Mike’s Fish Tank – Baby Turtles

Posted by  //  May 26, 2014  //  Articles, Mike's Fish Tank

A lot of people ask me about baby turtles. They are not legal to sell in the U.S. but some places do still sell them.

The sale or distribution of turtles with a length of less than 4 inches has been banned in the US since 1975. The ban was brought into effect under the Public Health Services Act by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the problem of Salmonella infections in children.

Prior to the ban there were an estimated 250,000 cases of Salmonellosis in children and infants that were associated with pet turtles in the US.

Why 4 Inches? After all, turtles of all sizes can carry Salmonella. 4 inches was chosen with the thought that most young children wouldn’t try to put a turtle larger than this in their mouth (of course, putting a turtle in your mouth isn’t the only way to be infected with Salmonella). However, restricting turtle sales to those greater than 4 inches probably also helps reduce the incidence of Salmonellosis by reducing turtle sales, since hatchlings are much more irresistible than larger turtles.

Also, kids are probably less inclined to play with the larger turtles in the first place. Certainly, the risks of Salmonella are still present with larger turtles, and with any turtle precautions are necessary to prevent Salmonella infections.

There are companies and individuals that will try to get around the ban by some of the following methods: giving turtles away for “free” with the purchase of a turtle lagoon (i.e. totally inadequate housing). getting the customer to sign a disclaimer that the turtles will be used for educational or exhibition purposes (not acceptable according to the  FDA. The FDA asks that anyone who has knowledge of sales or distribution of turtles less than 4 inches in length to report the location and  circumstances of the sales directly to the FDA office nearest their residence.

A complete lising of offices can be found here: FDA Regional Office Contacts. I hope this info helps people out with their concerns on baby turtles.

Pets A Plenty is located in the Blockbuster Video Plaza, Rte 281 Cortland, 753-9213. Open 7 days a week. We now have a website. www.petsaplety.biz. check it out. I post care sheets, coupons, new animal arrivals, contests and more. Any questions, email me at friskyy@hotmail.com

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