Is this even legal?! Wtf

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Okay, so I have a desert tortoise who I adopted he is permitted and all. I was online looking for more informational content and found an add on tortoise town for desert tortoises for sale! I always thought this was illegal. Anyway can anyone tell me what is happening with this? It’s crazy as they are endangered! I will post pics of the add. Thanks

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Turtulas-Len

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It may be legal, it depends on what state Tortoise Town is located or what state the tortoises are located if they are selling them for someone not in a state where they are protected. At least one species is no longer on the Federal list, from what I read a few years ago but still protected under state laws. They could be older tortoise or offspring of tortoises that were not in a protected state when they originally were placed on the protected list. I know nothing about tortoise town so it could be a scam also.
 
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It may be legal, it depends on what state Tortoise Town is located or what state the tortoises are located if they are selling them for someone not in a state where they are protected. At least one species is no longer on the Federal list, from what I read a few years ago but still protected under state laws. They could be older tortoise or offspring of tortoises that were not in a protected state when they originally were placed on the protected list. I know nothing about tortoise town so it could be a scam also.
Huh okay I think tortoise town is pretty well known. This whole thing seems wired tho...
 

Tom

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All Gopherus are federally protected. They CANNOT be sold by anyone anywhere. No way. No How. They also cannot legally be bred, which I think is completely stupid, counterproductive, and asinine. Its an endangered species and there are thousands of them in captivity. Why in the hell would they NOT want us to breed them?

Either this is some sort of bait and switch scam, or they are breaking the law. I bet if you order one and pay the money, they send you a "desert tortoise" from Khazikhstan. AKA a Russian tortoise. Most of their customer wouldn't know the difference.

I don't think it should be illegal to buy, sell or breed these fantastic species, but it is.
 
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All Gopherus are federally protected. They CANNOT be sold by anyone anywhere. No way. No How. They also cannot legally be bred, which I think is completely stupid, counterproductive, and asinine. Its an endangered species and there are thousands of them in captivity. Why in the hell would they NOT want us to breed them?

Either this is some sort of bait and switch scam, or they are breaking the law. I bet if you order one and pay the money, they send you a "desert tortoise" from Khazikhstan. AKA a Russian tortoise. Most of their customer wouldn't know the difference.

I don't think it should be illegal to buy, sell or breed these fantastic species, but it is.
 

Srmcclure

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All Gopherus are federally protected. They CANNOT be sold by anyone anywhere. No way. No How. They also cannot legally be bred, which I think is completely stupid, counterproductive, and asinine. Its an endangered species and there are thousands of them in captivity. Why in the hell would they NOT want us to breed them?

Either this is some sort of bait and switch scam, or they are breaking the law. I bet if you order one and pay the money, they send you a "desert tortoise" from Khazikhstan. AKA a Russian tortoise. Most of their customer wouldn't know the difference.

I don't think it should be illegal to buy, sell or breed these fantastic species, but it is.
Do they have any reason why they don't want to breed them? I agree, that seems very irrational. Breeding =more = hopeful removal from endangered list... right??? ??‍♀️ oy vey...
 
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Yeah I didn’t want to buy one, I was just very concerned ?. Why don’t they want them to breed in captivity? I have always wondered the same question. It doesn’t really make sense. I have heard something about respiratory infection. But what does that have to do with captive breeding? Thanks Tom!
 

KarenSoCal

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Just in case you ever consider buying a tortoise from Tortoise Town, read this first.

They are well known--for all the wrong reasons.

 

mark1

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Do they have any reason why they don't want to breed them? I agree, that seems very irrational. Breeding =more = hopeful removal from endangered list... right??? ??‍♀️ oy vey...

breeding is a way to sell poached animals , one only needs to claim they were captive bred .......... i see adult captive bred NA wood turtles , eastern box turtles , and blandings turtles that are obviously not captive bred for sale all the time .......... seeing perfectly grown groups of 15-20yr old eastern box turtles , NA woods and blandings for ridiculously low prices is pretty common , usually in late spring .............

as far as release , that is something you really don't want being done by the general public ......... introducing disease is a real risk ....... when done by experienced people the survival rate of releases captive bred turtles and tortoises is poor at best , at least any i'm aware of ........
 

Tom

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Honestly this looks like a page that only exists to draw search results off google...
That could be. "Sorry. We are fresh out of DTs right now, but how about one of these..."

Its a crime to sell them. I don't think its a crime to offer them for sale, but then never actually sell one.
 

Markw84

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It is my uinderstanding that these laws being referred to are state laws. It is a California state law that forbids breeding, etc. I know the same applies to Actinemys, and those are sold legally on the east coast. Similar laws (without the stupid no breeding) exists with spotted turtles on the east coast. It is illegal to sell or buy in a state where they are native, but legal to sell in states where they are not native.
 

mark1

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you do realize , wild caught spotted turtles are for sale on a regular basis ? they are simple to move to another state , I've known folks to drive 3hrs from their home , poach a bunch of blandings turtles , return home and sell them as captive bred in an unregulated state , it's done all the time …...…… the only time you'll see those folks getting caught is when the try to get them out of the country and involve federal laws ……….. captive breeding is without doubt a door to get wild caught animals into the market …legally keeping and selling regulated animals within a state they are regulated is somewhat effective at keeping wild caught adults out of the pet trade …. gravid females are some of the easiest turtles to catch …………don't know about other native states , but it is not illegal to buy and sell spotted turtles in ohio , nor any other native species …..……..
 

method89

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NY doesn't allow any eastern box (and all subspecies) spotted, and NA woods for sale. No exceptions to CB or wild.
 

mark1

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you may want to look into a new York propagation permit ? it's my understanding with one you can keep and sell any non-threatened , non-endangered CB native turtle …….. the only turtles I believe you cannot keep are blanding's , bog , southeastern mud and sea turtles ………. wood turtles , box turtles and spotted turtles are all designated species of special concern ……. these laws are often confusing , and often seem to contradict themselves in different places …. I've had trouble buying turtles in the past when folks believed it was illegal to sell them to me ……..


https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/28633.html
 

method89

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Hmmm... May have to look deeper into this... Thanks
 

Tom

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It is my uinderstanding that these laws being referred to are state laws. It is a California state law that forbids breeding, etc. I know the same applies to Actinemys, and those are sold legally on the east coast. Similar laws (without the stupid no breeding) exists with spotted turtles on the east coast. It is illegal to sell or buy in a state where they are native, but legal to sell in states where they are not native.
It is illegal to remove any DT from the state where it is found. This goes for AZ, CA and NV.
 

jsheffield

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Are there exceptions for specimens owned before the laws were passed?

That occurred to me as a possibility, but I don't know....

Jamie
 

enchilada

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I have a feeling that if you buy “desert tortoise “ on their website , they either never send you anything or send you a dark colored sulcata named “desert “
 

Ink

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The ads all say out if stock. I think it is bait and then they convince you to buy something else. My opinion...
 
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