Posted on November 22, 2011

A Disease-Carrying Bullfrog Straddles a Cultural Divide

Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2011

Miles Young strode down a narrow passageway in a bustling Chinatown fish market, methodically scanning aquariums and plastic bins filled with hundreds of live frogs selling for $3.99 a pound.

They were imported from frog farms in Taiwan, the environmental activist and former game warden said.

The species is particularly susceptible to a skin fungus linked to vanishing amphibians around the world. And the conditions in which bullfrogs are raised, transported and sold are ideal breeding grounds for the fungus and its waterborne zoospores.

“It should be against the law to bring diseased nonnative animals into California,” he grumbled. “But every time someone proposes a ban on bullfrogs, politics gets in the way and nothing gets done.”


Bullfrogs carry the fungus but do not die from it. Most of the millions of bullfrogs imported to California each year for use in the food, pet and dissection trades are infected with the fungus, according to several recent studies.

The disease can spread to native frog populations if an infected frog escapes captivity or is set free, or if the water from its holding tank is released into the environment.

Yet, proposals to ban the importation of bullfrogs have cultural implications, which have pitted environmental organizations against Asian Americans who regard the animals as traditional cuisine and important commodities for family-owned businesses. A similar rift opened recently over banning the sale of shark fins.


The state Fish and Game Commission, which sets policy for the Department of Fish and Game, voted to ban permits authorizing importation of frogs and turtles. The department has chosen not to implement the ban.

The squabble started in March 2010, when the commission voted unanimously to direct the department to stop issuing permits for the importation of live frogs and turtles for food. A month later, however, it held a “reconsideration hearing” at the request of Asian American leaders who included five Assembly Democrats and state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who called the ban an assault on their cultural heritage.


In testimony before the panel, Yee, an unsuccessful candidate in the Nov. 8 San Francisco mayoral election, said, “For over 5,000 years, it has been the practice of both the Chinese community and the Asian American community to consume these particular animals. They are part of our staple. They are part of our culture. They are part of our heritage.”


Despite pleas, the Fish and Game Commission decided not to rescind its decision. But the department opted to continue issuing permits to import frogs and turtles. Stopping the importation of frogs and turtles for food was “a low priority for the use of the department’s very limited resources,” Department of Fish and Game Director John McCamman wrote in a memorandum to the commission earlier this year.

“This is about a cultural practice, and the department doesn’t like getting in the middle of those things,” commission executive director Sonke Mastrup acknowledged in an interview. “We may revisit it again. But we would have to find the political will to bite the bullet and actually change the law.”


19 responses to “A Disease-Carrying Bullfrog Straddles a Cultural Divide”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was shocked beyond words when I walked through a store in San Francisco’s Chinatown. How come PETA and the like are not having them closed, and stopped from ever selling a life animal again, no matter what it is. Very cruel! I wonder at the mentality of a person buying an animal in those circumstances. No compassion whatever. And no concern what pathogens they might carry.

  2. Jupiter7 says:

    As I have written many times the Chinese are a mighty serious threat to Americas endangered species and ecosystems. Asians in general are a mighty serious threat to America’s endangered species and ecosystems. The Hindus are in the early stages of turning the Jamaica National Wildlife refuge-NY into a Ganges river type pool. In a few years it will be the bucolic Hudson River..Ganges on the Hudson.

    Some people here have this fantasy that with secession Native Born White Americans will be in a ecological safe zone completely sealed off from the encroaching post-1965 nonwhite pools. Perhaps they have discovered new laws of physics that I am unaware of. Yes of course, the disease, pollution, invasive species will all magically stop at Alabama’s borders.

    Asian immigrants, Muslim immigrants, Hispanic immigrants and African immigrants are the number one threat to America’s ecosystems and endangered species. A very large percentage of post-1965 nonwhites will have to be sent packing…or…America will with 100 percent certainty experience total ecological collapse..and when this happens, the remnants of the once majority Native Born White American population will go extinct.

  3. Peejay in Frisco says:

    Chinamen will eat anything that breathes,and they dont care about how endangered it is or how it feels when it is being slowly killed.Take a walk through San Franciscos Chinatown, and you will get my point.

  4. Dutchman says:

    Jupiter is correct. Here in the northeast a Chinese gang was caught smuggling native turtles, snakes, and salamanders to China to end up on the menu or in the medicine cabinet. I’ve even considered starting a ‘herp patrol’ that can keep watch in various state parks during the summer. Checking up on populations and reporting poachers. When Whites no longer have the majority and are disenfranchised it will be open season on all American wildlife. Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians do not share the conservationist ideals of Whites. National and state parks will be sold to developers, the animals killed or captured without regulation and put on the market.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Part of their “heritage”? Give me a break.

    The Chinese are masters of deceiving whites. Most Asians in America take non-threatening Western names, like ‘Kevin’ or ‘Suzy’. This is to gain your confidence.

    Then they open import shops selling cheap-quality counterfeit goods with well-known Western brand names, again to put you at ease.

    Their love of their heritage is conveniently compromised when trying to fleece white people.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jupiter7, right on target as always. The Asian markets here in Queens, NY are disgusting. They’ve got the turtles and frogs too. The Hindus defecate in the wildlife preserve. Asian fish are released in Florida and other places and they destroy native species. Nothing will be done about any of it.

  7. SS says:

    asian “intelligence”…

    The only Intelligence asians have is knowing how to infiltrate, take-over and then promptly destroy.

  8. Harumphty Dumpty says:

    1 — Jupiter7 wrote at 6:18 PM on November 22:

    “As I have written many times the Chinese are a mighty serious threat to Americas endangered species…”

    They sure are! And the principal endangered species they’re a threat to is WHITES!

