Turtles Headed to a Nearby Petsmart Soon

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You read it here first: The Senate was up to passing an amendment to lift the 1975 ban on those little pet turtles baby boomers had growing up. And today they did it. Check out what Sen. Mary Landrieu had to say about it here:

May 8, 2007

For Immediate Release

Contact:Scott Schneider (202) 224-1949


scott_schneider@landrieu.senate.gov Senate Passes Landrieu Provision to Protect Turtle Farmers

WASHINGTON - In A 93-1 vote, the United States Senate today passed S. 1082, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Revitalization Act, which includes a key amendment offered by U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., that would lift the current ban on the sale of baby turtles in the United States.

In 1975, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned turtle farmers from selling turtle eggs and turtles fewer than four inches in length to protect pet owners from salmonella.A provision in Sen. Landrieu's amendment would require all turtles sold to be treated for salmonella, providing for the safe sale of turtles as pets.It would also require the dissemination of literature regarding risks involved with salmonella in turtles and how to properly protect turtle owners and children.

"My amendment frees Louisiana's turtle farmers from outdated FDA regulations that have crippled them for more than 30 years," Sen. Landrieu said."This is a great success for our agriculture industry, and I am proud that I could work with the Senate leadership to get this key provision passed.I urge the House to follow the Senate and pass this legislation so that the President can sign it and our farmers can have the freedom they need to provide safe and healthy turtles to America's children and families."

In response to the salmonella threat in turtles, scientists at Louisiana State University developed the Siebling method to make turtles and turtle eggs free from the disease. Sen. Landrieu's amendment requires that every turtle sold be treated using the Siebling or similar technique.The amendment also requires that states in which turtles are raised issue a certificate of sanitization signed by a federally-certified veterinarian to assure that the turtles have been treated for salmonella poisoning.

Snakes, iguanas, geckos, frogs and other amphibians and reptiles also carry salmonella but the FDA does not ban them from being sold in the U.S., nor does the FDA require that they be treated for salmonella before purchase.

There are approximately 78 turtle farmers in Louisiana, comprising a $9.4 million industry.

This amendment builds on the success of similar stand-alone legislation that Sen. Landrieu introduced with Sen. David Vitter, R-La., earlier this year.

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