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

TheWaveCarver

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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
 
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Tom

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Some people are animal rights activists and nothing you do or say will placate them. Be sure to understand the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Two completely different concepts.

The pet trade is heavily regulated, policed, and controlled. Anything illegal is pounced upon by the authorities. One could make a case that buying a captive bred tortoise does support the legal pet trade, but it would be hard to make a case that it has anything to do with the illegal pet trade. All the animals breeding now were already bred themselves in captivity from previously CB animals or legal imports. There is no need and no reason to do anything illegal when you can import legally or buy from CB stock that is already here.
 

Tom

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Also understand that we are literally living in an Orwellian dystopia now where the MSM double speak vilifies anyone who is not on board with their communist agenda. A legal breeder selling his or her offspring will be labeled a "trafficker". A legal importer will be labeled as someone buying and selling on the "black market" and contributing to extinction of a species, when in fact the opposite is true. I have some friends who legally imported some Chersina from South Africa for the express purpose of captive breeding, so the pet demand can be met without taking any from the wild. These lies will be backed up with sad looking, but unrelated pictures from years past where something illegal or unethical did in fact take place somewhere in the world.

Keep in mind that "right and wrong" diverged from "legal or illegal" a long time ago. Laws nowadays are all about controlling the population and giving the government power. Not helping wildlife. Look at the ban on breeding the CA desert tortoise for a perfect example. Its an endangered species. They cannot be bought or sold, or taken from the wild. There is NO profit to be made from this species in any way, yet they forbid breeding individuals that are already in captivity for life. Who does that serve? What good does that do for the species?
 

maggie3fan

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Also understand that we are literally living in an Orwellian dystopia now where the MSM double speak vilifies anyone who is not on board with their communist agenda. A legal breeder selling his or her offspring will be labeled a "trafficker". A legal importer will be labeled as someone buying and selling on the "black market" and contributing to extinction of a species, when in fact the opposite is true. I have some friends who legally imported some Chersina from South Africa for the express purpose of captive breeding, so the pet demand can be met without taking any from the wild. These lies will be backed up with sad looking, but unrelated pictures from years past where something illegal or unethical did in fact take place somewhere in the world.

Keep in mind that "right and wrong" diverged from "legal or illegal" a long time ago. Laws nowadays are all about controlling the population and giving the government power. Not helping wildlife. Look at the ban on breeding the CA desert tortoise for a perfect example. Its an endangered species. They cannot be bought or sold, or taken from the wild. There is NO profit to be made from this species in any way, yet they forbid breeding individuals that are already in captivity for life. Who does that serve? What good does that do for the species?
There are numerous Gopherus agassizii that I know of living in my small Oregon town, yet, we all know it is illegal to take them out of California. I believe it is impossible to police that rule. Also...I asked DFG what happens to the 1 person who has 1 or 2 Gopherus tortoises in Oregon and he said... DFG repossesses them/those tortoises and they are euthanized. What is the sense of that????? Take a healthy happy tort and kill it? Why? Because they crossed a state line...I call BS!!!
 

Jan A

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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
Tried to & review your post about reddit via my cell phone but needed an app to get there. I've maybe been on reddit only a few times years ago. I would trust these people even less about knowing anything about torts, breeders or wild or captive born because for sure they know nothing about caring for their fellow human beings. Reddit has been taken over & there are few reliable sources there anymore, IMHAO, just like the rest of the media & cancel culture.
 

Armadillogroomer

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What a dingo. Illegal trading is happening and harmful (people steal our wild turtles here), but that has nothing to do with captive-bred species.

I don't know if this will help anyone else that tends to get heated with online posting, but I use a Firefox add-on called Impulse Blocker. I'm sure there is a version for Chrome. I choose to spend 15 minutes on Reddit and then the add-on tells me my time is up. It's really useful for all social media sites. It only takes me about 5 minutes to catch up on REAL animal conservation sites on Facebook. But on Reddit, there is a so much veiled animal neglect, cynicism, and armchair advocacy, I would sometimes get frustrated and then get sucked into the rabbit hole, spending hours arguing with people. Now I've got myself trained to lurk, holding my tongue (fingers?) on posts that I don't agree with, and no more time wasted. It has helped my quality of life tremendously :)
 

wellington

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What a dingo. Illegal trading is happening and harmful (people steal our wild turtles here), but that has nothing to do with captive-bred species.

I don't know if this will help anyone else that tends to get heated with online posting, but I use a Firefox add-on called Impulse Blocker. I'm sure there is a version for Chrome. I choose to spend 15 minutes on Reddit and then the add-on tells me my time is up. It's really useful for all social media sites. It only takes me about 5 minutes to catch up on REAL animal conservation sites on Facebook. But on Reddit, there is a so much veiled animal neglect, cynicism, and armchair advocacy, I would sometimes get frustrated and then get sucked into the rabbit hole, spending hours arguing with people. Now I've got myself trained to lurk, holding my tongue (fingers?) on posts that I don't agree with, and no more time wasted. It has helped my quality of life tremendously :)
I need a blocker that deletes some of my comments on FB. Been in FB jail too many times lol. Such fake people, ugh
 

jsheffield

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I think this is a sticky subject.

There are probably importers who take, and sell, WC specimens in numbers, or from countries, outside/beyond established laws, but as others have pointed out, I don't think it happens a ton anymore.

I think the trickier part from my point of view is resellers who take shoddy care of the animals they are reselling because they can make more money with high turnover than by giving proper care... the tough part is that most of that behavior, although objectionable, probably isn't illegal.

I think when people buy an animal from a crappy reseller or a crappy petstore, they're helping to support, and perpetuate, a horrible business model that leads to a ton of animal suffering and death.

