PETITION TARGETS: NY State Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D.; NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot; and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo New York state should lead the world by example. How? By immediately closing down and permanently banning all cruel and dangerous live animal “wet” markets. New York is the epicenter for the global COVID-19 pandemic, and just like the wet markets in China that gave birth to the crisis, more than 80 dangerous live animal markets are operating today in New York City alone, despite the New York State of Pause Executive Order. Soaked wet with blood, guts, feces, and other bodily fluids and parts, these markets are ideal environments for the incubation and spreading of zoonotic diseases, as a mix of animals are jam-packed into tight cages awaiting slaughter. NYC is particularly susceptible to a new, even more uncontainable virus spreading through its population of over 8 million people, as all residents live in relatively close quarters. As live animal wet markets remain open, public health and safety are at risk. In addition to the current uncontained COVID virus, new variants of COVID could emerge, reinfecting humans and causing a global viral pandemic relapse. Such introductions could be more deadly, and plague even more people globally. The facts are clear: live animal markets — whether in Wuhan, China or on the streets of New York — are breeding grounds for deadly zoonotic diseases that then become communicable human-to-human viruses. The government must immediately shut them all down in the interest of public health and safety. Sign this petition urging lawmakers to do everything in their power to shut down all live animal markets in the state of New York.