Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Reports and discussions on all aspects of tortoise and turtle conservation.

Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Chris Newman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:06 pm

Nadine,

I have neither the time nor inclination to continue this churlish debate; this will be my final posting on the matter. I cannot believe that you are so ill-informed of British law as to be oblivious of your [Tortoise Trust] undoubted exposure to action over the slanderous statements, you and others have made on this forum – that is simply inconceivable. However, you need not worry as I am far too benevolent by nature to take offence, it is just very sad to see once respected organisation demonstrate such a lack of integrity in this respect.


Andy,

As regards your statement:-

“So, you openly lie about and misrepresent our long-standing position on an important topic, refuse to acknowledge the fact that you have submitted total untruths to a Court and published the same online, and now you believe our credibility is question?”

I wonder how you reconcile the statement above with comments that you have written over the years, here are just a few [see below]. As I said to Nadine, I shall not be responding further on this matter, it is just idle curiosity that I am sure with be of interest to others?

With best regards,
Chris Newman


Selected statements as written by Andy Highfield

On dealers & the trade:-

'The Tortoise Trust is extremely concerned at the growing numbers of tortoises being imported into the UK, and we have serious doubts about the true origin of some of these animals. We have no doubt that many are not captive-bred as claimed. We are also very concerned at the manner in which these animals are shipped and handled via networks of "distributors" and dealers (many of whom falsely claim to be breeders).'

'Should you decide to go ahead, we recommend purchasing ONLY from a genuine, LOCAL breeder who offers adequate pre-and-post sales advice and support, who meets all legal requirements.
Do not confuse "breeder" with "dealer"!'

'We are sorry, but we cannot recommend buying tortoises from dealers or shops under any circumstances, so please do not ask us for a "recommended dealer".'

Do not believe what dealers tell you. Check with the authorities. Dealers just want to make a sale, they do not care if the tortoise is confiscated and you are prosecuted on your return...

On herpes:-
'It should be noted that herpes has now been diagnosed in tortoises purchased from online dealers in the UK. We would strongly recommend that you do not buy such imports as they are at extremely high risk of being carriers of this devastating disease. If you do buy them please see the FAQ below for recommended handling procedures.'
'On no account introduce other animals of unknown origins, and especially animals of trade origin. Because of the way in which trade animals are both exposed to multiple contacts with other tortoises, and are subject to high levels of stress, these tortoises are exceptionally high risk'
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Brenda Vernon » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:09 pm

Please keep to your word and don't make further postings. I feel you are spoiling a helpful and friendly forum.
Brenda
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Tamie Milne » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:15 pm

Obviously Chris wont be responding, as he has advised Nadine, but I have to confess to laughing at the 'once respected' bit in his post .... :lol: ,this got me thinking about who in the whole debacle could be described as 'once respected' .... a so called 'expert witness' that was found to produce statements for courts of law that were only opinion and had nothing to do with actual fact!! Mmmmmmmmmmm ;)

As for the statements so painstakingly added ......... can someone help me out ... what's the relevance to this court case? :roll: What am I missing?

Tamie
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby suej » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:59 pm

what I want to know is... is the statement by Mr Newman....this will be my final posting on the matter ...fact or just his opinion :shock:
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:09 pm

Chris Newman wrote:Nadine,

I have neither the time nor inclination to continue this churlish debate; this will be my final posting on the matter. I cannot believe that you are so ill-informed of British law as to be oblivious of your [Tortoise Trust] undoubted exposure to action over the slanderous statements, you and others have made on this forum – that is simply inconceivable. However, you need not worry as I am far too benevolent by nature to take offence, it is just very sad to see once respected organisation demonstrate such a lack of integrity in this respect.


Chris,

Every time you post you demonstrate your truly shocking level of sheer ignorance. Incredible, coming from someone once involved in publishing. There were no "slanderous" statements. Slander refers exclusively to alleged verbal defamation :roll: You mean libel. That is what an allegedly defamatory WRITTEN statement is classed as..... good grief....

Chris Newman wrote:Andy,

As regards your statement:-

“So, you openly lie about and misrepresent our long-standing position on an important topic, refuse to acknowledge the fact that you have submitted total untruths to a Court and published the same online, and now you believe our credibility is question?”

I wonder how you reconcile the statement above with comments that you have written over the years, here are just a few [see below]. As I said to Nadine, I shall not be responding further on this matter, it is just idle curiosity that I am sure with be of interest to others?

With best regards,
Chris Newman


Selected statements as written by Andy Highfield

On dealers & the trade:-

'The Tortoise Trust is extremely concerned at the growing numbers of tortoises being imported into the UK, and we have serious doubts about the true origin of some of these animals. We have no doubt that many are not captive-bred as claimed. We are also very concerned at the manner in which these animals are shipped and handled via networks of "distributors" and dealers (many of whom falsely claim to be breeders).'

Totally true: I can name names. So could 90% of other people on this forum.


'Should you decide to go ahead, we recommend purchasing ONLY from a genuine, LOCAL breeder who offers adequate pre-and-post sales advice and support, who meets all legal requirements.
Do not confuse "breeder" with "dealer"!'

