The California Fish & Game Commission voted 5:0 a few months ago to ban the importation of live turtles for food in Asian live food markets throughout California where they are cruelly kept and butchered alive. We along with Action for Animals and other animal welfare groups have been asking for this ban for 16 years. In that time period, millions of turtles have been killed by slow torture. The Commission has received more than 2,500 letters in support of the ban, fewer than two dozen against.
Now, the Asian community has rallied six Asian legislators in California who are calling us racists and are demanding that the vote be overturned. The six Asian American legislators who signed the letter are Assembly member Fiona Ma, Senator Leland Yee (both from S.F.), and Assembly members Ted Lieu, Paul Fong, Mike Eng, and Warren Furutani.
California imports some 400,000 freshwater turtles per year for the markets. ALL the turtles are taken from the wild in other states, depleting local populations. None of these animals are native to California, and the exotics displace and prey upon our native wildlife when released into local waters, an illegal though common practice. All of the market frogs and turtles are diseased and have parasites - we've tested them. E. coli, salmonella, pasturella, giardia, you name it are rampant, and though it's illegal to sell such products but this has been ignored for 16 years. The Commission would be foolish to reconsider the ban, and likely be sued.
Please send your objections and request that the ban stay in place. Time is of the essence as there is a conference call between Fish & Game, the market owners and interested parties this Thursday, May 20th.
Here's how to help: Write to the Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org asking that the ban stay in place.Your subject line should say, Keep the Turtle Ban in Place.
Thank you! Remember May 23rd is World Turtle Day, so save the turtles!
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