Today, Newport News, Virginia, resident and animal breeder Corey Taylor was convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor for offering wild animals for sale. The conviction follows a state investigation prompted by a tip from PETA. PETA investigated Taylor’s operation and discovered that he had removed more than 300 young turtles and eggs from their nests and was keeping them in his home to be sold, depriving the infant animals of everything that’s natural and important to them. PETA submitted the evidence to the Virginia Conservation Police, and Taylor—who admitted to PETA’s eyewitnesses that he was breeding and selling other animals in addition to turtles—was fined $200, given a 30-day jail sentence (which was suspended for one year), and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service.
The court’s action is a good reminder to steer clear of buying turtles and other small and exotic animals. The sale of small turtles is prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the animals frequently carry potentially deadly salmonella, which is easily transmitted to humans. And of course, fragile baby turtles suffer greatly when they are torn from their natural habitat and bought on a whim by people who are likely unprepared to meet their unique needs.
What You Can Do
Don’t support the cruel trade in exotic animals. Share PETA’s video with your friends and family members, and if you’re ready to make a lifelong commitment to an animal, always adopt one from your local animal shelter—never buy any animal from a pet shop or shady dealer.