Giving advice for illegally kept tortoises

Tolis

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Ploughshares in China, sea turtles in Pakistan, the uncontrollable market in Indonesia, even in my country that's in EU and forced to adopt EU strict regulations, countless greek tortoises (CITES Appendix I) kept dehydrated in sad enclosures are sold in pet stores for $20 each. It's 2021 but unfortunately most of the planet still lives in the wild west.

Asking the OP to "report the seller to the authorities immediately!" is extremely naive and counterproductive. The authorities are well aware of the situation in their country. They are simply incapable of stopping the trade, unwilling, or most likely both. The authorities are the ones that should be reported, no the pet store. Unfortunately, instead of doing the right thing by regulating the trade of captive bred animals and help increase their population, most of these countries took the easy path of completely banning the trade of tortoises on paper and turning a blind eye on what's really going on.

I don't know if the forum will be legally liable for giving advice on how to care for these animals or our conscience is what set this forum rule. If it's the latter then I suggest we put this rule aside for the sake of these rare precious animals.

By not discouraging these posts we help expose the problem so one day someone actually does something meaningful about it instead of burying it like most authorities do.
 

Yvonne G

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I can only speak for myself, but I have no idea the rules, laws, etc. for keeping turtles and tortoises in other countries. We have a rule here on the forum that we don't talk about illegal activities, but one has to first know it's illegal.
 

KarenSoCal

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Tolis, I agree with you. However...

I have only been a member here for 2.5 years, but during that time I recall about 4 or 5 times that something came up along this line. Mostly it is cases of individuals receiving/finding a tort that they don't know the species or the state laws regarding them, or they want to move and take their DT with them.

I agree that it cannot appear that this forum condones illegal practices, but at the same time the tortoise should not suffer because it was obtained illegally.

That's why a member usually tells the OP what is illegal in what s(he) has done or is planning to do, explains that we can't discuss it, and provides a species specific care sheet.

I think that's where our responsibility ends. It's not up to us to be dropping dimes on other keepers.
 

MEEJogja

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You would clearly be surprised what the authorities do and don't know.

While at the borders on common trafficking routes, wildlife officials have some presence, in a small European city where putting vast amounts of resources into policing may yield absolutely no results, whatever is going on at your local pet shop may be completely unknown to the authorities until it is reported. Someone from the central government may need to be called in to know anything about the animals on sale.

Even some suburb of a large capital, do you think a member of some government agency goes through every animal in a pet shop, checking the inventory and identifying each species? They are relying on someone reporting illegal activity, as is the case with almost anything else.

Reporting it is good whatever the case. It may get the attention of the right person or agency, and they may shut down the supply chain.
 
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