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Re: Law


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Posted by thecrowes on January 13, 2003 at 11:50:05:

In Reply to: Law posted by Maxx MacLeod on January 09, 2003 at 02:56:46:

Maxx-
W/o getting too technical - this law was passed becaused of the turtle craze in the seventies where even dimestores were selling hatchling turtles (res or painted) because it was a big fad - bigger than the pet rock. There was a huge epidemic of salmonella being reported in children in several large cities, and it was found that the children were contracting salmonella from the turtles. The 4 inch rule was applied because turtles (the ones that started this fad were baby aquatics) have softer shells that the bacteria thrive on, and once the turtles reach 4", they do not pose as big a threat as the hatchlings. I personally have worked as a purchaser for a pet store - and the law is strictly enforced for retail establishments. If a pet store tried to buy a hatchling for resale from Joe Reptile Sellers - it would be denied. But if an individual wanted to buy it for a private collection - that's fine. BTW - salmonella didn't become an epidemic because babies were putting them in their mouths :) - but that' s a fun mental image bc I'm a parent of two. Salmonella bacteria is passed by ingesting the bacteria - but the children were just picking the turtles up (which were generally kept in water that they defecated in), and then putting their fingers in their mouths without washing them after picking up the turtles. The bacteria is passed from fecal material into the mouth - and kids can not keep their hands out of their mouths - and it could even be passed by the child picking up a french fry and eating it w/o first washing their hands. But I think this law served turtles very well....By the time the hatchlings reach 4", they aren't nearly as cute to the average pet shop shopper, and people start to realize they'll need a bigger aquarium than a goldfish bowl. So - it saved little kids from getting sick, and little turtles from getting flushed (which is what was happening to them when they started to get bigger). Stephanie

:Ryan-- In my opinion, this is a really stupid law that was passed in the mid-seventies and it was prompted by incidents where parents let their babies put hatchling turtles in their mouths and the children got salmonella. This is a health related law and it applies to the retail sales of turtles. Of course, we all know that there are more people that catch salmonella every year from over-ripe chicken salad sandwhiches (the mayonaise) at church picnics than ever caught it from reptiles. In any case, there are a few states and cities that care about this and enforce it and there are others that find better uses for their time. Importantly, they can be purchased for "scientific" and "educational" purposes, which is a pretty broad umbrella. If you look at some of the old forum comments, you'll see long strings of comments on this topic. --Maxx





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