Live Bird Sales Banned at Farmer’s Market

Raymond Young’s Poultry has been selling spent hens by the thousands annually at the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market in San Francisco, Calif. for the past 20 years to people who are into DIY slaughter. As of May 27, he will no longer be welcome there.

Animal welfare organizations including LGBT Compassion, In Defense of Animals (IDA), United Poultry Concerns and Bay Area Vegetarians, along with activists have been protesting the sale of live birds for years, claiming that in addition to involving cruelty to animals, live bird sales pose a potential health hazard for people.

The San Francisco Health Department received many complaints for health violations, and Animal Care and Control also received complaints for cruelty. While citations and warnings were issued, the district attorney declined to do anything.

LGBT Compassion filed a lawsuit in January against the market for cruelty and civil rights violations after a Young employee punched an activist, Alex Felsinger, in the face and stole his camera. However, according to the market, the move to ban sales is voluntary.

“Every year, this ban will protect over 100,000 chickens, quail, and other small birds from the miserable and terrifying experience of being overcrowded in small cages, transported in extreme weather, shoved upside down into a paper bag, and butchered in backyards and kitchens in San Francisco,” according to IDA.

Bullfeathers Quail, another bird vendor, will also be banned. Jayce Benton, the owner, believes the ban is a racial issue.

“They said, ‘What you do is cruel, you shouldn’t be doing it this way, we don’t want you to have this choice, we are going to diminish your ability to live out your culture.’ Period,” she said. “This is intolerance to the Chinese community, that’s what this is.”

Benton, and anyone else playing the race card on this issue, seems to miss the point of the intolerance being against cruelty, oppression and suffering, not against a culture. Hiding cruelty behind tradition doesn’t make it anything other than what it is. 

Organizations including LGBT Compassion and IDA are urging people to send a letter of thanks to the Heart of the City’s Farmer’s Market for taking a stand against animal cruelty and violence against humans at:


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Terry V.
Terry V.2 years ago


Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

good news

Tammy Andrews
Tammy Andrews3 years ago

Good news for animal rights...and good health! Thank you!

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege3 years ago

I find it cruel to send live animals.

John H.
John Helak3 years ago

For cultural reasons I've never understood, oriental people seem to treat animals as inert property. Walk through any Chinatown and you will see live animal sales of turtles, birds, fish, crustaceans, all being kept in the most horrendous conditions imaginable. I've seen live baby red-eared slider turtles disposed of in sewers by street vendors in NYC's Chinatown - hey, its cheaper to get new ones from an illegal distributor than to feed them and they are too small to be sold to restaurants in the area. I kind of understand where Stanica is coming from.

Its said that the US is a melting pot of different people. But in reality, its not. Each culture here wants to preserve its own background, aspects of which to others in society may seem harsh and cruel. There was a recent news story about a Chinese family in the US that sent their 3 year-old son out in snow dressed only in his fruit-of-the-looms to toughen him up. They also cried cultural discrimination even though there is no known teaching in he orient o anywhere else that called for such a action to one's child.

Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine4 years ago


Ralph Dagutus
Ralph D.4 years ago

So Stanica What a kindhearted thing to say about the asteroid landing on China. Unfortunately an asteroid that large would destroy the earth. Try to send some positive loving signals out into the Universe and maybe the Chinese will change?

Stanica A.
Stanica A.4 years ago

i really hope an asteroid ..China size will land in China and they will all die..!:)

Satish C.
Satish C.4 years ago

I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I absolutely love reading all that is posted on your site.Keep the information coming. I liked it!
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