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Published on Sep 19, 2010
While shopping at 99 Ranch Market on Barber Lane in Milpitas, California, I found a mutilated turtle on display in the fish department. Its top shell was sheared off, displaying its entire innards. I tried to avert my eyes but then noticed what I thought was a dead turtle lift its head. I couldn't believe it. As disgusted as I was about what I saw, I was compelled to return to take video and photo evidence.
I called the San Jose Animal Control which has jurisdiction in Milpitas and was told there was nothing they could do because a turtle is not an animal. When I pressed about what constitutes an animal, they said they are only equipped to handle cats and dogs.
I then called the California State Department of Fish and Game who has offered to help, although their interest is more in if the turtle was legally caught, not whether it was being tortured. I'm still awaiting their call back next week.
After an hour when I couldn't get any authority to investigate, I finally talked to the store manager Johnny, pleading that he have the turtle killed. Five minutes later when I returned to the counter, a customer had bought a quarter of the turtle so it finally did die.
We Chinese like fresh food and will eat just about anything. However, there is no reason to mutilate this poor animal then keep it ALIVE to prolong it's suffering just to PROVE freshness.