Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA is urging the public to beware of PETCO's "Turtle
Relinquishment Program"—a deceptively named ploy to essentially solicit
free turtles from unsuspecting people in order to funnel them back into the pet
trade, through a meat farm!
Most states have laws either banning or restricting the sale of turtles, so it is likely that any you see at a pet store were captured illegally or raised in less-than-humane conditions.
Capitalizing on a recent rash of pet turtle–related cases of salmonella poisoning in humans, the shameless pet store chain—which has a terrible record already
when it comes to animal welfare—has announced that anyone can bring a turtle of any size to its stores. PETCO then ships
those turtles to its own vendor, Concordia Turtle Farm in Louisiana, which has said
that it will "treat" the turtles for salmonella.
Well, this might sound like a noble effort to some, but shipping
turtles is extremely stressful on them. And to add insult to injury, there really isn't any way to
rid reptiles of salmonella—they naturally carry it in their intestinal tract! What's more, what PETCO doesn't tell consumers, and what PETA
has learned, is that Concordia Turtle Farm exports 80 percent of its turtles
overseas—mostly to China, where they grow larger and are then slaughtered for
meat. Although it's unclear whether the relinquished turtles will end up on
Chinese plates, this business deal brings up several important questions. Why would PETCO ally itself with a
meat-trade supplier? And if it's "concerned" about human health, why is the company
selling turtles in the first place?
Living conditions during the trip from the breeder or dealer are typically cramped and unsanitary, and many reptiles do not survive the ordeal.
What You Can Do
Please help keep turtles safe by urging the CEO of PETCO to
end this ghastly program and stop selling turtles altogether.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.