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Frog Welfare Policy




Policy Statement


The Board of Directors of the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee®, is dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to frogs, and advocates the safe and proper handling of frogs used in public events.


General Policy


It is the intention of the Board of Directors to ensure the safe and proper handling of all frogs involved in the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee and related events and activities.


This policy shall also apply to Frog Jump Contests officially sanctioned by the fair, regardless of where they are held, as well as Special Frog Jumps and promotional activities held in conjunction with the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee.


This policy shall apply to the following categories of frogs:

  • Those frogs obtained by the association and under the control and supervision of the association

  • Those frogs obtained by others and brought to the Calaveras Fairgrounds for the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee or related events and activities

  • Those frogs used in any jump sanctioned by the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping frog Jubilee.


It is the intention of the Board of Directors to ensure the safe and proper handling of all live frogs involved in the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee and related events and activities.


General Procedures


Catching and Releasing


Persons wishing to catch frogs in the wild for use in Frog Jumping contests or other public events should make every effort to assure the safe and humane handling of the frogs. Nets are recommended as the safest method of capturing frogs. Nets should have 1/4 inch mesh or smaller so the frogs' legs cannot get caught in the netting, causing injury.  Care should be taken to avoid capturing female frogs carrying eggs.  Frogs should be placed in appropriate housing immediately.  Following completion of the Frog Jumping contest frogs should not be released into the wild; frogs should be given to fair organizers and returned to a non-sensitive habitat as per recommendations by the California Department of Fish & Game.




Frogs shall be housed in a safe and humane manner that ensures their protection and comfort.  Frog housing should be dark and wet, providing an appropriate environment for amphibians.  Frogs need not be separated into individual compartments, but care should be taken to separate small frogs from larger ones.  When frogs are housed together, make certain there is adequate room, air, and water for all. The housing should be secure enough to prevent frogs from escaping and to protect frogs from danger, including natural predators such as dogs, birds, snakes, etc. If frogs are kept in pails or tanks with water, the water should be shallow enough to allow the frogs to keep their heads above water while sitting on the bottom.  Rocks or other types of perches can be provided to allow the frogs to get out of the water. The water should be changed daily.  Care should be taken to minimize frogs’ exposure to chlorinated water. Frogs can be safely housed in wet gunny or feed sacks, with no more than ten frogs per sack. The sacks should be kept wet and cool, and tied securely at the top, allowing the frogs room to move around but preventing escape.



Frogs shall be transported in a safe and humane manner. In the event frogs are to be transported across state lines or from one country to another, it is the responsibility of the person transporting the frogs to ensure their safety and comfort, and to know and obey all relevant laws and regulations.


It is suggested that frogs be transported in wet gunny sacks placed inside a waterproof container with adequate ventilation. Every effort should be made to  ensure frogs  remain wet;  have adequate air supply; are not  jostled or shaken in a harmful manner; are not exposed to excessive sunlight or other harsh light; and do not have the opportunity to escape into a potentially harmful  environment.


Care of Sick or Injured Frogs

Anytime frogs are used in a Frog Jump or other public event, one person should be designated as responsible for the welfare of the frogs. In the event a frog involved in a public event appears to that designated person to be sick or injured, that frog shall be removed from the event immediately, isolated from other frogs, and cared for as much as possible.   Any frog that dies during a public event shall be disposed of immediately, and may not be eaten or used for any other purpose (Per California Fish & Game Code section 6883). 



If kept in a cool (55 to 60 degrees) environment, frogs will often remain in a semi-hibernation state and may not eat even if food is available. However, food should be made available.  Frogs will eat a varied diet. Insects and worms are preferred, although small pieces of raw meat may be used.



Frogs shall be handled in a manner that prevents injury to the frog and maintains humane control so it will be difficult for the frog to escape into a potentially harmful environment. To pick up a frog, place your hand gently but firmly on both sides of its body with its belly facing away from your palm. Do not pick up a frog by one or more legs or by its head or neck. Do not shake or otherwise roughly handle frogs.  Do not keep a frog out of water so long that its skin become dry. Do not expose frogs to excessive sunlight or other harsh light. Do not squeeze frog hard enough to injure.


Although Mark Twain's original short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"  involved feeding buckshot to a frog in order to discourage it from jumping, the feeding or injecting of any unnatural, inappropriate or harmful objects to frogs for any reason is strictly prohibited.


Frog Jump Competitions

Frogs provided for a frog jumping competition or other public event should be transported and housed in a humane and safe manner. It is recommended that frogs used for a frog jumping competition be allowed to rest in an appropriate place after each jump and not be jumped more than three times in one day.  Knowledgeable judges should be provided and given the authority to remove a frog from competition if the frog is too small, not in good health, or for any other humane reason.


