San Francisco Live Bird Markets Campaign Gets Bigger, Draws Media

Chickens are “crammed into paper bags and carried around screaming and yelling horrifically. The cruelty is very obvious and severe.” – Andrew Zollman, organizer of LGBT Compassion’s Live Markets Campaign, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 7, 2011.

Although cruelty to animals is illegal under California Penal Code 597, section 597.3 exempts live market “poultry” from coverage. As a result, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office refuses to prosecute the city’s live bird market vendors for numerous ongoing cruelty violations, including stuffing crying chickens in bags for customers to carry off and kill at home. Stumped by the DA’s inaction, LGBT Compassion has accelerated its powerful grassroots campaign which began in April 2009 to educate customers and others about the horrific animal cruelty, public health code violations and other city law-breaking the vendors are getting away with.

Last year, United Poultry Concerns joined forces with LGBT Compassion by coauthoring a bristling handout brochure, “What’s Wrong with Live Chickens at Farmers Markets” in English and Chinese, highlighting the abuses – above all, the terrible suffering of the birds (mostly hens) being trucked every week from industrial farms to the markets – and urging the public to protest to law enforcement, avoid the markets and eat compassionately. For more information about this campaign and other live poultry markets, see

chicken wants out

In addition to their regular weekly protest demonstrations, videotaping of violations, and a steady stream of letters to city officials, LGBT Compassion has launched predawn protests at taxpayer-subsidized Raymond Young Poultry in San Francisco’s UN Plaza. This vendor complains of a 20 percent loss in trade thanks to the activists. Great!!! In an email to UPC, Andrew Zollman wrote:

“Our newest tactic focuses on the fact that their permit doesn’t allow farmers’ market activities before 6 a.m., but Raymond Young gets there before 5 and begins selling right away – violating many sections of the Park Code. We also discovered that restaurants are arriving very early and buying huge quantities of birds. 3 guys made at least 5 trips back and forth to their truck, loading it with probably 100 birds. That could be newsworthy and stop some of the market’s biggest customers.”

Sad Chinese Woman Watching Video
Sad Chinese Woman Watches Video on the Verge of Tears

alemany_bird_in_bag (43K) live animals dont belong in bags