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Doctors are calling on U.S policy-makers to ban live animal markets across the country.

The Physicians Committee (PCRM) – a nonprofit health organization whose 12,000 doctor members advocate a plant-based diet – has applauded China for announcing a plan to phase out the sale of live poultry.

PCRM describes live animal markets as ‘a breeding ground for organisms that may not cause disease in animal hosts but can be deadly to humans’.

A breeding grounds viruses

“If China can do it, why can’t we? Avoiding future pandemics like the COVID-19 global crisis requires a total ban on all live markets, including the 80 in New York City alone,” Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, president of the Physicians Committee, said.

“Poultry flocks are breeding grounds for influenza A viruses, and live animal markets are the source of coronavirus.”


This latest call follows a petition PCRM filed with Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, the U.S. Surgeon General in April, calling for the immediate closure of all U.S. live animal markets.

The Petition for Rulemaking, filed on April 7, is signed by numerous physicians including Eric J. Brandt, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and Michelle L. O’Donoghue, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School.

The petition stated: “Live animal markets are a welcome mat to coronaviruses. The failure to close a single live animal market in China led to a pandemic that has closed countless businesses worldwide and led to an enormous death toll and economic havoc. There must not be another pandemic.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.