End Animal Abuse at San Francisco Farmers' Markets

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Originally Posted: 24 June 2009

End Animal Abuse at San Francisco Farmers' Markets

From LGBT Compassion

Help end abuse to animals in San Francisco's live animal markets.

Tell the San Francisco District Attorney to pursue prosecution of live animal vendors whose cases have been turned over to Animal Care and Control.

Tell market management they may be found personally guilty for laws violated by their vendors, and ask that they ensure that their vendors abide by the laws or be banned from the markets.


San Francisco District Attorney
Criminal Division
Hall of Justice
850 Bryant Street, Room 322
San Francisco CA 94103
(415) 553-1751
email and email

Property managers where live animal markets are held:

Christine Adams, Manager
The Heart of the City Farmers Market Community Advisory Board
1182 Market Street #412
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 558-9455
[email protected]

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 Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 824-9662


Live animal vendors at San Francisco's farmers' markets overcrowd animals in direct sunlight with no water, cram animals upside-down in paper bags inside plastic bags, and set aside injured birds for later sale or eventual dispatch. Customers then take them home (often in their car trunks, after carrying them around shopping) and kill them when and how they wish (for food, ritual sacrifice or fighting), unsupervised and unregulated - these "spent hens" (worn-out egg-laying birds) and "small game birds" are exempt from California's poultry slaughter laws, and these birds (along with rabbits) are exempt from federal slaughter laws.

We also witnessed them handling the live animals in abusive ways: tossing them (in the bags) onto the ground from high on the truck, packing them into cages so tightly they crush each other and can't move or get stuck, forcibly pulling them out of cages from their feet while they cry out in pain and fear, tying their feet and leaving them on the ground, and carrying them by their wings. Some animals escape, possibly to die a prolonged and agonizing death through starvation or exposure.

Cruelty to all animals is prohibited by California Penal Code sections 597(a), 597(b), 597a, 597t and 597.3 (597.3 applies to non-"poultry" birds only) - yet authorities currently refuse to fully enforce these laws when it comes to farm animals - even though no animals are exempt (except to the extent necessary for slaughter for food, for hunting and for research). Additionally, California Food and Agriculture Code section 26602 requires that all persons transporting poultry carry appropriate written records or they may be arrested without warrant.

It was also clear, at the Alemany market, that roosters were being sold for the purpose of illegal cock-fighting.

The Humane Society of the U.S. has a good article discussing the San Francisco live market problems here.

These chickens are apparently "spent" hens from an egg factory, purchased by the markets very inexpensively (as they are not "broiler" breeds). Such birds' bodies wear out prematurely - their bones depleted of calcium - after just a couple of years, due to unnatural egg production levels, stress and overall poor health.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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