I, for one, am boycotting Tescos.
If I remain but one little voice then I suspect the damage will be minimal – they’ve just announced record profits.
However, they’re as sure as hell not getting my 80 pound weekly family food budget.
I’m not one to boycott companies on a whim – normally.
Yet this is no normal situation.
Tescos owns a 50% share in a Chinese supermarket and it is standard within these Chinese supermarkets to sell tortoises for food.
I’m not even protesting against that – who am I to dictate what one culture should or shouldn’t eat?
However…. it’s the method employed to kill these turtles that upsets me so…
“First we try to get it to stick its head out, and then when it does, we chop it off right there and then. But if we can’t, we’ll break the shell and then take his head off, which usually takes a minute and a half.“
I have personally witnessed this kind of slaughter. It is extremely unpleasant. The animal withdraws its head, and it is very rare that rapid decapitation is achieved: even if it is, the severed head can retain awareness for a very extended period (some reports cite an hour or more)*. This is due to the aquatic turtle’s exceptional tolerance of anoxia (lack of oxygen in the blood). I have seen buckets of heads still gaping, with their eyes blinking and moving. In most cases, the still-living turtle is simply chopped up fully conscious.
Softshell turtles are killed by “de-carapacing” with a sharp knife. This is an agonising procedure in which the living internal organs are exposed and removed. The turtle remains fully conscious throughout and dies – many minutes later – as a result of blood loss as internal organs are removed one by one. Turtles turn their heads to bite at the hands inflicting such agony upon them.
The above excerp is taken from The Tortoise Trust and having read it, verified it through several other online resources, Tescos has just lost my business.