What are thoughts on this recent Snake Ban?

Link to this post 24 Jan 12

Its been interesting to see how various forums have discussed this ban. The thing I've noticed is missing from the discussions here is...

A federal agency decided that they wanted to pass a law. Not Congress, not the President. A Federal Agency. The non-elected government employees found a loophole that allows them to pass a ban of the interstate transfer of animals with the force of law that requires no due process, no judicial review. The downside for the agency was that they could only create bans with monetary impacts under a certain dollar figure. They wanted to ban 9 snakes, but it turned out that the market for all 9 was too big. So, they picked 4. In a couple months the next 5 will follow. Other large snakes like boas are likely to go on the block. Iguanas and certain chameleon species have healthy feral populations, they'll probably be banned as well.

And then... think the pit bull market is large enough to escape a ban? How about all the other "dangerous" dog breeds that cause your homeowners' insurance rates to be high, like dobermans, german shepherds, belgian malinois, akita, chow, rottweilers, etc? Most dogs are probably safe, but it could become a felony to take fido across state lines in the near future because, and let's face it, banning "bully breeds" is progress in the "right direction". (to clarify, there's some sarcasm in there)

An all-out ban of all pet ownership is highly unlikely, but it is highly probable that if this "python ban" is allowed to stand then we will probably lose the right to the interstate transfer of animals that cannot be humanely kept in an average apartment-style dwelling. Want a fish that requires a 100 gallon tank? Better hope there's a breeder in YOUR state or you're SOL. It isn't going to be about the actual banning of ownership of animals, it is going to be about restricting the movement of animals from state-to-state such that certain species will be completely unavailable in some states. Pet owners really need to band together against this type of pseudo-legislative action. I have never owned a snake larger than a corn snake and have never had a desire to own any of the snakes likely to be banned. Despite that, I still don't support the ban.

Link to this post 24 Jan 12

I have actually kept large African venomous in the past and I don't find the snake ban at all reasonable. First of all - as you noted on the other site - these are tropical snakes with an extremely limited range and a low probablity of survival in the long term. Yes I know about the hysteria in Miami / Dade Co about the pythons - but really look at the Nutria Rat situation in Lousiana? Some of those pythons would come in handy. Here in Texas we have licensing requirements for exotics - but not native. I always got a chuckle out of that. I would need a license to keep a non-venomous constrictor BUT I am free to pick up a rattlesnake off the dunes in Galveston and to keep it in my home? WTF LOL Secondly - due to the nature of the herping hobby - how could this possibly be enforced? I had a Hemachatus haemachatus (Rhinkhals) and a Dendroaspis polylepis (Black Mamba) and neither came from any type of a dealer or came with any kind of paperwork.

I think you are right in that its a VERY slippery slope with implications for non-reptile species too....

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

what is funny is that here in LA one may not legally own or possess alligators without a permit, but one can keep any other species of croc without one. I know people who own Saltwater Crocs in this area, and I myself own Black caimans, both are species for more dangerous than the NA gators which are as far as Croc species go pretty docile.

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

I keep corn snakes and have kept Ball pythons in the past, but nothing too big or dangerous. But I think if someone wants to keep these snakes then that should be their right.

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

I do not support the ban. I have been involved with an organization that rescues various breeds of Mastiffs when owners abandon them, and if we can't transport them across state lines to good homes, many of these beautiful, but protective dogs would be euthanized. Big government agencies run amuk and restrict our personal rights.

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

The thing that I find troubling about these bans is the amount of effort and taxpayer resources available to protect us from a non-problem. How many envenomations ACTUALLY occur from captive "hot" snakes in the USA? Of those - how many involve an innocent third party? I never got tagged by my captive hots - but like most people who kept them I had several packages of SAIMR Polyvalent in my fridge. (Even here in Texas, you arent going to find antivenoms for African snakes in the local ER. Im not gonna trust that the zoo has extra or that it can be flown from VenomOne in Miami in time.) Everyone I knew who had hots had the antivenom, so there would have been no burden on the health care system. If someone doesnt have the antivenom then they are screwed and thats Darwinism at work.

Constrictors are even less of a worry. You have to be a REAL jerkoff to get yourself killed by a captive constrictor. If you have to be told not to let a 15 or 20 foot African Rock Python coil around your neck, then you are too stupid to live anyway and your death just means cancellation of your medicaid card and benefits check. There was a fairly widely publicized incident in which a baby was killed by a python. To be blunt - that was probably for the best. A child who is the spawn of two stoners that are stupid enough to let multiple malnourished 20 foot snakes roam the trailer freely, despite having a newborn in the house, probably wouldnt have grown up to cure cancer or to develop warp drive anyway. If the child hadnt been killed by the snake, it probably would have shot itself with daddys gun or got blown up in the family meth lab anyway. The interesting thing with that however is that there are already bans on drugs and felons owning guns, yet they didnt heed those bans, so why would they comply with a ban against owning large constrictors?