    I’m told by someone I think I can count on that for many years almost every person convicted of spying against the U.S. has been Chinese…possibly that fact might wake up some of the folks here who (I’m told) think Chinese are a pretty acceptable population to admit into our country.

    Why you folks who feel that way would hasten White Genocide by inviting the most able of the anti-Whites’ troops to come among us is something I don’t understand!

    Africa for the Africans, Asia for the Asians, White countries for EVERYbody!

    I don’t want Whites blended out of existence by ANY race! And for that I’m called anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews!

    The people carrying out White Genocide call themselves anti-racists, but what they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is just a code word for anti-White

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just how does one someone get LIVE bullfrogs into California from Taiwan??? I can’t get an orange into California from Nevada… I guess the Interstate 15 agriculture police are needed at the ports of Long Beach and San Fran…

  10. Sonya says:

    I follow some reptile forums and people are frequently saying the indegenous frog species are dying out due to disease and being taken over by bullfrogs. Wonder if this is the cause?

    The trade in frogs for food is really horribly cruel. My grocery store sells frog legs and I considered purchasing them for my snakes but was told the industry severs the legs off LIVE frogs then dumps then into huge trash cans to die slowly. I was advised not to purchase any frog legs from any source as the cruelty involved is horrendous.

  11. Jupiter7 says:

    Harumpty Dumpty

    Of course, what you wrote is manifestly obvious: the extermination of Native Born White Americans is the end game of the passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act and the 14th amendment. The road down Native Born White American race-replacement and eventual extinction due to ecological collapse will be extremely painful…all the environmental-ecological amenities that make life pleasant-and worth living-will be wiped out long before the end game of racial extinction arrives.

    For now on, any news story about Asians in our America assaulting and exterminating America’s Wildlife should be the first posted news story each night on American Renaissance..this should be done because of the over-the-top outrageous of importing such a ecological lethal non-white immigrant group.

    Go have a look at my-Mr. O’Raiffeartaigh-debate with the Leftists-Liberals over at this past Nov 18..Justin Raimando:Obama plays the China Card.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I expect our endangered species laws will be yet another victim of multiculturalism. Do you notice how every thing that whites are told to do (be green, don’t have children because we’re over populated, the radical feminist agenda) all takes a back seat to anything and everything that will make us a minority?

  13. Robert Sharpe says:

    I know that animals are quite legally – and visibly – tortured to death in China but I never realised it happens in America, too.

    There would be a riot if an animal was publicly tortured in England. Kindness to animals is one of the few qualities that hasn’t yet been ‘diversified’ out of the English.

  14. Jupiter7 says:

    Just to give you all a sense as to how interconnected Native Born White Americana is with the endemic-endangered species issue:

    Mark Twain’s short story the “The jumping frog of Calaveras County” is a classic American short story. The species of frog portrayed in Twain’s classic short story is a highly endangered frog species unique to Northern California..endangered by the usual suspect: suburban sprawl. California’s current and future urban sprawl is driven completely by high fertility post-1965 nonwhites. So it is 100 percent accurate to say that Asian immigrants who are heavily concentrated in Northern California are a direct threat to the continued existence of this endemic- endangered amphibian species (I am not certain, but I believe it is the red-legged frog). When the leaping frog of Calaveras County exits from existence into the complete oblivion of extinction, we can thank the passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act and the 14th Amendment for the extinction of the leaping frog of Calaveras County.

    Secession will not protect Native Born White Americans from a very nasty future that will result in racial extinction. Anyone who believes that it will is engaging in magical thinking such as Generation 5 over at today. And if you think the moratorium will protect your Native Born White American family from annihilation..well, you are really engaging in magical thinking.

  15. C says:

    Submarines and aeroplanes are the only two things in the sky and under the sea that you will not find on a Chinese menu. Man is the only land animal though I have heard that in times of starvation they will make an exception. Basic recipe for Chinese cooking:

    If it moves or it is alive, eat it.

  16. Michael C. Scott says:

    I would never eat anything raised in fresh water in China, or even caught offshore. Given China’s environmental record, anything from any body of water there is likely to be full of fecal E. coli, weird tropical pathogens, toxic heavy metals, petroleum products, or some combination of the four.

    Anyone who really must eat frogs should buy them at a pet store and then breed them in an aquarium at home.

  17. Mr.White says:

    If you think these people are rough on bullfrogs, you should see what they do to dogs in China. I have a few links to pictures that are so disturbing, that they still bother me to this day. I will post this link to give you an idea of what I mean. No pictures here, but it will not take you long to find them if you know what to look for. The Koreans are just as bad. Look up Boshintang if you have the stomach for it.

  18. Richard says:

    The Chinese and every other non-white group are very hard on the environment. That’s a fact. If it slithers, swims, crawls, hops, oozes along or walks Chinese will eat it. Vancouver has the second largest Chinatown in North America (San Francisco being the largest) and you have only to casually stroll down the streets of Chinatown to witness the carnage to all sorts of pathetic creatures. And the stench emanating from the shops is nauseating to say the least.

    Whenever I read of some sort of travesty or extreme cruely being done to wildlife or domesticated animals, I often discover it’s some non-white types perpetrating the cruelty. If it’s wildlife you can bet that it’s either Chinese or native, North American indians at the root of the devastation.

  19. WR the elder says:

    Bullfrogs can be grown right here (they are native to the eastern part of this country), with careful monitoring of the water to ensure they carry no fungus, to meet any demand for frog’s legs. But the Chinese would rather see their fellow Chinese in Taiwan or China earn the money, so they continue a practice that threatens entire frog species in North and South America.