Someone on reddit saying that owning a tortoise supports the illegal pet trade. Thoughts?

Cathie G

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Hi, I'm new here, but this is a topic that recently has affected me where I live and was interested if anyone was dealing with the same thing. As of July 1st in my state, they made a ban on owning box turtles. Prior to that date, you could own up to 5, and now anyone who owned them prior to July 1st has to register them with the state.

I used to do both wildlife and reptile rehab a while back, had a permit for wildlife, and people just kind of gave me reptiles they couldn't care for. So I ended up with a wild caught box turtle who was attacked by a dog and now also has issues. He couldn't be released and he won't survive if he is, and I've had him as a pet for 5 years now. In addition, about a year ago, I got 2 captive bred baby box turtles. It doesn't matter where my animals came from, they all have to be registered.

But the law didn't just affect box turtles, it was any reptile and amphibian that was native to the state, and aside from the now banned animals, you can only own 1 animal, not one of each species, but 1 all together if it is native. Doesn't matter if it's captive bred, or if you purchased it in a different state.

Has anyone else had to deal with this in their state? I kind of feel like by banning the captive bred, that's just going to create huge issues with poaching of wild caught animals.
And what is all of the owners before the law was passed supposed to do with their beloved animals. Didn't they put a grandfather clause in the law? Also I can't understand why captive bred animals are included. That doesn't sound like a law that should have passed.
 

chibicricket

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And what is all of the owners before the law was passed supposed to do with their beloved animals. Didn't they put a grandfather clause in the law? Also I can't understand why captive bred animals are included. That doesn't sound like a law that should have passed.
It's Virginia. There is a grandfather clause which requires everyone that owned these animals prior to July 1st to register them with the state up until December 31, 2021. I can imagine not everyone follows the news, and if they didn't know about it, the animals would probably get confiscated, and they would be fined $500 per animal. But the registry is requiring pictures of every animal and the date you took ownership. But the law is dumb because as of June 30th, 2021, the law was you could have up to 5 animals of each species. That's a lot of animals that are now going to have to be registered.

From my understanding, West Virginia just banned them outright and will confiscate them.
 

Cathie G

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It's Virginia. There is a grandfather clause which requires everyone that owned these animals prior to July 1st to register them with the state up until December 31, 2021. I can imagine not everyone follows the news, and if they didn't know about it, the animals would probably get confiscated, and they would be fined $500 per animal. But the registry is requiring pictures of every animal and the date you took ownership. But the law is dumb because as of June 30th, 2021, the law was you could have up to 5 animals of each species. That's a lot of animals that are now going to have to be registered.

From my understanding, West Virginia just banned them outright and will confiscate them.
I think they're doing that everywhere. Ohio a few years ago did some law changes too. They used a person that had large wild animals that got loose and he had reportedly shot himself. They killed the animals also. It swayed public opinion to get it passed. I'm just not sure of what all they changed. When I went online and tried to check the only thing I could find is that it is illegal to release a box turtle etc if it has been kept in captivity for 30 days or more. I didn't really check about larger wildlife.
 

OkAdiza

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It's Virginia. There is a grandfather clause which requires everyone that owned these animals prior to July 1st to register them with the state up until December 31, 2021. I can imagine not everyone follows the news, and if they didn't know about it, the animals would probably get confiscated, and they would be fined $500 per animal. But the registry is requiring pictures of every animal and the date you took ownership. But the law is dumb because as of June 30th, 2021, the law was you could have up to 5 animals of each species. That's a lot of animals that are now going to have to be registered.

From my understanding, West Virginia just banned them outright and will confiscate them.
Do you have a link or place to go for this information?
 

zovick

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Thought I had a handle on this topic but honestly the commenter got me digging a bit. Based on my research I still dont see anything to suggest that certain tortoise purchases are illegal or support the illegal pet trade.

Was hoping maybe some members/breeders here could shed some light on some of the concrete laws/regulations pertaining to different species in the USA.

Comment thread here: https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/n7zy1l/_/gxgzmt3
Using this backwards logic, the reddit poster would probably also come to the conclusion that owning a dog supports dog fighting rings.

His/her position is laughable at best, and utterly ridiculous when any reasonable thinking is involved.
 

chibicricket

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I just found it right before seeing your post. I am trying to find where you have to register a native species you have had from before this change. Do you know?
It's in the article, "People who kept box turtles and other native reptiles and amphibians as pets before the new rules took effect can hold on to their animals as long as those owners disclose their pets to the wildlife department. A registration system should go online in early July."

But I also called and confirmed with our herpetological society that there will be an online registry on July 15th.
 

Cathie G

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I just found it right before seeing your post. I am trying to find where you have to register a native species you have had from before this change. Do you know?
This is CathieG and I assume it's thru your state's fish and wildlife.
 

OkAdiza

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It's in the article, "People who kept box turtles and other native reptiles and amphibians as pets before the new rules took effect can hold on to their animals as long as those owners disclose their pets to the wildlife department. A registration system should go online in early July."

But I also called and confirmed with our herpetological society that there will be an online registry on July 15th.

Yes, Thank you! I did see that about the disclosing to the wildlife department. Thank you for the date.
 

Jan A

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Sadly with all the designer dogs now, I'm afraid the dog situation will not get better any time soon. People pay hundreds and thousands for a mutt because someone put a name go it. Makes me, as a past Good Chinese Shar-Pei dog breeder sick!
They were GREAT dogs, having babysat a couple of them 35 yrs ago. Ya just have to be careful in your selection with all breeds these days & who you're buying them from.
 

S2G

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What they're talking about is the US will accept an animal with no origin cites papers. I guarantee no one is wasting their time with redfoots or anything common. Maybe the star tortoises or Galapagos that's still an almost impossible task.

What you can do is take dart frogs for instance. A lot of the popular frogs are all illegal. What happens is they smuggle them from Brazil breed them in Europe then use the captive bred paperwork from Europe to get into the US. This happened recently with blue galact's. A lot of the long time available frogs are illegal by cites definition.
 
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