Illegal, Salmonella-Infested Turtle Trade Endangered Buyers, Animals
For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2016
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.