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The HSUS and HSLF Applaud NY Bill to Protect Human and Animal Welfare

Live Poultry Markets in New York Have Spurred Concerns about Inhumane Slaughter, Avian Flu and Air Quality

The Humane Society of the United States

ALBANY, N.Y. — The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund commend New York Gov. David A. Paterson for signing bipartisan legislation that will protect public health and animal welfare by regulating the slaughter of birds and other animals at live poultry markets. 

The bill was sponsored in the Senate (S. 5920) by Sen. Frank Padavan, R-Queens, and in the Assembly (A. 246) by Assemblywoman Barbara M. Clark, D-Queens. The legislation forbids licensing any new animal slaughter facilities within 1,500 feet of a residential dwelling, effectively placing a four-year moratorium on new live poultry markets in New York City. 

“Closing these viral swap meets will reduce the likelihood that the next flu pandemic will emerge from New York City,” said Dr. Michael Greger, director of public health and animal agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States. 

"This legislation will help ensure that City residents have a sanitary, healthy and comfortable living environment by providing stricter oversight and licensing requirements for slaughter house establishments," Sen. Padavan said. "I thank Assemblywoman Clark and the Humane Society of the United States for their leadership on this issue and partnering with me in securing legislative approval on this measure."

“Community outcry over decreased quality of life, decreased home values, and other negative impacts has resulted from the unchecked proliferation of these markets,” said Assemblywoman Clark. “This legislation is intended to protect homeowners and communities by preventing the siting of these markets, which slaughter both chickens and small animals, in unsuitable locations. Hopefully, the city will follow suit by changing its zoning laws to reflect this legislation.” 


  • An analysis of the bird flu virus that infected a New Yorker was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that the strain found in NYC markets seems to be growing more human-like, raising the specter that live poultry markets in New York could lead to the emergence of a pandemic human virus.
  • In 2007, undercover investigators from The HSUS revealed unsanitary conditions at live bird markets that could pose a public health threat.


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.