‘Turtle farming’ in Arizona, Kentucky leads to deaths of turtles
(AP) A Kentucky court says a company that grows turtles for pet stores is violating the turtles’ habitat protections.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman John Johnson said the state will hold a hearing on the issue.
Kentuckians for Wildlife, the nonprofit that manages the green turtle farms in eastern Kentucky, says it has been selling turtle meat to pet stores since 2013.
Kentucks for Wildlife spokesman Josh Hoehn said his organization is trying to find a way to keep the turtles and other wildlife in Kentucky.
He said he doesn’t know if the company will be allowed to continue its operations in the state.
The commission heard from several turtle farming companies who say they are complying with their federal habitat protections and that the commission has not acted on their complaints.
The commission did not issue an enforcement order or ban any turtle farms from operating.
The Kentucky Humane Society is trying an unusual tactic.
It has set up an online petition asking the commission to ban all turtle farms and other commercial wildlife operations.
The petition says that by providing the reptiles for pet shops, turtles are a source of revenue for local businesses.
The petition has collected more than 3,000 signatures, which must be verified before it is considered on the commission’s website.