The red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans is currently the only reptile species that can be legally sold as a pet in Singapore. We report on the species of tortoises and freshwater turtles that were found for sale during a survey of 27 pet shops in 2004. Although the red-eared slider was the most common species for sale, small numbers of 11 other species were available. Of these, the import of one species (the Chinese soft-shell turtle Pelodiscus sinensis) is allowed for food but import of the other 10 species is not permitted for either food or the pet trade. We found that illegally held chelonians are often not kept on the pet shop premises. Our findings suggest that the Singaporean authorities' efforts to address illegal wildlife trade have to include other methods in addition to conducting raids on shop premises.
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