After 24 years, Red Eared Sliders will once again be banned in Connecticut.
On June 7, 2018, Governor Malloy signed HB 5354, now Public Act 18-114, An Act Concerning Snapping Turtles and Red-Eared Slider Turtles. The bill takes effect on October 1, 2018.
For those of you who don’t remember, Peach and PETS of Connecticut (a state arm of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, PIJAC) were instrumental in getting legislation passed in 1994 that would allow the sale of Red Eared Sliders with a shell size of at least 4”. Red Eared Sliders were originally declared illegal in Connecticut in 1973 after a Salmonella outbreak, in part caused by the sale of small (quarter-sized shells) turtles in many retail outlets. A federal ban on the smaller-sized turtles became effective in 1975.
The reason for the upcoming ban…it has been suggested that the Red Eared Slider is an invasive species, causing decreased populations in native Box and Spotted Turtles (not proven). Many buyers don’t realize that a turtle can live a long time and require care and maintenance. The turtle becomes too large (or the owners lose interest) and gets abandoned in a local pond or lake (which is illegal in Connecticut, and many other states).
Connecticut now joins other states in the area (New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts) in banning the legitimate, retail sale Red Eared Sliders. The law does nothing to address the sale of Red Eared Sliders on-line, or at flea markets, or from other states where they are not currently banned.
FIGHT THE HAWAII FISHING BAN
The State of Hawaii has recently published two draft environmental assessments (DEAs) for commercial aquarium fishing permits on the Island of Oahu and the Island of Hawaii. The DEAs were prepared pursuant to the Hawaii Environmental Protection Act pursuant to a Hawaii Supreme Court decision. These are documents that collect, synthesize, and analyze available scientific information concerning the impacts of aquarium fishing on the environment.
If you believe that DEAs are complete documents that adequately evaluate the potential effects of aquarium collection on the environment, then please use this link to provide comments to Hawaii on this important document. Activist groups that are opposed to fishing in any form are pressing hard to ban the fishery regardless of the science, so your comments are needed.