shares with his fiancé, President Trump advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Throughout the day, hundreds of pedestrians stopped to engage with the activists, and many spoke to TheirTurn about their thoughts on trophy hunting.

During the 2020 Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting, animal rights activists in NYC protest at the homes of Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr.

WRATH events are staged each year to coincide with an annual trophy hunting convention organized by Safari Club International, a 50,000 member association “dedicated to protecting the freedom to hunt.”  Donald Trump, Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle played prominent roles at the 2020 convention, with Trump Jr. auctioning off a hunting trip with himself and Guilfoyle hosting a fundraising breakfast for the organization.

Donald Trump, Jr. and his fiancé Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Trump advisor, host fundraising events at Safari Club International’s annual trophy hunting convention

“We are grateful to the activists around the world who came together to raise awareness about the ego-driven and senseless murder of countless wild animals by trophy hunters,” said Carrie LeBlanc, the Executive Director of CompassionWorks International, a Nevada-based animal rights organization that created WRATH. “We stand with conservation groups across the world in developing strategies for sustaining and growing populations of wild animals that do not involve their senseless massacre.”

Hunters Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump pose with their elephant and cape buffalo trophies

Opposition to trophy hunting entered the mainstream public when an American trophy hunter, Walter Palmer, killed Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe who was well known to park rangers and a favorite among tourists on safari. In spite of the outrage and backlash against Palmer, trophy hunters continue to shoot endangered wild animals and pose for photos with their bodies. Through education, lobbying, and other forms of grass-roots activism, CompassionWorks International and several other animal protection groups around the world are working to stigmatize and outlaw trophy hunting.

Walter Palmer, a trophy hunter from Minnesota, killed and beheaded Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe.

For more information about WRATH and CompassionWorks International’s advocacy to end trophy hunting, please visit CWI’s online and TrumpAnimalHunters on Facebook.