4" law

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Cowboy_Ken

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In that the 4" law applies to “turtles, tortoises, and terrapins" how is it legal for me to purchase a hatchling sulcata at a show? Is it simply ignored on the tortoise front? Any insight would be great. From my interpretation of the law, the only exceptions to the law are marine turtles turtles and threyre covered by other laws.
 

wellington

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You can also get under 4" inch shipped. My understanding is as long as the say its for educational purposes, they can sell them. Also, who would have the man power to regulate? No one has enough man power to watch. If you ever did get caught buying, just tell them it's for educational purposes. That's just my guess. I don't really think or worry about it much.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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In a nutshell, it does apply to all chelonians, except for scientific or educational purposes. However, it is not a strongly enforced law. It prevents pet stores from selling them, but thats about it.
 

yagyujubei

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First of all there's no law about BUYING them. The restriction is on selling.
 

Tom

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The law also just applies to businesses, not small time hobbyists like some of us. Perfectly legal for a guy with a few tortoises in his back yard to sell off the hatchlings.
 

Yvonne G

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It is a USF&DA (United States Food and Drug Administration).



These are the EXCEPTIONS to the rule, pay attention to #2:



(d) Exceptions. The provisions of this section are not applicable to:

(1) The sale, holding for sale, and distribution of live turtles and viable turtle eggs for bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibitional purposes, other than use as pets.



(2) The sale, holding for sale, and distribution of live turtles and viable turtle eggs not in connection with a business.



(3) The sale, holding for sale, and distribution of live turtles and turtle eggs intended for export only, provided that the outside of the shipping package is conspicuously labeled "for export only."



(4) Marine turtles excluded from this regulation under the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section and eggs of such turtles.


So, if you are not selling as a business, you are excepted from the rule.
 

CourtneyAndCarl

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I've heard that there really isn't a distinction as to what it means by "educational" purposes and that they can easily be sold for "personal education"
 

Cowboy_Ken

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RE: 4" law

Understand that I'm not concerned with the violation side of things. I wanted to point out that the tortoise family is part of it. I see sulcata hatchlings for sale in pet stores, under terrible conditions, and it might be advantageous to point this out to the store to help limit the bad husbandry part of it.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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Not a bad idea. The LPS I used to work for did recognize that fact, and always waited to sell tortoises until they reached the 4-inch mark. But some mistakenly assume it only applies to aquatic turtles.
 

yagyujubei

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RE: 4" law

I think that that is an excellent way to get them banned for everyone.
Cowboy_Ken said:
Understand that I'm not concerned with the violation side of things. I wanted to point out that the tortoise family is part of it. I see sulcata hatchlings for sale in pet stores, under terrible conditions, and it might be advantageous to point this out to the store to help limit the bad husbandry part of it.
 

TylerStewart

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emysemys said:
(2) The sale, holding for sale, and distribution of live turtles and viable turtle eggs not in connection with a business.

That's not always enough to get you past though.... It's enforced by the states, and for some reason, the states seem to have their own interpretation of it all. In Utah, they just don't let it happen. It doesn't matter if you're at a show or selling on a street corner, doesn't matter if you're a business or not. They'll ticket you and threaten to confiscate everything on the spot if you don't pack up and leave immediately. By the time you go through a legal process to get your animals back, they'd likely be dead from a lack of care while they were being held hostage.

The definition of "business" is also up for interpretation.... I've been ticketed for this in Utah, but they didn't know that "Tortoise Supply" was or wasn't a business on paper, or in a legal sense. Just because someone at a show has a banner doesn't mean they're a business, and they very often aren't. If random citizen "Joe" was at a show (in Utah, for example) he would have been ticketed along with us and 4 other vendors. The guy enforcing it was based in Utah, but enforcing a federal law. There's likely other people in other states that have different interpretations of the law. Anyone going strictly by the law the way it's written can find multiple loopholes in it, but the guy in your face with the badge isn't the one that you are going to win the argument with. Fortunately most states don't have the time or enthusiasm to pursue it, but I guess in Utah, they can't chase invasive snakes in the snow, so they are forced to keep the turtle/tortoise guys in check :)
 

theEastCoastTurtle

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RE: 4" law

First off the 4" rule was made in the 70's when masive cases of disease but mostly samenela broke out across the US. You could walk into most gastations or markets and find little one inch red eared sliders. Believe it or not kids would put the turtle in their mouth! And thats what caused the 4" rule.


Please exuse my gramar and spelling.
 
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