12:58 PM PT -- New York State Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal -- who's working hard to get wet markets in the Big Apple shut down -- tells TMZ ... "COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health crisis, and it demands, at the very least, that we take a close look at what we can do to prevent the next pandemic. Top among our priorities must be closing New York’s unsanitary live markets, that’s why I will be introducing legislation in the coming days to do just that."
She goes on to say these slaughterhouses are operating smack-dab in the middle of residential neighborhoods -- where kids and families are -- with little to no oversight and not to mention without following basic sanitary standards, which is a huge problem for her.
Rosenthal finishes by saying, "Given the poor conditions, it’s no wonder that COVID-19 and other deadly zoonotic diseases before it originated in live markets. We have a responsibility to save lives by closing the live markets now."
Forget the danger wet markets pose in China ... there are 80 of these markets in New York City -- the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic -- and the animal rights group that shot this shocking, undercover video says the images make it clear ... they need to be shut down.
NYCLASS Executive Director, Edita Birnkrant, went on "TMZ Live" Monday and said 2 of the markets are in the Bronx and Queens ... packed to the gills with caged live fowl ... many of which were being mercilessly tossed into a trash can by one of the workers, who was plucking them out for slaughter.
Edita says these markets -- which many scientists say could have caused the outbreak out in Wuhan, China -- are NOT foreign to the States ... they're everywhere, and they pose a massive health risk to the public as breeding grounds for infectious diseases.
She goes on to explain NY State Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal, is whipping up legislation to get these animal sweatshops closed down for good in New York, and similar efforts are underway here in California. Edita tells us it's well overdue -- and while it, unfortunately, took a pandemic to bring attention to the unsanitary (not to mention inhumane) ways these curbside factory farms run ... it's good folks are paying attention now.
Bottom line ... wet markets leave behind blood, feces, limbs and other potentially harmful remnants, which we don't need flooding our streets right now. Can't ignore this anymore.