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New York legislature cracks down on the proliferation of live animal slaughter markets

The Humane Society of the United States commends the New York Legislature for passing S.7345 / A.10170, which extends a four-year moratorium prohibiting the licensing of any new live animal slaughter markets within 1,500 feet of a residential dwelling in New York City. The bill will be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

Reauthorizing this law would keep in check the proliferation of storefront slaughter facilities, which have spurred global concerns about inhumane slaughter, avian flu and decreased quality of life for nearby residents. Championed by Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, and Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Queens, the bill recently passed both the Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support.

“City-based live slaughter markets are notorious for exposing animals to filthy, cruel and inhumane conditions,” said Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States commends Senator Martins and Assembly Member Weprin for showing leadership by protecting animal welfare and upholding public health in New York City.”

"Public safety is priority number one; people deserve to live in sanitary, healthy and comfortable living environments,” said Sen. Martins. “Locating slaughterhouses in residential areas negatively impacts those communities, and stopping the proliferation of slaughterhouses near residential dwellings is an important protection for communities and the residents who live in them. Continuing these important safeguards is imperative to protecting both public health and quality of life.”

"Prohibiting the placement of live poultry markets in dense, urban and residential areas ensures a sanitary, healthy and comfortable living environment for New Yorkers," said Assemblyman David Weprin. "This legislation continues to safeguard New Yorkers from the possible emergence and spread of infectious diseases while also promoting animal welfare and maintaining our quality of life. For the operators of unsanitary and inhumane slaughterhouses, the chickens have come home to roost."

According to the New York State Consumer Protection Board, New York City has the largest number of live bird markets compared to other cities in the United States. Each of the approximately 80 New York City markets in operation may maintain up to 208,000 live birds each year with estimated total sales of 12 to 17 million birds annually citywide. Storefront slaughter facilities can act as breeding grounds for the emergence and spread of infectious diseases. The emergence of SARS and the deadly strain of avian influenza H5N1 have both been linked to live animal markets in China.


  • S.7345 / A.10170 extends the expiring 2012 state law originally enacted in 2008.
  • From Jan. 25, 2012 to Oct. 9, 2013 Japan banned importation of all poultry from New York State following the discovery of two cases of low-pathogenic avian influenza detected at a Brooklyn live animal slaughter market.


Media Contact: Vincenza Previte: 240-551-9092; vprevite@humanesociety.org

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