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2008-18

Dear Tommy Turtle

I recently saw some small turtles for sale at a fair. Isn’t that illegal?

Reba Responds

Yes. Turtles with shells less than four inches long may not be sold in the United States.

Even when they look healthy, turtles can carry Salmonella bacteria, which can be transmitted to humans – often children, where the infection can be fatal.

From May 2007 through mid-January 2008, 103 cases of turtle-associated salmonellosis from 33 states were reported to the Centers for Disease Control.

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