New York Stops Proliferation of Live Animal Slaughter Markets

The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 800,000 supporters in New York, applauds Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature for acting to extend a four-year moratorium forbidding the licensing of any new live animal slaughter markets within 1,500 ft. of a residential dwelling in New York City. The bipartisan bill extending the moratorium, A.9158/S.6383, was passed by the legislature last month and signed into law by the governor last Friday.

Championed by Assembly Member Barbara Clark, D-Queens, and Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, the law stops the proliferation of storefront slaughter facilities, which have spurred global concerns about inhumane slaughter, avian flu and decreased quality of life for nearby residents.

“The last thing New Yorkers need is more of these bloody, dirty and inhumane storefront slaughterhouses, especially where we live, eat and sleep,” said Patrick Kwan, New York state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States commends Assembly Member Barbara Clark, Sen. Jack Martins, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senator Majority Leader Dean Skelos for their humane leadership in acting swiftly to protect animal welfare, public health and quality of life for New Yorkers.”

“Community outcry over negative impacts, such as decreased home values and increased risk of disease, has resulted from the unchecked proliferation of these markets,” said Assemblywoman Clark. “With this legislation, I intend to protect the homeowners and communities in my district by preventing these markets, which slaughter both chickens and small animals, from operating in unsuitable locations. This is a sanitation issue, a clean environment issue and an overall quality of life issue.”

“The safety of our citizens is our number one priority and residents deserve to live in sanitary, healthy and comfortable living environments,” said Sen. Martins. “This legislation will prevent the licensing of any additional live slaughter markets near a residential dwelling. Continuing to locate these live slaughter markets in residential areas will continue to impact communities negatively. Preventing additional poultry slaughter markets from proliferating neighborhoods will help city inspectors regulate those that exist. The result will be greater safety of the residents and more humane treatment of the animals.”

According to the New York State Consumer Protection Board, New York City has the largest number of live bird markets of any metropolis in the U.S. 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.


  • A.9158/S.6383 extends the expiring 2008 state law sponsored by Assembly Member Clark and Sen. Frank Padavan, R-Queens, and advocated by The HSUS.  
  • As of Jan. 25, 2012, Japan banned importation of all poultry from New York state following the discovery of two recent cases of low-pathogenic avian influenza detected at a Brooklyn live animal slaughter market.

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