Japan to Ban Release of Red-Eared Sliders, Red Swamp Crayfish from June 1


Tokyo, May 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will ban the release into the wild of red-eared slider turtles and red swamp crayfish under the alien species law starting on June 1, to limit harm to the ecosystem in the country.

Violators of the rule can be sentenced to up to three years in prison or fined up to 3 million yen.

Although setting them free will be outlawed, it will remain legal to keep the two creatures as pets because they will be designated as "conditioned invasive alien species," not "invasive alien species" that can neither be released nor be kept as pets.

Some 1.6 million red-eared sliders and about 5.4 million red swamp crayfish are being reared domestically, according to the Environment Ministry.

After the designation, owners of the turtles and crayfish should make sure they take measures to prevent the alien species from escaping to avoid punishment for releasing them.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press