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Originally Posted: 1 August 2009
Cruelty For Sale At San Francisco Live Animal Markets
From Kinship Circle
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
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FULL CONTACT INFORMATION
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
phone (415) 554-6074
U.N. Plaza (Civic Center)
Christine Adams, Manager
The Heart of the City Farmers Market Community Advisory Board
1182 Market Street, #412
San Francisco, CA 94102
phone (415) 558-9455
Amy Brown, Director of Real Estate
Real Estate Division City and County of San Francisco
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94102
Reverend Rance Whiteside
Good Hope Baptist Church
551 Nevada Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
phone (415) 824-9662
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SAMPLE LETTER. This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue. WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER using these talking points.
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.
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