Turtle fans applaud Fish and Game decision to limit live turtle sales

It's World Turtle Day. The group American Turtle Rescue created the observance 11 years ago to promote its signature critter.

Turtle fans are giving love to the California Fish and Game commission this year.

Last month, commissioners decided to ban the import of non-native turtles and frogs for live food markets. Live turtles and frogs are popular in Chinatowns throughout the state: their sellers get as much as a quarter of their yearly business from those animals.

The frogs and turtles are - or should be - killed before they're sold. But fish and game officials worried that the imported turtles could escape, cross-breed and hybridize native turtles. On top of that, humane society activists complained that the live food markets harmed animals by placing them in close quarters.

Chinatown businesses appealed the decision, claiming the commission unfairly targeted them. But as of now, the import of frogs and turtles remains illegal in California.

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