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A personal perspective on animal welfare

Stop Wild Reptiles from Pet Trade


Some people have a thing for cold-blood animals such as snakes like the boa constrictors, pythons, and even anacondas. Among them are turtles, exotic frogs, and even iguanas. Reptiles as pets are hzardous to your health—and theirs. And estimated 11 million pet reptiles live in U.S. households currently, and this has resulted in depletion of the wild population, damaged habitats and suffering of the animals involved. This is a matter of humane, conservation and public safety (info from Humane Society of U.S.).

Most reptiles for sale today are taken from the wild. The methods to flush them out of the water, swamps are cruel—yanking, netting, forcing them out of the damaged habitat with gasoline and chemicals. In transit to the stores, most of these reptile will have been injured, sick, or dead. For ignuanas especially, they suffer malnutrition and develop diseases as they don’t get the appropriate natural diet and sufficient amount of ultraviolet light they require. Generally, the same problem faces all reptiles, as being captive in a domestic home or swimming pool are unnatural for them.

Reptiles require a lot maintenance, and most people who’ve bought them become overwhelmed. In Florida, people release unwanted reptiles such a constrictors, even alligators back into the water or swamp and in areas not indigenous to them. This creates a ripple effect in the ecosystem, as the balance of life become all messed up.

Please take a moment and act right away–the deadline for public comment is 4/30/2008. Your comments will go to the U.S. government and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (FWS). Go here to sign your pledge, and tell your friend and family about this urgent issue!

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Filed under: animal cruelty, humane organizations, local issues, reptiles, Resources, Take Action, , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. [...] Let the author know what you think, contact them and continue reading, here [...]

  2. Ok…first off…reptiles are not hazardous to your health to keep as pets, in general, as long as you practice very simple hygiene and grooming. Wash your hands before and after handling, keep their environment clean, keep your environment clean.

    Second, the most widely and readily available reptiles available in the pet trade are captive bred. Almost all but your common snake and lizard species are bred in captivty. The exceptions are not captive bred because they are generally not easy to care for, making them not very good for beginner keepers. Yes…there are still importers. But there are regulations in place to protect threatened or endagered species, and if you look around and research before purchasing(which you should be doing anyway), you can find them as captive bred animals.

    Not all reptiles are “high maintenance”, and not all require specialized care. Research your particular species of choice BEFORE you buy it, and problems with it getting too large or yourself not being prepared is greatly diminished. Most of those released animals are released by people that are uneducated about the animals, and purchase them as babies and become overwhelmed due to a lack of knowledge. This is not the animal’s fault, this is the fault of human beings being impulsive, and buy animals with no real knowledge.

    There are just as many mammals that are simply “let go” because their owners aren’t able to care for them, including dogs, cats, and rodents. It’s the fault of uneducated people, not the animals…

    There is nothing cruel, unsafe, or dangerous about keeping reptiles as long as you follow simple rules that *should* be followed for ANY type of pet:

    KNOW what you are purchasing and how to properly care for it BEFORE you bring it home.
    Be prepared the eventual growth of any reptile you purchase. They do not stay the size of their enclosure, and they will be bigger as adults.
    Practice common hygiene and recognized safety practices specific to the animal you are interested in.

    Don’t villainize the animals, and don’t villainize the responsible keepers and captive breeders that love this hobby. We are just as caring of and passionate about our scaled and legless pets as most people are about their furry, four-legged ones.

    Thank-you, for your time.

  3. Tansy says:

    I agree with King of Colubrids.
    People should be putting more effort into educating people about how to care for these Animals.
    Most cases of neglect that I have seen are caused by people not being given the proper advice on how to keep them.

    We should be concentrating on the regulating of Reptile and Exotic pet retailers, so they do not sell people the wrong equipment and the wrong animal for them, just to make a quick buck. This is the main problem, not the people who have done their research, provide the proper care for their animals and go to a reputable retailer to buy their pets.

    In my opinion keeping reptiles in captivity is no more cruel or wrong than keeping a Dog or a Cat, and i would also like to point out that the amount of Dogs and Cats dumped is far higher than the number of Reptiles being dumped, and yet people seem to have no problem with keeping them as pets.

  4. These are some really interesting points that you have addressed here and i think with pet reptiles being more and more popular these days that the main points to address are the teaching and advice on how to keep these pet reptiles healthy and happy.
    Weather you agree with people keeping reptiles or not the main point here is to provide the right knowledge and setup advice so people can get it right.
    Thanks for the interesting reading.

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