Without a licence or certificate, it is illegal to import, purchase, or sell the majority of tortoise species in the United Kingdom. For tortoises kept in captivity, it is nearly impossible to replicate the environmental conditions found in the wild.
In the United Kingdom, it is not illegal to own a turtle. I possess two. We purchased them for my son approximately 12 years ago at a local pet store. They are yellow-bellied pondslider turtles and currently reside in a massive fish tank in our living room.
In the summer, we let them out into the garden and let them run around a bit; it’s a little adventure for them. They are in excellent health and have produced numerous eggs over the years.
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Is it Legal to buy Tortoises in the UK?
If you’re referring to tortoises rather than turtles, certain species of tortoise are now illegal to own, but others are allowed. Generally, anything from the genus testudo requires a special certificate and must be microchipped, but anything from the genus geochelone is acceptable because these are not endangered species.
Are You allowed to own a Tortoise
To begin, what you refer to as a turtle is actually a tortoise. It is not illegal to possess one unless it is caught in the wild. Licensed breeders will gladly sell you a captive-bred tortoise, but they are quite expensive in comparison to other small pets.
Additionally, they are costly to maintain, as they require equipment that is not readily available in the average pet store. Most veterinarians lack experience treating tortoises, necessitating the services of a specialist, which can be quite costly.
Additionally, they will almost certainly outlive their owner, so it is critical to leave them to someone knowledgeable in your will. Oh, and good luck finding a pet sitter while you’re away on vacation.
Can You own a Turtle in the UK?
Therefore, it is not illegal to own one in the United Kingdom. However, it is a difficult and costly lifelong commitment.
Permits are required to operate a sanctuary, zoo, or aquarium, but they cost a lot of money and time, and in most cases, you cannot have them on your property, which means you must spend hundreds of thousands on land and then build up-to-code animal housing before obtaining permits.