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WFFT Responds to Fire That Ravages Infamous Chatuchak Market, Leaving 1,000+ Animals Dead

A massive fire erupted at 4:30am on June 11, 2024, at the disgraceful Chatuchak Market (also known as Bangkok Weekend Market), notorious for its poor animal welfare conditions and often illegal wildlife trading. The blaze destroyed 118 shops and left behind a tragic scene with approximately 1,000 dead animals, including domestic animals, wild animals, and exotic species such as swans, cockatoos, and monkeys.

The cause is suspected to be an electrical fault, but investigations are ongoing.

Animals at Chatuchak are often kept in small, dirty cages, awaiting purchase. WFFT and other animal rights activists have long condemned the conditions at Chatuchak, urging stricter regulations and enforcement. We deeply hope this disaster brings about the permanent closure of the live animal trading at Chatuchak market.

Edwin Wiek, Founder and Director of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, says:

“Chatuchak market is a shame on the city of Bangkok. It has been allowed to continue selling animals unethically and often illegally for far too long. We are urging the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to act now and stop this place from selling animals, particularly wild animals. Many of these poor animals are smuggled into the country, often illegally. It is immoral, cruel, a health and safety hazard, and completely unnecessary. This isn’t the first time a fire has occurred in a venue where exotic animals are kept needlessly; it has happened too (more than once!) at the horrendous Pata Zoo, where endangered species are imprisoned for tourist entertainment. The BMA needs to act and stop this senseless cruelty to animals.”

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