Selling RES

Discussions about turtles.
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rfox
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I was in PRO Fish Aquariums today and they had captive raised RES for sale. They hade 4 hatchlings in a 20 gallon long tank with clean surroundings good care filter running, heater, so forth. These were about 1-1-1/4 inches diameter. There were no more than 4 in any tank. There was no overcrowding of any species.

I questioned the owner/manager(?) about the sale of the little guys because of the Fed statute. I was informed that the law has been amended and that within Texas and Louisiana it is legal to sell RES under 4 inches in diameter. Has anyone heard of this law change? The owner had to fill out paperwork and can only sell captive raised RES.

Texas Department of Wildlife officers do come in and do inspections on him. He also stated that his other store in CA cannot even think about selling RES. Again any info would be greatly appreciated because he is all for the proper care of his herps. I told him that I was going to post to this board with this news and he was interested. Your feedback please.
mariza
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I`ve never heard of this--it must be new. I`ve read that recently there has been some new legislation introduced, most of which seems to be trying to make it harder to own reptiles.

Your information is interesting, and I would like to know more. Thanks for posting it.
rfox
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It was close to closing time for the Texas Wildlife folks when I got home this afternoon and I coul not verify everthing but I will try to verify it with them and I will contact the National Parks and Wildlife folks just up the street on Monday and see if there is anything that they have. I was in \"shock and awe\" over the situation.
mariza
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If it`s a federal law, can states decide to amend it? I remember reading somewhere that state law takes precedence over federal law with respect to certain aspects of owning turtles/travel between states (I think, but am not 100% sure), but I didn`t think the 4-inch law was part of it.
TurtleSue13
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if its a fedral law then 1 or 2 states cant just d something else. if the congress votes i think 2/3 to try to change it then i think it goes to the supreme coart.because the supreme coart takes things having to do with federal laws. i think thats it. i\'ll ask my social studies teacher monday. i learned this last year.lol.
~~~LAYLA~~~
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lol foreal how big they suppose to be?
my res i bout was almost 2 inches long :)
not 4 my spiney softshell is 3-4 though
TurtleSue13
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the law is under 4\" is illegal to sell. obviously no 1 follows it. i have 4 babies that are size of quarter. but wen ever u buy them they are like behind the coountere and stuff hidden.
rfox
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Here is an update on the Sellin of RES. I have placed the inquiries and I am awaiting replies. I may have opened a can of worms for someone, if i did and they were breaking the law I don\'t care. RES and profit are not in the same ballpark as far as I am concerned. I will push for an answer from the authorities Monday Sept. 29. Keep you posted.
preciousbabihien
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well it\'s illegal to sell turtles under 4\"
There is an execption for educational exibhit.
rfox
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I just got yhe results of the inquiries and I am upset. The game wardens said that all that is required to sell RES hatchlings is a non-game permit. This flies in the face of all of the conservation that has been going on and all of the education that we have been trying to do about the proper care of turtles. You can rest assured that I will be following up on this item.
mariza
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When did the 4-inch law get changed in these two states?
rfox
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I do not know. That is what I am trying to find out. The restriction on sale is a Food and Drug Administration ruling not federal law as passed by the Congress. Since Congress never passed legislation it never went into the Code of Federal Regulations. The FDA ruling allowed for educational sale which has been abused by many vendors. The Fish & Wildlife Service evidently just decided to put a non-game use permit on the pet sale. I am still trying to chase this down further and deeper. This is what i have come up with so far.
deesygirl
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Here is the actual law concerning the sale of turtles. You can find the complete listing here:
http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/c ... 0-100.html




Sec. 170.100 Turtles - Ban on Interstate and Intrastate Sales and Distribution (CPG 7129.01)

BACKGROUND:

Turtles may carry Salmonella genus (including Salmonella arizona strains) bacteria and may transmit these bacteria to humans, causing salmonellosis. Salmonellosis is characterized by severe gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and diarrhea) and occasionally results in death.

POLICY:

