“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.
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