Contrary to advertisements on the Internet, claims of now being safe and salmonella-free, and hundreds being sold by an area pet store that believed sales were legal, in fact the ban on the sale of baby red-eared slider turtles is still very much in place.

The FDA banned the sale in the United States of any turtle with a carapace length of less than four inches in 1975 because of the public health impact of turtle-associated salmonellosis.

That ban is absolutely still in place, said Dr. Joseph Paige, veterinarian and director of compliance at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. He said there are many misconceptions being circulated throughout the country via the internet and other sources, but the simple fact is the sales are still against the law and those violating the law are subject to fines of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison per offense.

Paige said the Illinois district office of the FDA will be investigating the sales of baby turtles in Southern Illinois as well as the sources of those turtles in Texas and anywhere else. He said Internet sales, where the local pet store reportedly received the "salmonella-free" turtles are illegal as well. He could not comment on what specific penalties may be meted out in connection with the sale of hundreds of turtles in Southern Illinois.

  • anuhea

    cool website

  • anuhea

    awesomre but i wanna no how turtles respond to thre enviornment`

  • Karen Price

    My husband and I live in Cocoa, Florida and my husband picked-up a turtle on the road near the woods, we have had it for about 5 months. We don’t know what kind of turtle it is, can you help?
    The turtle is about 3-1/2 inches long with brown diamond-like markings on his back and they are outlined in black. Do you know what kind of turtle this is and how big it might get?
    Right now it is in a round plastic candy container which is 10 inches across and 5-1/2 inches high.

  • Jennifer

    Karen, check the ears and what color they are, if their red,some kind of brown,sometimes dark yellow mine are different colors, it might be a red eared slider, and they only get to be about 4 inches

  • Meg

    Jennifer is wrong. Red-eared sliders get up to 10 or 12 inches, not four, and their ears are red, not any other color.

  • anthony

    RED Ear sliders can have red yellow as well as brownish ears but they eventually turn red u can tell male or female by 5 years by the size of claws this is all correct information MEG IS INCORRECT