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April 15, 2009

The HSUS Applauds Progress of Fla. Turtle Trapping Ban

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States commends the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for moving toward adopting a ban on the commercial trapping and sale of wild freshwater turtles. A final hearing on the rule will be held in June. Florida increasingly has been a target for turtle trappers as other states have restricted their seasons.

"Experts warn that turtle populations cannot sustain commercial take," said Laura Bevan, The HSUS' Eastern regional director. "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. The HSUS hopes those loopholes will be reconsidered.

We 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.

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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.

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