Wild Baby-Turtle Dealer Convicted Following PETA Sting

Illegal, Salmonella-Infested Turtle Trade Endangered Buyers, Animals

For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Newport News, Va. – Today, Newport News 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 has closed down Taylor’s cruel business, which tore fragile baby turtles from their natural habitat and put their health and lives at risk, as customers are likely unprepared to meet their unique needs,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges caring people to steer clear of purchasing turtles and other small and exotic animals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that the sale of small turtles is prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and that the animals frequently carry potentially deadly salmonella, which is easily transmitted to people. Referring to his turtles, Taylor told witnesses, “Since they’re so small, it is illegal to sell them unless you tell people they are for … educational research purposes.”

Broadcast-quality footage from PETA’s investigation is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind