> So why do Petland Discounts, Petco, and just about every other major pet
> chain--and non-pet chain pet shop sell these turtles? I don't know. But the
> problem should be stopped there.
> I propose that the sale of these turtles should be banned outside of their
> normal range.
Education of the public, not prohibition is the best solution to this problem.
The danger with banning this species - then why not ban all turtles? There are
many responsible people who keep red-ears - should they have to give up their
animals just because someone else got an itch and moved to impose a blanket
prohibition - you know that Big Government "One Size Fits All" approach to
problem solving. Like the NYC Iguana ban.
> The sale of "native" species should be promoted in each
> region--as at least the people who release their turtles in a neighboring
> lake--could at least know that they will not be introducing any foreign
> species to the area.
Still a turtle keeper should ascribe to the same philosophy as fishkeepers - not
release anything for the very reason you mention below.
> Of course the introduction of foreign diseases into the "natural" ecosystem
> poses another threat that will have to be addressed in my next email.
> Any better ideas?
I think the best approach would be a form of certification for captive breeding
and maybe making individual collectors obtain permits with reporting
requirements regarding disposition of speciemens. Florida does this with
venomous reptiles. Licensing the breeders solves a whole lot of problems -
provides a legitimate source of animals that is sustainable as opposed to
collecting from the wild. It also produces animals that are more likely to be
free of parasites - that helps prevent the spread of things like Heartwater
Disease. It also gives the consumer a pet that is overall healthier and better
adapted to captive life - as opposed to parasite ridden wild creatures that are
also stressed and finicky eaters that often waste away withing months after
purchase or require expensive veternary intervention to straiten them out!
Rather than that reactionary impulse to ban and prohibit things we really need a
compromise approach respecting of individual liberty and at the same time
fosters socially responsible husbandry.
There are many people out there who think there is nothing wrong with releasing
turtles or exotic fishes into local waters. Most of them simply don't know any
better. They need to be informed.
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