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

A constrictor that is well fed is really not really dangerous. Snakes kill for food not out of spite or anger. If you don't know how to handle snakes you might get a nip if you startle it and to be honest, a constrictor's bite isn't a big deal. I haven't been bit in years and only by wild caught snakes. I've been bit worse by my dogs while rough housing with them than I ever was by any snake.

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

This is what a Python bite looks like LOL

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

An all-out ban of all pet ownership is highly unlikely, but it is highly probable that if this "python ban" is allowed to stand then we will probably lose the right to the interstate transfer of animals that cannot be humanely kept in an average apartment-style dwelling.

I'm against these one 'size fits all' limits on pet ownership. Probably because I still own horses in an area that is rapidly turning from rural into city. I also have more cats than would be legal in any of the surrounding municipalities. However, I own eight acres and a 2,000 sq. foot house and it's none of anyone else's damn business what I do on my own property as long as it doesn't affect neighbors, which it doesn't.

Is this ban on snakes for safety reasons or ecological reasons? That is to say, are they endangered or likely to become a problem if they escape and become feral?

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

I do not support the ban. I have been involved with an organization that rescues various breeds of Mastiffs when owners abandon them, and if we can't transport them across state lines to good homes, many of these beautiful, but protective dogs would be euthanized. Big government agencies run amuk and restrict our personal rights.

Having known one absolutely gentle and wonderful Pit Bull, I'm against banning by breed. My mother's mailman was crying when he informed us that Thor, two blocks over, had just been euthanised at home because of a cancer on his jaw. If the mailman cries, you know it's a nice dog.

I think it's mostly the owners who create a vicious dog, although some breeds are more prone to aggression than others, so the blame rests with careless breeders too.

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

I know this is controversial BUT from a conservation / ecology standpoint I am actually against this whole idea of "non-native" / "invasive" species. What some call "invasive" I call "change". For example I lived in Buffalo NY and as much as people howled bloody murder about the zebra mussels - as filter feeders they sure cleaned up Lake Erie. Erie was a fucking toilet and after the zebra mussels they had clean clear diveable water. Yes there are reefs but so what? Things change. We went from a mud bottom to a reef bottom - big fucking deal. Ecosystems change. Remember once upon a time the native americans were a predatory invasive species that wandered across the land bridge from siberia. Why cant human action be considered PART of evolution rather than opposed to it. Obviously - if an introduced species takes dominance it is better adapted and superior. Why is it a huge problem if a fish gets into a river cause it was in the ballast tank of a freighter, but its "nature" if that same fish was dropped by a bird of prey?

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

You know I actually have a similar opinion as this, animals for billions of years have spread into other ecosystem and took over and evolved to be better suited for it and the cycle continued with a newer species supplanting it, in the past this was done via Land bridges and floating mats of vegetation, today its done via Humans.

Its funny but a large portion of what we consider native life in many areas are the result of Alien species taking over and becoming invasive. Bears, raccoons, possums, etc are all animals that were at one time invasive here, while elsewhere our species like the horse, Camels, Elephants, etc all invaded other countries and took root their.

Its also funny that people get upset over stuff like Boa's and Pythons taking over in South Florida, yet 12,000 years ago boa's were a native species there anyway, so this is in some ways just them returning to reclaim their territory.

Link to this post 25 Jan 12

Yeah this isnt exactly a snake lover thing to say, but its a valid point nonetheless. Right now - the dominant snake in the florida everglades is a cottonmouth and its primary diet is rodents and fish. However, cottonmouths are #1 Ugly as a Vextard. #2 Venomous and #3 Not of any economic value.

If the cotton mouth were replaced by the pythons and boas as far as Im concerned we would be better off. The same ecological niche - specifically the consumption of fish and rodents - would be filled. However, it would be filled by a NON-venomous snake that is actually quite attractive and thus could be developed into an economically viable commercial "fishery" (I realize thats not the right term, but I dont know any term for the commerical management and harvest of snakes.) Nobody wants to buy cottonmouth belts, boots, and wallets and there is no signifigant pet trade for them. A flourishing population of native constrictors could be a GOOD thing and a valuable resource. I could give a crap WHO eats the nutria rats, as long as someone does.

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