Spanish Police Raid Largest Illegal Turtle Farm In Europe

August 22, 2018

Police on the Spanish island of Mallorca (Majorca) have shut down what they say is the biggest illegal turtle and tortoise farm in Europe. Two Germans, according to Majorca authorities, ran an industrial scale breeding facility for turtles and tortoises and worked with a Spanish pet shop owner in Barcelona who apparently  “laundered” the animals bred at the facility, offering them for sale. 

Guardia Civil M Interior

Guardia Civil M Interior

Spanish police have shut down what it says is the largest illegal turtle and tortoise farm in Europe.

According to the BBC, the two Germans were arrested for running the operation. The pet show owner in Spain was also arrested.

Rescued from the facility were more than 1,100 turtles and tortoises, including several threatened reptiles, such as the critically endangered radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) , the Chinese red-necked turtle (Mauremys nigricans) and the Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis). More than 750 eggs were also saved in the operation, which began in February 2017 after several protected turtle species were found in a shipment at the Palma airport. 

According to the BBC, documents for the shipment didn’t match the reptiles and this is what led police to the farm in Llucmajor, Mallorca. The suspects could fcae charges of trafficking in endangered species and money laundering. 

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