Salmonella-free turtle larvae

This is actually what we’re reading about pet stores selling “certification” salmonella-free turtles” illegal. We’ve been skeptical about this topic before, but think the issue deserves a second look. Of course, American turtle breeders are touting turtle egg treatment as a means of making pet turtles “safe” again, so deny The need to ban the sale of turtle hatchlings. So, yessalmonella– Free turtle hatching for future waves?

Based on the research we read, we believe it is possible to produce a salmonella– Free turtle eggs (and hatching), but hard to keep them salmonella– Free long term.Also, turtles only shed salmonella Intermittent, so a negative test is unreliable. The second problem is the accidental development of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella.

how salmonella– Make free eggs

When the ban on the sale of turtles under four inches was first enacted, researchers scrambled to find a way to eradicate them salmonella Bacteria from eggs and larvae. A method was developed that involved treating turtle eggs with a disinfectant to clean them, then dipping them in an antibacterial solution.The resulting pressure differential drives the antibacterial solution into the egg, killing any salmonella Bacteria present in eggs. Turtle farms have been using this method (often named the Siebeling method after the scientists who conducted extensive research) to produce certified “salmonella– Exported “free” eggs and hatchlings. However, some less cautious sellers are selling these certified “safe” hatchlings in the United States in violation of the ban.


Cases have been documented where “salmonella– “Turtle-free” turned out to be not Salmonella-free. But even the initial research showed that a small percentage of treated eggs/hatching was not Salmonella-free. salmonella.There is also a lack of recent peer-reviewed studies demonstrating the effectiveness of procedures used in production salmonella– Free turtles.

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  • Nature of Salmonella Infections in Turtles: Turtles are natural carriers of salmonella (part of the normal bacterial load in their guts; they don’t get sick from it).Although they often carry salmonella, turtles do not constantly excrete bacteria in their feces, so even turtles carry salmonella False negative tests can be given based on the timing of the test.Moreover, because salmonella Surviving well in the environment, turtles are natural carriers, salmonella-Free turtles are prone to reinfection, especially around other turtles.
  • antibiotic resistance: When antibiotics are used, most bacteria are eradicated, but any bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics will survive and multiply, creating resistant bacteria.For the past few years, gentamicin has been a commonly used antibiotic in the production process salmonella– Free turtle eggs.Eventually, the turtles were found harbouring salmonella and other bacterial strains resistant to gentamicin and some related antibiotics (plasmid-mediated high-level gentamicin resistance in gut bacteria isolated from pet turtles in Louisiana).This only makes the situation worse, as bacterial infections from turtles that carry drug-resistant strains can be harder to treat. Therefore, the search is on for another treatment that does not develop resistance.

FDA position

The FDA, which issued the ban, has yet to approve the process, largely because of the use of antibiotics (and concerns about resistance) and the potential for reinfection.

A false sense of security?

Careful hygiene is a good rule any pet should follow.Our concern is that the owners salmonella– Free turtles may be less careful and think their turtles are safe (don’t know the chance of reinfection, or other bacteria their turtles may be carrying).we don’t think salmonella People should be prevented from coming into contact with reptiles, but respecting the risks will keep them safer.

What if the ban is lifted?

What we found alarming is that, according to the above study, 12 million hatchlings are exported each year. 12 million! With the establishment of turtle farms in Asia, U.S. turtle farmers are once again losing their market, and they want the U.S. market to open up again.

Before the ban, when baby turtles were very popular and very common, many turtles died at the hands of well-meaning owners who knew very little about their care. Even today, turtle hatchlings are sold (albeit illegally) as well as a laughably deficient plastic lagoon as a home. No matter how illogical it may seem to ban the sale of turtle hatchlings, it has the nice side effect of saving newly hatched turtles from inadvertent death. Well, maybe not; let’s assume the problem has just been exported, and larval sales in the US may have slowed, but not stopped. Nonetheless, we are concerned that if the hatchery market in North America opens up again, it will certainly not benefit sea turtles.


Salmonella-free turtle larvae
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