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Posted by W von Papineäu on January 28, 2003 at 06:06:16:
THE SUN (London, UK) 28 January 03 Tortoise case is cracked (Alastair Taylor)
Shell-Shocked pet shop boss Dale Briggs had four visits from two cops over the immigration papers of — a TORTOISE.
Dale, 46, sold the £150 reptile to a family who took it to a vet to get an ID microchip.
But the vet rang police fearing the tortoise — an endangered species — may have been illegally imported, an offence carrying a fine of at least £5,000.
Two officers were sent to quiz Dale, who has run the Paws For Thought chain in Leeds for 22 years.
Days later, they came back to question the assistant who sold the tortoise.
The cops then made checks at another of Dale’s shops.
They visited a fourth time to take a look at other shop documents.
Dale said last night: “You would have thought police would have had better things to do.
“The tortoise was legal and we were legally allowed to sell it.
“I think the people we sold it to had simply lost their documents.”
West Yorkshire Police refused to comment on the case.