PETA Urges Government to Cut Deadly Animal-Borne Diseases Off at the Source

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2020

Manila — As COVID-19 continues to spread, PETA sent an urgent e-mail this morning asking Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William D. Dar to close live-animal meat markets, or “wet markets,” across the Philippines permanently, pointing out that markets crammed full of sick and stressed animals are breeding grounds for deadly diseases.

“It’s a matter of when—not if—the next pandemic will occur, as long as live-animal markets are permitted to continue endangering both humans and other animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA is urging the Philippines to take the next logical step and close these dangerous operations.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that deadly outbreaks of swine flu, avian flu, SARS, HIV, Ebola, hoof-and-mouth disease, mad cow disease, and other maladies have stemmed from capturing or farming animals for food. Live-animal markets are perfect breeding grounds for diseases, which can jump from various other species to humans, since stressed, injured, and sickly animals are commonly caged in public areas and on sidewalks—where feces, blood, and offal can contaminate buyers and sellers and be tracked into restaurants or homes.

While some live-animal markets in China have closed, possibly temporarily, many continue to operate throughout Asia, including the Balintawak Public Market and Farmers’ Market in Manila.

PETA’s letter is available here. For more information, please visit