Pet Travel – Red-Eared Slider Turtle Ban in the UK

pet travel to UK with turtleFor owners of red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans), pet travel regulations regarding this turtle when entering the United Kingdom may be affected after the EU Commission published its new list of species of EU wide concern, as part of the Invasive Alien Species Regulation.

This breed of turtle has been banned for sale, exchange or breeding in the UK. The legislation will be effective in one year.

It is yet to be determined whether an amendment to EU legislation regarding pet import will be issued that will ban the entry of this turtle to the UK.


Pet Travel – Red-Eared Slider Turtle Ban in the UK — 14 Comments

  1. Hi, I am currently living in China, I rescued four red eard sliders and I hope to bring them back with me to the UK when I eventually move back in a year or so, would this not be possible? I really don’t want to re home them in China as I don’t trust them to care for them properly. If I were to bring them back to the uk would I be able to re home some of them as I don’t think I’ll be able to handle all four? Do you have any advice for what to do? Thanks

  2. Hi
    What is the situation now regarding the import of Red Eared Sliders to the UK. Are they definitely banned from entering ?

  3. Hi,

    Has there been any amendments with regard to bringing in Pet Red Eared Sliders to the UK? We will be relocating back to the UK next summer and have one that has been part of the family for 6 years that we would like to bring home. The APHA were very dismissive when I enquired about bringing her in as they only seem to look at commercial / research imports? She’s just a pet and lives in a large aquarium. Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.


  4. Stephanie – There are no restrictions on bringing pet rodents, rabbits, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles to the UK from other EU countries. However, you should verify that your turtles are not covered by CITES regulations. Also, if your turtles are not native species in the UK, then additional requirements apply. More here >> If you are not traveling with your turtles, they must travel under commercial regulations, be registered in TRACES and an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) must be issued within 48 hours of transport and notification must be provided to the Border Inspection Post officials at the point of impor. (Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh).

  5. Hello James – the legislation that the UK has proposed to ban red-eared sliders is not due to go into effect until next summer. You may want to contact APHA to inquire as to what legislation is supporting the current ban on the species. ( )

  6. Hi,

    My fiancé and I own two pet red eared turtles (both female) in Hong Kong. We want to bring them back to the U.K. But after some research, it seems like they are banned from entering. They aren’t for breeding or reselling. They are just pets we’ve had for 5 or 6years. Is there anyway around this ban?

  7. Hi Jim- you will need to apply for a transit permit to transit your Pit through Thailand. We have inquired on your behalf and will update your post when we receive additional information.

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