JMHO, YMMV.

Jamie
 

Jan A

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I think this is a sticky subject.

There are probably importers who take, and sell, WC specimens in numbers, or from countries, outside/beyond established laws, but as others have pointed out, I don't think it happens a ton anymore.

I think the trickier part from my point of view is resellers who take shoddy care of the animals they are reselling because they can make more money with high turnover than by giving proper care... the tough part is that most of that behavior, although objectionable, probably isn't illegal.

I think when people buy an animal from a crappy reseller or a crappy petstore, they're helping to support, and perpetuate, a horrible business model that leads to a ton of animal suffering and death.

JMHO, YMMV.

Jamie
I agree but pet stores & breeders have been over breeding & doing this with cats & dogs for decades. They had completely ruined the cocker spaniel line by the '70s. We have to do better as pet owners to pass this info onto the younger generations so they can teach their kids.

This is such a good forum. I wish there were more forums unconnected to FB, twitter, reddit & the like.
 

maggie3fan

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What a dingo. Illegal trading is happening and harmful (people steal our wild turtles here), but that has nothing to do with captive-bred species.

I don't know if this will help anyone else that tends to get heated with online posting, but I use a Firefox add-on called Impulse Blocker. I'm sure there is a version for Chrome. I choose to spend 15 minutes on Reddit and then the add-on tells me my time is up. It's really useful for all social media sites. It only takes me about 5 minutes to catch up on REAL animal conservation sites on Facebook. But on Reddit, there is a so much veiled animal neglect, cynicism, and armchair advocacy, I would sometimes get frustrated and then get sucked into the rabbit hole, spending hours arguing with people. Now I've got myself trained to lurk, holding my tongue (fingers?) on posts that I don't agree with, and no more time wasted. It has helped my quality of life tremendously :)
Generally speaking I have no filter between my brain and my mouth, so I stay off of twitter and reddit as I will fight in an instant and get sucked right in, pissed off and tense. So do a bit of FB and a lot of TFO...safer for my delicate psyche lol
 

Tom

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I think this is a sticky subject.

There are probably importers who take, and sell, WC specimens in numbers, or from countries, outside/beyond established laws, but as others have pointed out, I don't think it happens a ton anymore.

I think the trickier part from my point of view is resellers who take shoddy care of the animals they are reselling because they can make more money with high turnover than by giving proper care... the tough part is that most of that behavior, although objectionable, probably isn't illegal.

I think when people buy an animal from a crappy reseller or a crappy petstore, they're helping to support, and perpetuate, a horrible business model that leads to a ton of animal suffering and death.

JMHO, YMMV.

Jamie
I agree with all of this. Goes back to number 1 on my beginner mistakes thread. Its a mistake to buy from the wrong source. There are so many good people who care about the welfare of their adults and the babies they produce, I don't understand why anyone would buy from a pet store or internet flipper with animals in over-crowded conditions and the wrong conditions. I think so many people just don't know better. They go on-line and search and all the wrong sellers show up. It seems like the worse people are at animal care, they better they are at maintaining an internet presence, and vice versa. Potential buyers always ask me if I have a website they can go to. I don't. I'm too busy taking care of tortoises to do internet stuff, and frankly, tortoise care is my thing, not internet expertise and know-how. I'm terrible at running an internet business, but I'm great at producing healthy, well started torotise babies for people to enjoy.

 

Cathie G

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Well... mother nature is nice with a big butt... If the weather is fine and everything else including humans are behaving themselves then the babies might survive.😘..
 

TheWaveCarver

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Thank you the replies everyone, I've read them all in detail. Nobody critiqued the title of my post but I understand arguing or debating on social media platforms can be a bit cringe. However, I'm happy that I brought this to the attention of the forum - after my debate with the reddit user I definitely began to reflect which is always a good thing. How much did I really know? So I think in the end I definitely broadened my understanding of how captive breeding impacts the pet trade with the discussion here as well as some research on my own.

For those that don't know me and might be curious, my Cherryhead was picked up from Tortoise Supply. I'm definitely happy I did the research prior to purchasing a tortoise and went through a reputable captive breeder.
 

Jan A

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Thank you the replies everyone, I've read them all in detail. Nobody critiqued the title of my post but I understand arguing or debating on social media platforms can be a bit cringe. However, I'm happy that I brought this to the attention of the forum - after my debate with the reddit user I definitely began to reflect which is always a good thing. How much did I really know? So I think in the end I definitely broadened my understanding of how captive breeding impacts the pet trade with the discussion here as well as some research on my own.

For those that don't know me and might be curious, my Cherryhead was picked up from Tortoise Supply. I'm definitely happy I did the research prior to purchasing a tortoise and went through a reputable captive breeder.
I'm dismayed at how easy it is for people of all ages, but most of all kids, to get a tort & think it's ok to put them in a small container, feed them iceberg or romaine lettuce & have no idea of how to care for them. But that gets back to unscrupulous breeders & internet flippers.
 

TheWaveCarver

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I'm dismayed at how easy it is for people of all ages, but most of all kids, to get a tort & think it's ok to put them in a small container, feed them iceberg or romaine lettuce & have no idea of how to care for them. But that gets back to unscrupulous breeders & internet flippers.
Dont forget the overpowered heat lamp, low humidity and no UV bulb usually accompanied by a setup like the one you described :(. Sadly there's currently no way to prevent people with good intentions from purchasing and abusing an animal. Thats why I dont think I could ever become a breeder - really tough to say goodbye to hatchling / juveniles you've raised and not knowing what kinda hands they'll end up in. For exotics the only thing I can think of is making a permit mandatory where to acquire the permit you need to review some kinda basic pet requirements... but with so many exotics out there I doubt that would be feasible.
 
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