FROG AND TURTLE ALERT – LETTERS NEEDED
I just received this important letter from my friend Eric Mills, coordinator of Action For Animals in Oakland, CA. Please read it and take a moment to send a letter. I appreciate it. Thanks for caring. /Gary
For 15 years we’ve been urging the California Fish & Game Commission to ban the importation and sale of live frogs and turtles for the state’s many live animal food markets (for human consumption). At long last, all five Commissioners seem to agree that the ban is needed to protect our native wildlife.
Some TWO MILLION American bullfrogs (commercially-raised in Taiwan, for the most part), and perhaps 300,000 freshwater turtles are imported into California every year for the markets. ALL of the turtles are taken from the wild in other states, depleting local populations. A January 2009 study in BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION noted that, of the frogs they necropsied, 62% tested positive for the dreaded chytrid fungus, a prime suspect in the extinctions of scores of amphibian species worldwide in recent years.
None of these animals are native to California, and nearly all are diseased and/or parasitized. When released into local waters (a frequent, though illegal practice), the exotics prey upon and displace our native wildlife.
Though the animal cruelty and deprivation in the markets is staggering, that is NOT the focus of the Commission, which is PROTECTION OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. So when you write, please focus on these concerns, and NOT animal welfare.
** WHAT YOU CAN DO: This issue is supposed to be on the Commission’s February 3-4, 2010 agenda in Sacramento, and letters in support of the ban are needed.
** PLEASE WRITE: JOHN CARLSON, EXEC. DIRECTOR, STATE FISH & GAME COMMISSION, 1416 NINTH STREET, SACRAMENTO, CA 95814; e-mail to email@example.com; fax to 916-653-5040.
And if you could speak in support of the ban, so much the better. Please contact me with any questions or “talking points.” And please alert your members, and disperse this alert accordingly. This may be our best shot at sparing the lives of millions of these animals. Thanks for caring.
AFA would appreciate copies of any letters or emails you send.
Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS, P.O. Box 20184, Oakland, CA 94620; 510-652-5603; firstname.lastname@example.org