Emergency Procedures

If a frog escapes during a public event, every effort should be made to recapture the frog without harming it and to avoid allowing it to reach a harmful or inappropriate environment.

Public events involving frogs should have an Emergency Response Plan that identifies:


  • Individual or individuals responsible for the welfare of the frogs in the event of an emergency or disaster

  • Evacuation plan, including who will evacuate the frogs, mode of transportation, where the frogs are to be taken.


Procedures for Violation of Frog Welfare Policy

In the event an individual or group is observed violating this Frog Welfare Policy or behaving in any manner that endangers frogs the individual should be informed that his or her actions are endangering the frog(s) and have appropriate actions or behaviors explained.


If the individual or group continues to endanger the frog(s) after being informed as to proper frog handling procedures:


  • That individual or group may be prohibited from handling, touching, jumping or having any contact with any frogs under the direct control and supervision of the Fair and Fair personnel.


  • That individual or group may be asked to leave the premises and, if necessary, may be escorted off the premises. The Fair shall be prepared to accept and care for any unwanted frogs brought to a frog jumping competition or other public event.


Procedures for Handling Complaints

 In the event an individual or group expresses a concern or complaint about the handling of frogs at the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee or related events and activities, that individual or group shall:


  • Be directed to the Fair Manager/CEO and/or designee

  • Be provided with free and open access to all frog facilities on the grounds or premises

  • Be given a copy of this Frog Welfare Policy

  • Have his or her concerns or complaints investigated and addressed immediate


If deemed necessary by the Fair Manager/CEO, a statement or press release on the matter shall be prepared as quickly as possible, and shall be a factual account of the issue.  All press releases, press conferences and other statements regarding a complaint, concern or emergency situation are to be approved by Fair Manager/CEO.


Frogs not Permitted to Participate

Under no circumstances will a frog listed on the endangered species list be permitted to participate in the Frog Jump.


The California State Fish & Game Commission Codes and Regulations pertaining to Frogs and Frog Jumping are herein included and made a part of this policy.

Pertaining to Frogs and Frog Jumping

(Note: Fish & Game Codes are laws approved by the State Legislature. The California Code of Regulations contains regulations approved by the Fish & Game Commission, as authorized by the Fish & Game Code.)


Fish & Game Code   (Division 6, Fish - Part 1, Generally, Chapter 7, Amphibian - Article 2, Frog-jumping contests; Enacted 1957) Historical Note: Similar to section 1356 of the Fish and Game Code of 1933, as added by Stats.1955, c.149, p.603, §3.


§6880. Frog jumping contest defined.  As used in this article, "frog-jumping contest" means a contest generally and popularly known as a frog-jumping contest which is open to the public and is advertised or announced in a newspaper (Stats.1957, c.456, p.1415, §6880.).


§6881. Taking frogs for jumping contest without license. Frogs to be used in frog-jumping contests shall be governed by this article only.  Frog to be so used may be taken at any time and without a license or permit (Stats.1957, c.456, p.1415, §6881).


§6882. Presumption from mode of taking frogs. If the means for taking such frogs can, as normally used, seriously injure the frog, it shall be conclusively presumed the taking is not for the purposes of a frog-jumping contest (Stats.1957, c.456, p.1415, §6882.).


§6883. Death of jumping frog. Any person may possess any number of live frogs to use in frog-jumping contests, but if such a frog dies or is killed, it must be destroyed as soon as possible, and may not be eaten or otherwise used for any purpose (Stats.1957, c.456, p.1415, §6883).


§6884. Frogs excluded from article. A frog which is not kept in a manner which is reasonable to preserve its life is not within the coverage of this article (Stats.1957, c.456, p.1415, §6884).


§6885. Article not subject to modification by regulation. The commission has no power to modify the provisions of this article by any order, rule, or regulation. (Stats.1957, c.456, p.1415, §6885.)


California Code of Regulations

Subsection (i) of Section 658, Title 14, Amend 658, effective Feb. 24, 1995


(i)      Restricted sale. Except for bullfrogs sold, leased, or rented for use in frog jumping contests as defined in Fish and Game Code section 6880, bullfrogs taken under authority of a permit issued pursuant to this section may be sold only to bona fide scientific or educational institutions and may be used only for scientific or educational purposes, and may not be sold, purchased or traded for any other use.


Summary of Regulatory Action.  The regulatory action authorizes scientific supply houses which have permits to sell bullfrogs to bona fide scientific or educational institutions to also sell bullfrogs for use in frog jumping contests.


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