The sale or commercial distribution of viable turtle eggs and small turtles (carapace length less than 4 inches) for use as pets is banned under 21 CFR 1240.62. The ban is based on the Public Health Service Act (section 361, 58 Stat. 703) and therefore applies to both intrastate and interstate sale and distribution. Exceptions to the ban under 21 CFR 1240.62 permit sales of turtles and turtle eggs for use in bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibitional purposes other than as pets and of marine (ocean) turtles. Other exceptions to the ban are the sale of turtles and turtle eggs not in connection with a business (e.g., limited sales between turtle fanciers have been permitted) or that are intended only for export. The ban applies to small turtles (under 4 inch carapace length) because these are most likely to be held for sale as children\'s pets, and the purpose of the ban is to protect children from turtle-born salmonellosis.

FDA will respond to consumer and state and local government complaints. If illegal turtles are encountered during the course of regular FDA activities appropriate action should be taken. If illegal pet turtles are found in distribution channels, the following are recommended:

1. Determine whether the State or local government has regulations controlling turtles. If so, they should be encouraged to assume primary responsibility and report the source or subsequent distribution of the turtles outside their jurisdiction to FDA for appropriate followup. If a State or local government is unable or unwilling to take appropriate action, FDA will assume primary responsibility for the investigation.

2. Advise the person or persons who are offering for sale, or other commercial distribution, turtles with a carapace length of less than four (4) inches in length or viable turtle eggs, that they are in violation of 21 CFR 1240.62. Provide a copy of the regulations to the person in charge.

3. Determine, if possible, the source and subsequent distribution of illegal turtles. Send surveillance reports to the home districts of the turtle suppliers and distributors and report sub-distribution so that followup may be made to effect removal of turtles from distribution. Also, report purported &quotlegal\"distribution under the exceptions listed in 21 CFR 1240.62 (e.g., shipments to pet stores invoiced as &quotfor scientific purposes\") so that investigations can be made of diversions to pet sales.

4. Encourage appropriate voluntary disposition whenever possible (see paragraph 6).

5. If voluntary disposition cannot be obtained, issue a Demand for Disposition letter. If sale or distribution of turtles or turtle eggs in violation of 21 CFR 1240.62 has already been documented by a State or local government agency, the Demand for Disposition letter may be issued on that basis. (For a guide for preparation of the Demand for Disposition letter see Attachment A.) After service of the Demand for Disposition, take all reasonable precautions to insure that the person in possession of the turtles or turtle eggs will not sell, distribute, or otherwise dispose of any of the turtles or turtle eggs except in a manner that precludes children obtaining the turtles.

6. Any reasonable voluntary or on-demand method of disposition that accomplishes the goal of removing small turtles from general sale, or distribution is acceptable (e.g., donation to a zoo). The Humane Society may be willing to supervise release to the wild in an appropriate habitat. Destruction of the turtles by FDA personnel at the district office using a humane method is indicated if an acceptable alternative method of disposition is not available. Because turtles are &quotcold blooded,\"freezing is a humane method of destruction.

7. Following destruction, the turtles should be disposed of in a manner to preclude spread of any contaminating organism.

8. Forward a copy of the investigation (including the source, any subsequent distribution and disposition) to *CFSAN/Office of Field Programs/Division of Enforcement (HFS-605)*.

REGULATORY ACTION GUIDANCE:

If a dealer refuses to comply after receiving the Demand for Disposition letter (Attachment A), and evidence is obtained that turtles continue to be held for sale or distribution in violation of 21 CFR 1240.62, *CFSAN/Office of Field Programs/Division of Enforcement (HFS-605)* should be contacted before submission of a regulatory action proposal.

GUIDE LETTER FOR DEMAND FOR DISPOSITION

On June 1, 1983, FDA investigator Jones inspected (insert name of organization, company, person, or persons).

The inspection showed that turtles were being offered for sale or public commercial distribution (recite with particularity the facts which justify the demand).

Pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, section 1240.62, a copy of which is attached, demand is made that these turtles shall not be sold, distributed or otherwise disposed of except by an approved method of disposition (e.g., destruction by a humane method such as by freezing, release to the wild, or donation to a zoo) by or under the Supervision of the ____________ District of the Food and Drug Administration.
rfox
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Confusion has been cleared up. I went directly to the FDA, Dallas office for clarification and they are contacting their representative in this area to educate the federal and state game wardens and to rectify the situation. This is a case of one governmental agency not knowing what the other is doing. In fact as I write this the enforcement officer just read the e-mail on the subject.

Deesygirl, thanks for the full citation on the law. After I found the original ruling I dug deeper and found the citation. I answered Mariza too soon but I was trying to get to the FDA and I got called away when the vaccuum cleaner motor blew up. Had to get it fixed then get this finished. Some people in the house can change my priorities.
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