SLO County orders Mid State Fair to turn in its turtles
July 26, 2013
The California Mid State Fair has been caught in the act — it possessed small turtles with the intent to distribute.
The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department received notification this week that the carnival area of the Mid State Fair was distributing baby turtles as prizes for a ping-pong ball toss game. Officials confiscated the turtles due to health concerns.
Baby turtles can pose serious health risks to individuals with impaired immune systems, according to County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. The small turtles can host the bacteria Salmonella, which can cause people severe illness or death.
The Public Health Department advises all recipients of turtles from the fair to turn them in to the Division of Animal Services at 885 Oklahoma Avenue in San Luis Obispo. It also advises against allowing water or any substance that has had contact with the turtles to come in contact with food or food preparation areas.
A tortoise rescue organization will receive the confiscated turtles from the fair.