Don’t Lift the U.S. Ban on the Sale of Small Turtles
This petition made change with 416 supporters!
Update: More than 400 people sent a message to the FDA, asking that the 1975 ban on the U.S. sale of turtles smaller than 4 inches continue to be enforced. The FDA has confirmed that the ban will remain in place.
In 1975, the FDA banned the U.S. sale of turtles smaller than 4 inches because they posed a severe risk of salmonella. The FDA said the ban prevented 100,000 children from becoming infected each year.
Louisiana turtle farmers have filed a federal lawsuit against the FDA, demanding that the ban be removed since it is destroying their industry. They say that nowadays the turtles are raised in a sterile environment, and a cleansing process removes almost 99 percent of the salmonella. But the FDA says even clean baby turtles can continue to shed the bacteria throughout their lives, wreaking havoc on humans and wildlife.
Once the tiny, adorable red-eared slider turtles grow into foot-long, aggressive adults (they rarely live that long due to manhandling and neglect), they are frequently dumped by their owners. They die due to starvation or extreme dehydration, or are killed by predators. If they manage to survive, these turtles, labeled "clearly invasive" by the U.S. Geological Society, become a major threat to native species such as California's western pond turtles.
Although it's illegal to sell them, thousands of these turtles are still being purchased through the black market and then abandoned. What's the point of lifting the ban and opening the floodgates for thousands of more unwanted turtles?
Tell the FDA to continue banning the sale of small turtles in the U.S.
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