Q: What do you think about these snakes hurting kids and other animals?
Should there be more control of these animals? and their owners. Should they have to post a bond? What should be done to owners who let them loose or leave them in abandoned homes?
Aug 25, 2009
As a responsible owner of dozens of reptiles, a former reptiler rescue operator, AND a former Animal Control employee, I am well aware of problems with improperly kept captive reptiles. However, I am also aware of problems with improperly kept dogs and cats. The way to solve issues with improper husbandry of ANY species is through education, not legislation. The biggest part of the cause of animal care issues is the widespread availability of these animals to anyone with money in their pockets. A good thing for people who know what they're doing and can povide proper care, but a bad thing when some clown buys one on implulse with no inkling on how to care for it properly. Doesn't really matter if we're talking about dogs, cats, tigers, wolves, or snakes, the issues surrounding all species are the same. Passing laws prohibiting or restricting ownership don't work, as the low quality owners ignore or circumvent the laws, anyway, and the only ones really affected are those who know what they're doing in the first place.
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Aug 25, 2009
Personally, I believe that not every animal should be kept as a pet. There most certainly is a difference between domesticated animals and ones that are still considered to be wild. I do not believe that dogs and cats fall into the same category as tigers, wolves etc. Any snake that can grow to a size big enough to eat children or strangle adult humans should not be legal as pets. The keeping of those animals should be reserved for zoos or knowledgeable rescue groups. At least if we ban the selling of large snake breeds there would be less of them to rehome when they outgrow people's homes and lives. Yes, there would still be those who acquire them illegally. It is an unfortunate reality. We often hear of people who own tigers, bears and other wild animals illegally. Ultimately those animals end up in a zoo or sanctuary when they are too big for their owners to care for. I think large snakes are no different. I saw a show on Animal Planet once where zoo handlers said that when snakes get over a certain size they must have more than one person present to handle them. This way if the snake begins to constrict on the handler there is someone to help. That does not sound like a pet for the average pet owner to me.
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Aug 26, 2009
Percysmom, the thing is, as responsible reptile keepers, we are aware of the inherent risk in keeping our chosen pets. Yes, when a constricting snake (such as boas and pythons) are of a species that can grow quite large, there are special accomodations that must be made. And we make them... with custom built, escape proof habitats running into thousands of dollars, extra safety precautions in handling and feeding, and other considerations. Should I be dinied my chosen pets because someone else cannot properly care for theirs? If that is your belief, then the legislation should be universal, and apply to owners of EVERY species. Every day, there is another eport of a dog attack on the news or in the papers... does that mean that no one should own dogs? Some people are especially allergic to the venom of common tarantula species kept as pets... does that mean that no one can own pet arachnids? How far do you take these proposed laws prohibiting ownership? Is it OK to take my snakes away from me (30+ years of snake ownership, and not ONE escape or dangerous incident)? If so, an enormous source of education and entertainment is lost, as I provide educational outreach in local museums and at events about reptile and amphibian species, their captive care and management, native habitat conservation, and endangered species. If you take away the rights of all to posess these animals, not only are toes stepped on, but valuable resources are lost. You also run the risk of creating an unregulated black market in these proposed banned species, which could have nightmarish consequences of it's own.
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