Georgia turtle trapper accused of illegally trapping thousands of freshwater turtles

By FOX 5 Atlanta Digital TeamPublished 4 days agoPets and AnimalsFOX 5 Atlanta


Sea turtles rescued from cold

Four sea turtles were rescued and are being cared for at the Georgia Aquarium after they were caught in winter weather up north (Credit: Georgia Aquarium).

ATLANTA – A prolific turtle trapper is accused of illegally trapping and exporting thousands of freshwater turtles in Georgia.

Nathan Horton, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly violating the Lacey Act, which regulates the trafficking and labeling of wildlife, fish, and plants.  Ad Content by Taboola | Sponsored StoriesNow presenting: Potential home and auto savings!Progressive | Auto Insurance Quotes|Sponsored The Best Credit Cards For Huge RewardsNerdWallet|Sponsored 

According to the indictment, beginning by at least July 2015 and continuing until at least July 2017, Horton shipped thousands of freshwater turtles from Georgia to California that had been trapped using turtle nets that were illegal under Georgia law. Although Horton held a Commercial Turtle Permit during this time and GA-DNR sends all commercial permit holders the applicable Georgia statutes and GA-DNR regulations on turtle traps, Horton repeatedly used illegal traps to capture freshwater turtles. In October 2016 and August 2017, while holding a commercial permit, GA-DNR cited Horton for using illegal traps to capture freshwater turtles, the indictment stated.

Among the species of turtles Horton allegedly trapped illegally were: Stripe-necked musk turtle (Sternotherus minor peltifer), Loggerhead musk turtle (Sternotherus minor), Common musk turtle or stinkpot or eastern musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), and Eastern mud turtles (Kinosternon subrubrum).

3 thoughts on “Georgia turtle trapper accused of illegally trapping thousands of freshwater turtles

  1. We knew wild turtles eaten in Asia have all but become extinct, but who knew same thing was happening in U.S. with turtles here allowed to be commercially exported so 1.5 billion Chinese can gobble up the U.S. wild turtle population too? Who knew Georgia was selling “Commercial” Turtle Permits? That these innocent wild animals have been being trapped here for years & sent to a country where they are butchered alive. Truly sickening.

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