Yes? Again, totally factual and true.

'We are sorry, but we cannot recommend buying tortoises from dealers or shops under any circumstances, so please do not ask us for a "recommended dealer".'

Ditto. That is our position. It also has zero to to with people importing captive-bred chelonia... no relevance whatsoever.


Do not believe what dealers tell you. Check with the authorities. Dealers just want to make a sale, they do not care if the tortoise is confiscated and you are prosecuted on your return...

Chris - that relates to dealers in Morocco and Tunisia selling wild-caught animals from stalls in the street illegally. Surely even you do not wish to defend them? Do you?


On herpes:-
'It should be noted that herpes has now been diagnosed in tortoises purchased from online dealers in the UK. We would strongly recommend that you do not buy such imports as they are at extremely high risk of being carriers of this devastating disease. If you do buy them please see the FAQ below for recommended handling procedures.'
'On no account introduce other animals of unknown origins, and especially animals of trade origin. Because of the way in which trade animals are both exposed to multiple contacts with other tortoises, and are subject to high levels of stress, these tortoises are exceptionally high risk'


Yes? You are claiming this is untrue are you? I think most people recognise that it is entirely true and makes total sense.

[/quote]

Everything I have written is entirely factual and is supported by evidence. It also has little to no relevance to your statement that we oppose the import of genuinely captive-bred stock.

Andy
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Tamie Milne » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:13 pm

suej wrote:what I want to know is... is the statement by Mr Newman....this will be my final posting on the matter ...fact or just his opinion :shock:


Sue, :lol: ;) :lol: let's wait and see, may be a difficult one for someone who does not know the difference between the two ......... let's hope it's FACT though, time will tell :lol:

Oh, just a thought, if previous 'statements' are anything to go by it wont be FACTual ....... ;)

Blimey, even the difference between libel and slander is not understood, quite worrying for someone who pertains to know the laws of the land and represents in courts of law!

Just my opinion though.

Tamie
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Nadine Highfield » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:37 pm

Nadine,

I have neither the time nor inclination to continue this churlish debate; this will be my final posting on the matter. I cannot believe that you are so ill-informed of British law as to be oblivious of your [Tortoise Trust] undoubted exposure to action over the slanderous statements, you and others have made on this forum – that is simply inconceivable. However, you need not worry as I am far too benevolent by nature to take offence, it is just very sad to see once respected organisation demonstrate such a lack of integrity in this respect.


I would hardly characterise my comments to you as churlish.... and given that you seem to have as little understanding about the difference between slander and libel as you have between fact and opinion, I do not think you are one to question my understanding of the Law. I have never posted anything about you that could be considered defamatory.

Regarding the integrity of our organisation, The Tortoise Trust has demonstrated its commitment to the welfare and conservation of tortoise and turtles for many years, and will continue to do so.

Nadine Highfield
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Re: Tortoise Dealer faces jail

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:15 am

Reflecting on all of this, it is probably not worth continuing this "debate" as it is clearly making no progress. I am afraid that Chris Newman and I will never agree on some things. We do agree on certain other issues, however, such as the unsuitability of the RSPCA to "police" reptile keeping in the UK, and we also agree that the extreme anti-animal keeping faction are not the way forward either.

That said, there are some very important differences in approach here.

1. We are not "anti-trade" despite attempts to portray us as such. We simply want HIGH STANDARDS to apply in the pet trade. Currently, with rare exceptions, that is sadly not the case. I have said this many times - the trade needs to clean up its act in general, get some real standards in place, and kick out the worst dealers who give them all a bad name. We all know these places exist, but no-one does anything. Until they do, the reptile trade will continue to "enjoy" if that is the right word, a reputation that absolutely stinks, and what is more, they will deserve it.

2. People who claim to represent traders (such as Chris) need to cease defending people who cross the line. It is really bad tactics, for one thing. It will simply further discredit all traders, good and bad alike. In the current case, it is certainly arguable as to whether the sentence this person got was proportional (vs. some cruelty cases, for example) but to try to say that illegally trading hundreds of animals is a "so-called" offence is simply ridiculous. Again, it gives the clear impression that anything goes.

3. We have long argued for a sustainable, humane reptile trade. I believe that if this was to be achieved it would be a very positive thing. Unfortunately, again with a few exceptions, the vast bulk of the trade today is anything but. The point blank refusal by some to acknowledge this is again extremely bad tactics. It plays straight into the hands of those who want to ban everything. It gives them ammunition. It would be far better to openly admit and deal with the problems rather than to try to sweep them under the carpet and deny they exist, as Chris invariably does, in my opinion.

4. It would be a good thing is the more responsible and caring (and they do exist) people in the reptile trade formed a new association to promote high standards. It would help to separate them from their "colleagues" who drag the whole thing into the mud. We would be happy to advise and support such a development if it were to happen.

Finally, rather than misinterpret and jump to (false) conclusions about what we stand for, it is always best to ASK if in doubt. In most cases it is in any event spelled out in detail on the website.

Andy
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