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 GA turtle collector sues to get confiscated reptiles back

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Age : 46
Registration date : 2008-08-07

PostSubject: GA turtle collector sues to get confiscated reptiles back   Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:18 pm

i got this in the mail today

[petlaw] Long explination Re: GA turtle collector sues to get confiscated reptiles back

*sigh* Yes, TURTLES. There are rat fanciers, rabbit fanciers, and
reptile hobbyists. I was at a reptile show this weekend where the
most expensive snake was $100,000 (the first albino variation of a
species of green tree python). A few years ago, the first "pie
bald" ball pythons were selling for $20,000 (now they're down to

Turtle keeping is a huge hobby and there are big bucks to be made
from it. Some people might have just one turtle they've had as long
as 40, 50, or 60 years(!), others have dozens or even hundreds in
their private collections. These days, most species can be easily
bred in captivity, but it's still cheaper in some cases to remove an
adult from the wild than to breed, hatch, and grow up a hatchling to
a sale-able size.

One of the problems with turtles is that they are a long-lived
animal that survives as a class of animal BECAUSE it's long-lived.
There's a high mortality in the eggs and juveniles. This is an
ecological problem when wild turtles are removed from the
population, especially for commercial harvests which tend to remove
large numbers from the wild. Harvesting wild turtles is a serious
threat to native ecosystems. Thus, many states prevent the take of
native wild turtles (which is sound wildlife management in many
cases), and issue heavy fines for "poaching" of wild turtles. Some
species command $250, $500, or more for an animal that may barely
reach 5". So, they're easily poached and "laundered" between
different states and countries for a large profit. Some states
allow unlimited take of wild native reptiles, some allow possession
of a limited number of naitve species but make no provisions for
breeding of pet reptiles, while some regulate but allow the breeding
and sale of captive bred native species. In addition, some common
pet turtles are considered invasives in states to which they're not

As a hobbyist and rescuer, it's difficult dealing with the hodge-
podge of state by state regulations, as well as dealing with
regulations that can change yearly while your animal may live 25
yrs, 50 yrs, 100 yrs, or more. Just last week a turtle was
surrendered when the owner passed - the box turtle had been a pet
for 40 years! Thank God my state issues a permit for this kind
of "rescue" - in other states that animal would likely be euthanized
by the authorities because it's in violation of state regulations to
possess a native turtle! Then you have the federal Lacey Act, which
I don't even want to get into right now!

Getting state wildlife authorities to realize that it IS possible to
keep and breed turtles without harming native populations is an
uphill battle - most states would rather make it illegal than go
through the bother of regulating it.

Maryland and New Jersey have pretty good native reptile regulations
that protect native species while still allowing the keeping,
breeding, and sale of native species. I'd recommend that those in
other states encourage thier officials to copy the regs from MD and


--- In pet-law@yahoogroups.com, "Dawn Condon--Sterling Moon
Rabbitry" wrote:
> First let me start by saying....TURTLES? COME ON!!!--what's next--
cockroaches? If you are a turtle lover, I apologize but I never
thought I would be grouping myself with a turtle breeder. Why in
the world would someone with turtles get bothered? This is why it's
so important not to separate breeders from breeders.
> "Some of those turtles are irreplaceable," D'Agostino said. "He
had Gotten them before they became protected; some as gifts and some
he Raised as hatchlings."
> This I can actually relate to. When my daughter and I decide
which animals to breed we are creating a unique line from someone
else's unique line--we bring another rabbit in and create another
unique line. Do it long enough and you have living breed history in
your barn, kennel, etc. And if you are lucky enough, you are able to
raise animals that are connected to places and people no longer
existing. This is where I really respect breeding and have a
purebred animal.

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