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Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Turtle Amendment Not Actually a Repeal

The amendment recently mentioned is not a repeal of the current ban on sales of small turtles, but could lead to that. Or, it could lead to the ban of all pet reptiles. No, not kidding here, and not an overstatement. The idiots who put together the amendment are pushing to place all pet reptiles on equal footing, which might just give the ammunition that anti-reptile groups need to stop American herpetoculture if the industry doesn't do something about it soon. They're betting everything on the salmonella-free turtes, which is fine for turtle farmers, but they shouldn't be screwing around with the rest of the reptile trade. From the Natchez Democrat:

"The U.S. Senate recently passed a farm bill with the 'Domestic Pet Turtle Equality Act' attached, which will either open the market to pet turtle sales or close the market to all reptile pet sales.
"The amendment to the farm bill was added in the Senate, however, and a joint House-Senate committee has to work out a final version of the farm bill to send to the president for signing.
"If the amendment survives the committee and the president signs the bill, within 60 days the Food and Drug Administration will be required to test all of the salmonella-related pets on the market.
"If pet turtles test within a 10 percent prevalence of salmonella among the other animals, the Secretary of Agriculture will have to conduct a study about how turtles can be sold safely as pets.
"Once that study is competed, the Secretary of Agriculture has only two options, to either lift the turtle ban or to ban the sale of other salmonella-related animals."

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