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Turtle farming in the United States started in the early 1900s, with farms in Maryland and North Carolina raising diamondback terrapins, which are considered a delicacy in those parts.
The farm, established in 1968, can produce more than 1800 turtles a year, but some of the farmed turtles are released.
The US turtle industry suffered a serious setback in 1975 when the US Food and Drug Administration prohibited interstate trade in small turtles, specifically those with carapace lengths of less than 4 inches, to prevent spreading Salmonella infection.
The FDA ban does allow for farmers to sell turtles within the US to be used for legitimate educational, scientific, or exhibitional purposes, and to sell turtles outside the US clearly marked as "Export Only".
Because of the domestic ban and emphasis on exporting them internationally, the size of US turtle industry's volume can be surmised from recorded export data.
The cumulative data includes both farmed and wild-caught turtles, but the farmed component is usually predominant.