Asian wet markets still ‘filthy’ despite coronavirus pandemic, PETA video shows

By | May 17, 2020

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A shocking graphic video posted on Twitter this week shows conditions in Asian “wet markets” haven’t changed despite a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 307,000 people worldwide.

The images, posted by PETA Asia, show pigs, frogs, eels, monkeys, rabbits and other animals crowded in cages and then slaughtered in conditions the animal rights organization describes as “filthy.”

Some of the caged animals are kept in the street, close to parked vehicles.

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WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO

PETA Asia claims the images were recorded in April — at wet markets in China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia — weeks after the coronavirus had already spread from China to nations throughout the world.

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Several of the images show blood and other fluids splattering as workers – many of them without gloves – hack animals apart with cleavers, long knives or scissors. The animal parts are then stocked on countertops or hanging on hooks, with flying insects often shown buzzing around them.

Vendors sell fish and poultry at an outdoor wet market in Shanghai, Nov. 15, 2012. (Getty Images)

Vendors sell fish and poultry at an outdoor wet market in Shanghai, Nov. 15, 2012. (Getty Images)

“PETA is calling on government officials to shut down these Petri dishes for pandemics,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a news release announcing the video.

“PETA is calling on government officials to shut down these Petri dishes for pandemics.”

— PETA President Ingrid Newkirk

The video notes that the World Health Organization has declared the live-animal markets a risk to public health – although last month the WHO called for the markets to be “well regulated and managed” rather than shuttered.

The WHO has been under fire for not seeking better data from China regarding the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan that is regarded as the origin point for the pandemic.

​​​​​​​Seafood vendors prepare fresh fish at a wet market in Beijing, July 3, 2007. (Getty Images)

​​​​​​​Seafood vendors prepare fresh fish at a wet market in Beijing, July 3, 2007. (Getty Images)

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In April, Dr. Anthony Fauci of President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, questioned the continued existence of the wet markets during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

“It boggles my mind how, when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we just don’t shut it down,” Fauci said at the time. “I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that.”

“It boggles my mind how, when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we just don’t shut it down.”

— Dr. Anthony Fauci, Coronavirus Task Force

President Trump has threatened to halt U.S. funding for the WHO, but Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” reported Friday that the Trump administration was close to a deal to restore at least part of the U.S. contribution to the United Nations-affiliated agency.

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“Despite [its] shortcomings, I believe that the WHO still has tremendous potential, and want to see the WHO live up to this potential, particularly now during this global crisis,” a draft letter to the WHO reads, apparently in President Trump’s voice.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the letter calls on the WHO to take any specific action regarding wet markets.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Griff Jenkins, Greg Norman and Joshua Nelson contributed to this story.

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