Tesco has come under fire from an animal welfare charity for selling live turtles for food at its first Tesco-branded store in China, which opened its doors in Beijing last week.

Care for the Wild International had already been campaigning against Tesco selling live animals at Le Gou Hymall stores, run as a joint venture with its Chinese partner Ting Hsin.

The charity used the publicity gained by the new store to spread the word to UK consumers. "Tesco should not benefit financially from the suffering of these animals," said Barbara Maas, CWI chief executive. "We call on UK consumers not to shop at Tesco until the company changes its mind."

Tesco said it was responding to consumer demand. "Turtles are a traditional part of the Chinese diet and are eaten widely," said a spokesman. "It would be wrong to impose our values on other countries."

Tesco plans to open 10 Le Gou Tesco stores a year in China.