Last week local MP John McDonnell joined the campaign to protect sea turtles launched by the World Society to Protect Wild Animals.
The WSPA report attached highlighted the 9500 seat turtles farmed for their meat in a tourist attraction in the Cayman Islands. The report exposes the overcrowded and unhygienic conditions in which the turtles are kept. Extract from the report:
“There is no humane way to farm sea turtles. As a solitary, migratory, non-domesticated species these animals cannot adapt to life in a farmed environment. Sadly, being bred in captivity for their meat and housed within a tourist attraction is the reality for over 9,500 endangered green sea turtles on the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) firmly believes that the Cayman Turtle Farm (CTF) poses a threat to the welfare of the turtles housed there – these animals often live in overcrowded, unhygienic conditions which foster abnormal behaviours, including aggression and even cannibalism. Typically swimming in turbid water, and fed on an unnatural diet, these conditions are a far cry from the natural environment in which these wild animals should be living. There is no way to meet a sea turtle’s welfare needs in a farmed environment – the CTF should seek to gradually end the production of turtle meat and transition into a facility which truly considers the welfare of any turtles in its care.”
Commenting on the report John said “The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory and our government has a responsibility to halt this cruel practice and help conserve the sea turtles for future generations. I was shocked to hear of the appalling conditions the turtles are kept in and signed up to the WSPA’s campaign to press for action.”