7/21/09: Cruelty For Sale At Live Animal Markets
LT PHOTO: 4/8/09, A chicken manages to dislodge her head from a tiny cage
packed with other birds. RT PHOTO: This vendor (Chase Benton) was stuffing 8 partridges at a time into one bag. SOURCE + MORE PHOTOS: http://www.lgbtcompassion.org/livemarkets/photos-cc.htm
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TO: San Francisco District Attorney Kamala D. Harris; Commission of Animal
Control & Welfare; Department of Animal Care and Control; San Francisco
Department of Public Health; Market Managers
Please accept my comments regarding San Francisco’s live animal vendors. I
am dismayed the District Attorney has failed to prosecute merchants
functioning in violation of state law. I understand a poultry exemption,
listed exclusively under California Penal Code section 597.3, is cited as
justification to do nothing — even as birds are routinely confined without
water or shade, squashed upside-down in closed bags, thrown to the ground
from trucks, and crushed inside filing-drawer size cages.
California Penal Code sections 597(a), 597(b), 597a, and 597t outlaw cruelty
to all animals. I hope the District Attorney’s office prosecutes violators
and seeks maximum penalties as defined by complete law.
I respectfully urge the Commission of Animal Control and Welfare to direct
Animal Care and Control and the DA to uphold cruelty laws. Additionally,
please ensure enforcement of the California Food and Agriculture Code.
Section 26602 requires those transporting poultry to bring proper records or
face arrest without warrant. Why doesn’t this Code apply to consumers who
move live birds on public transit or inside car trunks for use in slaughter,
religious sacrifice, or animal fighting?
I call upon the Department of Public Health to investigate live animal
markets from a human safety perspective. Animals are ferried into
restaurants, buses, rapid transit trains, and shared dwellings — often kept
alive to be “fresh-killed” prior to meal preparation. Please impose
regulations such as San Francisco’s Health Code 050: “No live bird or fowl
shall be kept or allowed in a food facility.”
Lastly, I ask market management itself to consider the potential for
personal liability in cases that involve illegal actions by their vendors.
Unethical and law-breaking vendors should be banned from markets.
Cruelty is cruelty. Wrenching animals by their feet or wings is cruel.
Audible cries of distress from animals indicate suffering. California law
599b identifies “animal” as “all dumb animals” and California Penal Code
597(b) specifies that “every person who causes any animal…to be tortured,
tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter…is for
every such offence, guilty of a crime.”
San Francisco’s live animal markets are disgraceful, but city officials have
an opportunity to set a humane precedent. Thank you for your prompt
attention to this disturbing matter.
COMPLETE CONTACT INFORMATION
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala D. Harris
Criminal Division, Hall of Justice
850 Bryant Street, Room 322; San Francisco, CA 94103
email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Commission of Animal Control and Welfare
Attn: Commission of Animal Control & Welfare
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 362
San Francisco, CA 94102
San Francisco Department of Public Health
1390 Market St., Suite 210; San Francisco, CA 94102
ph: 415-252-3800; fax: 415-252-3875
email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
U.N. Plaza (Civic Center)
Christine Adams, Manager
The Heart of the City Farmers Market Community Advisory Board
1182 Market St. #412; San Francisco, CA 94102
ph: 415-558-9455; email: email@example.com
Amy Brown, Director of Real Estate
Real Estate Division City and County of San Francisco
25 Van Ness Ave., Ste. 400; San Francisco, CA 94102
Reverend Rance Whiteside
Good Hope Baptist Church
551 Nevada St.; San Francisco, CA 94110
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
Live Chickens Sold in Sealed Bags by San Francisco Markets
Animal Abuse at San Francisco Farmers’ Markets
California Penal Code: Animal Welfare Provisions
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