ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Natural resources officials are calling for only pet turtles to be used in derbies that are an Independence Day tradition in some Maryland communities.
The Department of Natural Resources says mixing pet and wild turtles can pose health risks to the reptiles and the human participants when wild turtles are used.READ MORE: Police: Woman Shot In The Leg In South Baltimore
Officials say some turtles raced in derbies are collected from the wild and, if diseased, can infect pet turtles or other wild turtles when they are released.READ MORE: Group Of Parents Protest School Mask Mandate Outside Of County Council Meeting In Harford County
It is illegal in Maryland to release into the wild reptiles or amphibians that have been held in captivity without DNR authorization.
Also, the officials note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating several outbreaks of Salmonella infections in humans associated with exposure to small pet turtles.MORE NEWS: More Than 1,000 Students In Quarantine In Anne Arundel County; County Executive Supports Vaccine Mandate For All Students
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