Editorial for 11 December: Turtle Farm review welcome

It would appear that no matter what moves are made at the
Cayman Turtle Farm, the World Society for the Protection of Animals just isn’t
going to be happy.

Turtle Farm Managing Director Tim Adam and others at the
farm should be given kudos for bringing in a team of independent inspectors who
are visiting this week.

The investigation comes on the heels of a damning report
from WSPA that was the result of that group sneaking around, making their own
covert investigation at the Turtle Farm.

They claim their investigation found Salmonella and E. Coli
contamination in turtle tanks, cruel and inhumane treatment and high mortality
rates and some birth defects among the turtle population.

WSPA also takes issue with our cultural practice of eating
turtle meat.

So we’ve taken their sensational report and have asked
independent investigators to come into the Turtle Farm and do their own studies
with an eye to making any necessary improvements at the farm.

But now WSPA is crying foul, saying the investigators don’t
have the welfare of the turtles at heart.

This from a group of people who basically sneaked into the
Cayman Islands with an agenda of smearing the good name Cayman.

We will be the first to admit there are problems at the
Turtle Farm, but not on the scale as put forth by WSPA.

For years the Turtle Farm has been an economic nightmare for
the Cayman Islands government, which plans $10.5 million in its current budget
for debt servicing and operations at the Cayman Turtle Farm.

We have long advocated that the farm needs to be privatised
and taken out of control of the government.

But the Turtle Farm is a vital part of the Cayman Islands
and its history. There is a need for the farm and the continued promotion of
turtle conservation, not just for the Cayman Islands, but the world at large.
Yet it must be taken out of government’s hands.

And to ask Caymanians to stop eating turtle is just plain
silly. We wish the independent observers well and look forward to their
findings and proposed remedies.

 

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