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Taiwan to ban live bird markets

Jan 29, 2008

Birds at a Taiwanese wet market

WSPA and member society the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) welcome the government of Taiwan's public confirmation that a ban on live bird markets will come into effect in April 2008.

During a meeting with EAST and WSPA in November 2007, the government had stated that the ban would go ahead in April; both EAST and WSPA offered their support to make this happen.

WSPA supported EAST’s campaign to ban these markets – also know as ‘wet’ markets – throughout 2006 and 2007.

WSPA Programs Manager, Amy Firth, who visited the markets during this time, said:

My first visit to a wet market was a real shock. This particular market was the largest in Taiwan, processing over 80,000 birds a day. Once at the market birds are sorted by weight, which is very hard to watch. The handling is extremely rough and we saw a lot of birds with broken legs or wings. After sorting they are stacked in cages one on top the other, loaded on a lorry and trucked out to another market.

“Some birds are kept behind to be killed onsite. Slaughter methods are extremely primitive – it’s fair to say that every bird we saw that day will have suffered a traumatic death. Quite a number were still conscious when they were put into the scalding tank for de-feathering.”

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