S.F. ignores live markets law, says Mills

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2001:
SAN FRANCISCO–Mini-mal humane standards governing the sale of live animals as food now supposed to be law in California are not enforced in San Francisco, Action for Animals coordinator Eric Mills charged in a February 12 open letter to the S.F. Board of Supervisors. The live market standards were set by AB 2479, introduced by now-state senator Sheila Kuehl, who was then in the state assembly. The new law took effect on January 1.

Wrote Mills, “Last week I visited four markets in Chinatown. I saw turtles and frogs stacked atop one another without either food or water, crushing those on the bottom. I saw live fish out of water gasping for breath, and dead and dying fish and crustaceans crammed into dirty aquaria. The Kuehl bill bans these inhumane practices. In two markets I saw Florida softshell turtles, a species not allowed in the markets, but which I see on a regular basis.

“A volunteer from the Mont-errey Bay Aquarium called me last week after touring the San Francisco markets. He reported that he saw a turtle being butchered alive, and frogs stuffed into plastic bags to suffocate. Again, this is illegal,” Mills added. “At the February 8, 2001 meeting of the San Francisco Animal Welfare Commission, Department of Animal Care and Control director Carl Friedman stated that his department would not and/or could not enforce the new law, due to a lack of funding, lack of staff, and lack of support from city hall,” Mills explained.
“I had a telephone conversation with city administrator Bill Lee the next day,” Mills added. “Lee assured me that Mayor Willie Brown would do nothing to help resolve this issue. Nor could I expect help from the Board of Supervisors.” Mills challenged the supervisors to prove Lee’s prediction wrong.

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