Spur-thighed tortoises cannot be sold in England without an Article 10 license
If you live in or around Northwich, Cheshire, England be on the lookout for seven juvenile spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca) that were stolen from the home of their keepers last week. The tortoises were bred by the family about 10 years ago and are between 3 to 6 inches in length.
image courtesy owner who did not wish to be named
Five of the seven spur-thighed tortoises when they were hatchlings.
"These juvenile tortoises are not currently in hibernation and we are therefore deeply concerned as to their welfare,” said John Hayward, coordinator for the national theft register for the British Chelonia Group.
"Whoever is responsible for this callous crime may not be in a position to care for them especially as to their needs, comfort and necessary nutrition."
Spur-thighed tortoises cannot be sold in England without an Article 10 license issued by the country’s Department of the Environment.
“Anyone offering the tortoises for sale without such authority commits the serious criminal offence of trading illegally in endangered species carrying upwards of five years custodial sentence and the same applies to anyone so purchasing them,” Hayward told the Northwich Guardian. "We urgently need any information as to the whereabouts of these tortoises and any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves."
If you have any information about these tortoises please contact John Hayward of the British Chelonia Group at 01869 325699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Cheshire Police on 10.