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Menu of state turtle-associated salmonellosis laws
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  • Corporate Authors:
    Public Health Law Program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)) ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. ;
  • Description:
    Turtles are often carriers of salmonella, which can cause serious salmonellosis infections in humans, particularly among vulnerable populations such as young children and the elderly. In recent years, salmonellosis outbreaks linked to pet turtles have increased throughout the United States.

    Since 1975, the Food and Drug Administration has adopted regulations limiting the sale of small turtles with certain exceptions. Some states have exercised their own authority to establish laws that not only limit the sale of turtles but also regulate how turtles are sold, establish authority to test and destroy infected turtles, and limit the places where turtles may be kept. This menu addresses state and territorial laws regarding the sale of turtles, as well as other laws that limit turtle use and distribution.

    This document was developed by Aila Hoss, JD, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow, and Don Benken, JD, MPH, Senior Public Health Analyst, with the assistance of Matthew Penn, JD, MLIS, Director, with the Public Health Law Program (PHLP) within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.

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