PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Department of Health is taking action after they received a complaint about live turtles and frogs being sold in a local supermarket.
The conditions of the animals at The Good Fortune supermarket prompted several animal advocates to launch an online petition calling for the Asian food store to stop their sale of the creatures and voluntarily surrender them to welfare agencies.
“I’m just shocked and also very sad,” Laura Barlow of RI Vegan Awareness said. “I think this is also a public health and safety concern that these animals are in terrible conditions.”
Eyewitness News received several photos from a viewer from inside the supermarket. In the photos, frogs are piled up on one another inside a tank, some with what appear to be skin lesions. The turtles were in a separate tank, individually placed into bags. Both the frogs and the turtles were being sold for human consumption.
Following several complaints, the Department of Health said they visited the store Tuesday, tagging the frogs and turtles with orange stickers, ordering the store to halt the sale of the animals.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said grocery stores are not allowed to sell these kinds of animals, which could pose serious health issues.
Eyewitness News spoke with the store manager who said the store will comply with the Department of Health’s orders.
It’s unclear what the future holds for the frogs and turtles, but the Department of Environmental Management will be going to the store Wednesday to assess their conditions.
“Ultimately I’d like to be able to see that the frogs and turtles are able to live a healthy life after this,” Barlow said. “I don’t know exactly how that could happen, I think experts on all these topics need to come together to determine what’s best for these animals.”