16 June 2020

Los Angeles City Council Considers an Ordinance to Ban Live Animal Markets

Prompted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the LA City Council is considering an ordinance to prohibit the “Sale of Living Animals For Human Consumption.” The proposed ordinance was introduced as a Motion by Council Members Paul Koretz and Bob Blumenfield on April 7, 2020. The Motion has been referred to the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts, and River Committee.

In the following letter, United Poultry Concerns expresses support for the proposed ordinance. The letter was posted on June 15, 2020 in separate emails to All City Council Members; Councilmen Koretz and Blumenfield; and Chair of the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts, and River Committee, David Ryu.

See also the May 28, 2020 letter to the City Council from PawPAC, which is leading the lobby on behalf of the proposed ordinance to ban live animal sales/markets in Los Angeles.


UPC logo

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
Phone: 757-678-7875 • FAX: 757-678-5070

June 15, 2020

The Honorable David Ryu, Chair
Los Angeles City Council
Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts and River Committee
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Via Email: EMAIL

Dear Council Chair Ryu:

On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, a national nonprofit organization, I am writing to you in support of the ordinance that proposes a ban on the Sale of Living Animals For Human Consumption (Council File Number 20-0425). My letter specifically addresses the sale of chickens and other poultry, and why including these birds in the proposed ban matters.

According to Michael Greger, MD, in Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching, evidence suggests that all human and mammalian flu viruses owe their origins to avian influenza. Avian influenza viruses in their disease-producing form appear to have originated in Asia’s live animal (“wet”) markets. These viruses have become more globally prevalent as a result of increased transnational human travel as well as the global spread of industrial poultry production, of which live poultry markets are extensions.

Professor Kennedy Shortridge, the virologist who first characterized the deadly avian virus H5N1 in Asia, calls live poultry markets, with their assemblage of adult birds from a variety of unregulated, undisclosed sources, an “avian influenza virus melting pot.”

In the markets, chickens, ducks, quail, geese and other birds are crammed together in small cages often stacked high, forcing birds in the upper cages to defecate on those below. Feathers and feces, blood and intestines are everywhere. According to the World Health Organization, live-market birds are slaughtered on the spot “with very little regard for hygiene.” Or they are taken home to be slaughtered under conditions that in many if not most situations are profoundly unsanitary.

Close confinement of live-market birds, many of whom are sick and dying of undiagnosed diseases by the time they reach the markets, facilitates the formation of new viruses and their transmission to other birds, other animals and humans. The disease-proliferating squalor of live bird/animal markets is well-documented. In any case, all one need do to confirm the disease potential of these places is to visit them personally.

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic draws our attention to the human disease-risk of live poultry/animal markets, it is prudent to ban these markets in Los Angeles and everywhere they exist. I respectfully urge you to seize the present opportunity to prohibit the sale of all live animals for human consumption in the city of Los Angeles.

Thank you for your consideration.



Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns
12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
Office: 757-678-7875
Email: Karen@UPC-online.org


United Poultry Concerns is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. https://www.upc-online.org

Federal ID: 52-1705678