Target: The Cayman Turtle Farm
Goal: Stop the abuse and slaughter that endangered turtles face at the Cayman Turtle Farm.
The Cayman Turtle Farm has been hiding behind the facade of “helping” the endangered sea turtles. Advertised as a family-friendly and educational attraction, the Cayman Turtle Farm is known for breeding and slaughtering sea turtles for their meat. Sea turtles are bred and raised in captivity in order to be showcased to tourists and eventually slaughtered; very few of the sea turtles bred in captivity are released back into the wild. The Cayman Turtle Farm claims that farming these endangered animals actually contributes to their continued existence; by breeding and selling these sea turtles, they are discouraging poachers from seeking sea turtles in the wild. While this seems like a logical idea in theory, it fails to live up to its potential in actual practice. Breeding and slaughtering sea turtles at the attraction does not contribute to the overall number of sea turtles existing in their natural habitat.
The Cayman Turtle Farm claims that they are practicing “humane” ways of farming these sea turtles but the horrific living conditions these animals face contradicts this very claim. These poor sea turtles are subjected to daily torture from the great amounts of stress they receive due to their poorly maintained homes as well as the constant mental strain they face from tourists. The sea turtles that are bred on the farm are brought up in terrible conditions, such as being denied the ample space they require for comfortable living. In addition to being placed in densely packed tanks, the sea turtles are also forced to fight for food. As a result of constantly fighting for survival, many of these turtles become injured and develop infections; some of the sea turtles even resort to cannibalism.
The conditions that the sea turtles face while they are alive make them extremely dangerous for tourist handling and consumption. By strongly encouraging tourists to come to their attraction in order to interact with these creatures, The Cayman Turtle Farm is exposing numerous amounts of individuals to the potential diseases that these sea creatures might be carrying. Due to the cramped nature of their tanks, the sea turtles are forced to live miserably in their own waste and filth. In addition to living in their waste and being susceptible to infection due to lack of proper sanitation and health care, strains of Salmonella and E.coli have been found in the very water that the sea turtles are living in. It is clear that the profit from the sea turtle meat is a much higher priority to the Cayman Turtle Farm than the welfare of both the sea turtles and the tourists that are exposed to them.
Help end the daily abuse the endangered sea turtles face at the Cayman Turtle Farm by urging them to stop farming the sea turtles for meat. Breeding sea turtles and keeping them in captivity for the sole purpose of slaughtering them for their meat is not “helping” them, especially if they are forced to live in the horrible living conditions stated above. By signing the petition below, you can urge the Cayman Turtle Farm to end their practice of sea turtle farming and encourage them to truly become a safe, animal-friendly tourist attraction.
Dear Cayman Turtle Farm,
I understand that you believe your organization is helping endangered sea turtles, but the treatment they are receiving at your attraction is clearly detrimental for these animals. They are subjected to poor living conditions, such as overly cramped tanks and constant exposure to tourists. Living in extremely dense tanks results in several hardships for these turtles. They are exposed to constant inbreeding, infection, malnutrition, mutilation from other sea turtles, and contamination. Some turtles even resort to cannibalism due to severe hunger. Being constantly exposed to tourists is mentally traumatizing for the sea turtles. You are promoting the sea turtles as tourist attractions rather than educating the tourists about the nature of these creatures.
I am urging you to stop farming the sea turtles for their meat. These creatures should not be bred and held in captivity for the sole purpose of being slaughtered, especially when their living conditions are so poor. Please take the action to improve their living conditions so that these turtles will be able to live comfortable lives and may eventually be released into the wild. Denying them proper living conditions puts them at a disadvantage if they are ever released back into the wild; their chances for survival are slim to none. I urge you to change your attraction from a place of slaughter to an animal-friendly attraction that can educate the public about the endangered sea turtles.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: crschmidt via Flickr