UK Breeders

Please click here for our List Recommended Breeders, their location and the tortoises they breed.

Please DO NOT purchase a tortoises from:-

  • Pet Shops
  • Garden Centres
  • Tortoise Centres
  • Tortoise Shops
  • Reptile or Exotic Specialists
  • Any organisation that says they get their tortoises from a UK Breeder
  • Anyone that offers to send a Tortoise by courier

One of the most effective ways we have found to encourage people to not buy tortoises bred in the deplorable, cramped tortoise farms abroad or from buying wild-caught tortoises, is to link people with genuine UK Breeders who will provide healthy tortoises and the correct advice. If you know of anyone who is looking to purchase a tortoise, we ask you please point them in the direction of this group, rather than pet shops, tortoise shops and other dealers for good advice and healthy tortoises. 
All of our recommended breeders we have listed have been verified by us. The three species we recommend as most suitable for the UK are:-

Spur-Thighed Tortoise - Ibera (testudo graeca)
Hermanns Tortoise (testudo hremanni) 
Marginated Tortoise (testudo marginata)


All of these are listed on Annex A of EC Regulation 338/97 and require a valid certificate under Article 10 of that Regulation for any commercial use or transaction, which includes purchase, offering for sale, advertising for sale, actual sale, barter or exchange.

It is an offence under Regulation 8(1) of the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 to sell or use for any commercial purpose an Annex A species without the relevant valid Article 10 certificate. The legislation is formatted in such a way as to make the commercial transaction of a sale without a valid certificate specifically a two ended offence. In other words, both vendor and purchaser commit an offence. 

Care Sheets for these three species can be found can be found in our menu on the left or by clicking on the above care sheets links.

We strongly recommend you steer clear of Sulcata Tortoises, Leopards, Red-foots and other large non-hibernating and tropical species as they tend to have special requirements that are difficult to achieve in the UK.

In the UK we are experiencing a glut of "cheap" imported farmed and wild-caught Horsfield Tortoises, a high number of these have been reported to us with health problems.

What to Expect from a Good Tortoise Breeder

 All too often, people who visit pet shops or internet tortoise dealers are ill informed as to the care requirements, sold a lot of expensive and inappropriate equipment and end up with an imported tortoise, with all the associated problems (worms, dehydration and exposure to other pathogens).

 The purpose of the forming our list of recommended breeders is to put people in touch with genuine private breeders, who have healthy, UK Bred Tortoises For Sale and who will make sure that any prospective buyer is well informed before making the decision to become a tortoise owner.

A good breeder will:-

  • Be happy to confirm that they have bred the tortoises themselves
  • Be happy to answer all your questions, and make sure you are aware of the care requirements before you commit to a tortoise.
  • Want to check that you are able to provide a loving and permanent home for the tortoise
  • Able to advise you on the housing you will need to provide i.e. indoor tortoise table, UVB and basking light, secure outdoor accommodation
  • Be able to advise you on feeding matters i.e. weeds and wild flowers and correct supplementation
  • Not let you collect the tortoise unless you have the accommodation fully set up, and is happy to keep the tortoise for you until you have everything in place
  • Require you to collect the tortoise, or arrange to deliver it in person/meet you halfway.  Anyone who offers to send a tortoise via commercial courier/through the post is not a genuine breeder.
  • Provide you with full care sheets regarding day to day, and also longer term care
  • Be available for any worries or problems you may have with the tortoise in the future
  • Provide you with the correct Article 10 documentation, as required by Animal Health. 

The most commonly encountered species that require Article 10 certificates are:-

  • Hermanns tortoise (testudohermanni)
  • Spur thigh tortoises, graeca and ibera 
    (testudo graeca graeca and testudo graeca ibera)
  • Marginated (testudo marginata)
  • Pancake tortoise(malacochersus tornieri)
  • Tunisian  tortoise(furculachelys nabeulensis)
  • Egyptian tortoise (testudokleinmanni)

A genuine breeder will be happy to supply you with photos of their set ups etc, but they may not allow you to visit their home to see in person.Unfortunately, tortoise thefts have been on the increase over the last few years, and many tortoise owners are concerned about the security of their animals.

We have carefully vetted every breeder we recommend, but if you do come across a breeder who does not meet the standards set out above i.e. recommends a vivarium (glass tank), seems in a hurry for you to collect the tortoise, if box 10 of the Article 10 document shows any country other than UK as the country of origin, or if you have any other concerns please contact us.

If you wish to be considered to be added to our breeders list please download and complete our breeder's application form.

Please click here for our List Recommended Breeders, their location and the tortoises they breed.

January 2019


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