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The Tortoise Trust is extremely concerned at the growing numbers of tortoises being imported into the UK, and we have serious doubts about the true origin of some of these animals. We have no doubt that many are not captive-bred as claimed. We are also very concerned at the manner in which these animals are shipped and handled via networks of "distributors" and dealers (many of whom falsely claim to be breeders).

We are particularly concerned at the growth in Internet sales of live animals, and we totally oppose this practice.

We strongly advise against purchasing animals from dealers, or via the Internet.

Ideally, consider adopting an animal in need of a good home.

If you do feel that you wish to purchase a tortoise or turtle as a pet, please research the subject fully in advance. You may find it is much more involved that you thought.

Should you decide to go ahead, we recommend purchasing ONLY from a genuine, LOCAL breeder who offers adequate pre-and-post sales advice and support, who meets all legal requirements.

Do not confuse "breeder" with "dealer"!