March 18, 2009
The HSUS Applauds Proposed Fla. Turtle Trapping Ban
The Humane Society of the United States commends the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for proposing a ban on the commercial trapping and sale of wild freshwater turtles. Florida increasingly has been a target for turtle trappers as other states have restricted their seasons. Laura Bevan, The HSUS' Eastern regional director, issued the following statement:
"Experts warn that turtle populations cannot sustain commercial take. It is vital that a complete ban be enacted as soon as possible to end the shipment of thousands of pounds of live Florida turtles each week to overseas markets to fulfill a demand that has already decimated wild turtle populations in many parts of the world.
"With this regulation, Florida's turtles will have protection that is critical to their recovery from the intensive trapping that has occurred in recent years. While the proposed rule is a big step forward to conserve Florida's resources, it leaves loopholes, such as allowing turtles to be removed from the wild for breeding stock, that we hope will be reconsidered.
"We also applaud the leadership of Gov. Charlie Crist, who in November 2008 called for the FWC to move toward a complete ban on harvesting of Florida's wild freshwater turtles."
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.