The sale of turtles at Tesco stores in China endorses the trade in turtles for food. Tesco claims that turtles sold in stores are farmed and that their sale doesn't contribute to depletion of wild populations. However, millions of turtles are caught from the wild each year to supply turtle farms, and conditions on these farms and during transport are highly unsatisfactory, with over-crowding severely affecting animal welfare.
Animals are often stored on ice or in nets, conditions which are totally inappropriate. Contrary to the company's claims, slaughter methods used by sales staff in Tesco stores are not carried out to standards which are either internationally recognised as humane, or even consistent. In addition, turtles sold live to consumers endure further stress and suffering being transported inappropriately before being butchered for the dinner table. Common methods used by people include dismemberment, evisceration or boiling alive.
With very little legal protection for animals across China, the scale of suffering is unimaginable. We call upon Tesco to stop selling live turtles for human consumption in all stores.
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