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This section deals with the continuing plight of turtles and tortoises throughout the world and even close to home. 

Fish & Game In a Not Surprising Turn Around3.99 a pound

After telling us face to face last August that they would no longer issue permits to the Chinese live animal markets throughout the state of California, we were shocked to learn that the Chinese legislators in Sacramento had used their political force to change the Commission's mind.  When we arrived at the December hearing, we were stunned to hear the commissioners ask for a vote to overturn their own August vote.  But we protested loudly and they decided to postpone further action.  Please email the people listed below right away (all in the same email is fine) and tell them how you feel!  Here's an article that reflects what happened Fish & Game Buckles Under Pressure.  Use it to form your email opinion.  Thank you! 


DFG Director John McCamman, Sonke Mastrup and the Commission. 
director@dfg.ca.gov, smastrup@dfg.ca.gov, fgc@fgc.ca.gov
Also Senator Fran Pavley, chair of Senate Natural Resources:  senator.pavley@sen.ca.gov
Assemblymember Jared Huffman, chair of Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife:  assemblymember.huffman@asm.ca.gov
John Laird, new Resources Secretary:  secretary@resources.ca.gov



Here's another PowerPoint that we presented to the commission.  It's called The Clock Is Ticking.

Unfortunately the story below was shattered when the Chinese live market owners brought in their Chinese big guns from the political scene and had a few words with Fish & Game, destroying our progress.

State to ban importing of non-native turtles, frogs for food

March 4, 2010 | 11:06 am

Animal welfare advocates won a long sought victory Wednesday when the California Fish and Game Commission approved a ban on imports of non-native turtles and frogs for food markets.

“It’s only taken us 16 years,” said Susan Tellem, co-founder of the nonprofit American Tortoise Rescue.

The Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to order the Department of Fish and Game to stop issuing permits allowing the importation of non-native turtles and frogs for food.

Animal welfare advocates have long argued that food markets, often in Asian communities, kept the live animals in horrible conditions. “The turtles are upside down in the sun, no food, no water,” Tellem said. “They are slaughtered inhumanely.”

Sometimes people cook them live. “They’ll put the turtles in a frying pan, and they die very slowly,” Tellem said.

Tellem said animal-welfare arguments in the past had not convinced the commissioners to ban the importation of what she says are an estimated 2 million bullfrogs and 300,000 red-eared sliders coming into the state each year. This time, the advocates contended there were safety and environmental reasons to stop sales.

“We ended up changing our argument and saying they are non-native animals being released into the wild and they’re killing our native pond turtles,” she said.

People often buy the live animals to save them from death, she said, then release them into ponds and oceans where they are not indigenous and they either die or eat other species. Ravenous bullfrogs, she said, scarf up turtle eggs and baby turtles.

“Our prime motivation was a concern for the impact of such exotic animals on our native wildlife species,” Commissioner Michael Sutton said Wednesday.

The new ban on permits does not apply to imports for the pet trade.

-- Carla Hall


The Horrors of the American Asian Live Food Markets

These turtles are being sold illegally in Downtown Los Angeles at Santee Street

Live Food Market Fact Sheet - English

Live Food Market Fact Sheet - Chinese

Click here for more information -- These poor turtles have suffered because of the desire for live food at the Asian markets here and throughout the world.


Shell Shock!


Sulcatas - Amazing Animals, but Terrible Pets

A terrible problem continues to escalate. Sulcata tortoises, which grow very large and aggressive, are being bred in huge numbers (they lay up to 50 eggs at a time). The largest sulcatas can grow to 230 pounds so few people can keep them on their property. Animal rescues are becoming dumping grounds for sulcatas, but soon we too will run out of space unless we can get the word out to stop the breeding. Unscrupulous pet store owners sometimes trick people into buying them. When a sulcata reaches about 15 pounds, the problems begin. We need to let people know that they may be an amazing animal, but are definitely not a good pet.

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