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NJ Dept. of Health: Judith M. Persichilli (commissioner); https://www.state.nj.us/health/healthfacilities/contact.shtml#5 NJ Dept. of Ag: [email protected] NJ Gov: Phil Murphy (https://www.nj.gov/governor/contact/all/) NY Dept. of Health: Commissioner Mary Bassett ([email protected])NY Dept. of Ag: https://agriculture.ny.gov/contact-us NY Gov: Kathy Hochul (https://agriculture.ny.gov/contact-us)

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PETITION TARGET: New York and New Jersey Governors, Departments of Health, and Departments of Agriculture

UPDATE (6/12/2023): Lady Freethinker received a letter from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture noting that since our report was published, inspectors found violations at one of the live bird markets and that, in collaboration with the local health department, the facility has been shut down since February 2023. In response to their letter, we also would like to inform our readers that animals’ welfare is of paramount importance at Lady Freethinker and that our investigators will always take biosecurity precautions so as not to jeopardize any animal’s health (although we also note that these precautions are not insisted on for the general public visiting these markets). We thank everyone who signed our petition for these animals, and we will keep doing all we can for animals everywhere. —Lady Freethinker Staff


A new Lady Freethinker investigation revealed dead and suffering animals stacked in tiny, feces-covered cages or packed in cramped enclosures, lying in their own waste at live markets in New York and New Jersey.

“Live animal markets” are slaughterhouses where customers choose living animals to have butchered on-site. LFT’s investigator visited 17 of them throughout New York and New Jersey and found animals who appeared sick and stressed at every single one. 

Ducks, chickens, rabbits, and others were packed in small cages stacked on top of each other, covered in urine and fecal matter. Goats, sheep, cows, and lambs languished in tiny enclosures, with no room to run or explore. Feces were often smeared on the walls around them.

Chickens are extraordinary animals who have profound memories, protect their babies, and have better color vision than humans, but LFT’s investigator frequently saw them missing feathers, and stuffed in dirty cages. When customers placed an order, the birds – sometimes three or more at a time – were yanked out of the cages by their legs or sensitive wings, had their legs tied together, and were hung upside down and weighed.  Most screamed out and attempted to get away.  Then they were hauled off to their death.

Many markets are just blocks away from homes, schools and restaurants, meaning blood and excrement could be spread into residential areas and businesses. 

As the world continues to battle COVID-19 – which reportedly started in a live animal market – it’s crucial that live markets be shut down to save the lives of animals AND humans. As long as they remain open, animals will continue to suffer and public health will remain at risk.

The time is long overdue for these markets of horror to be shut down for good!

You can help make a difference for animals today by signing our petition urging authorities in New York and New Jersey to immediately close all live animal markets and ban them for good.

Then please make sure to read our full investigative report here.