return to main index

  mobile - desktop
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
 
click here for The Bean Farm
Mice, Rats, Rabbits, Chicks, Quail
Available Now at RodentPro.com!
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake . . . . . . . . . .  MAHS Fox Valley Meeting - April 19, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Daphne - Apr. 20, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  East Coast Reptile Super Expo - Apr. 20, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  DFW Herpetolocial Society Meeting - April 20, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  Chicago Herpetological Society Meeting - April 24, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Costa Mesa - Apr. 26-28, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  Bay Area Amph. and Reptile Society Meeti - April 26 , 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  Suncoast Herp Society Meeting - April 27, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Gulfport - Apr. 27-28, 2019 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Chattanooga - Apr. 27-28, 2019 . . . . . . . . . . 

full banner - advertise here .50¢/1000 views
CITES, Import/Export, Lacey Act - Law Office of Patrick Flanigan
pool banner - $50 year

We caught the HSUS'es attention...

[ Login ] [ User Prefs ] [ Search Forums ] [ Back to Main Page ] [ Back to Herp Law Center & Forum ] [ Reply To This Message ]
[ Register to Post ]

Posted by: Ravenspirit at Sun Sep 11 07:28:30 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Ravenspirit ]  
   

http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2011/09/constrictor-snakes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: typepad/hsus/wayne (Wayne Pacelle: A Humane Nation)

September 09, 2011

Special Interests and Their Brand of Snake Oil

Go just about anywhere in America, and you’ll hear from regular people that Washington is broken—and what they mean is that there has been a breakdown in public confidence in our political institutions and the people who work within them.

The bad and even reckless decision-making of these public officials reflects some of the ideological divisions that exist within the country. While we’re one nation, there’s also great pluralism, and there are major disagreement and fault lines when it comes to our values. In other cases, it’s more about special interests gaming the system, with narrow-minded corporations or lobby groups stymieing popular reforms and thwarting the will of the people.

Burmese python - credit William Warby
William Warby via Flickr

On animal issues, we know that public overwhelmingly supports our positions on so many issues. Yet too often, sensible reforms are blocked. For example, the public doesn’t support captive hunts of exotic mammals in fenced enclosures, but the NRA and their allies in the trophy hunting lobby thwart a ban on this unsporting cruelty. We don’t want extreme confinement of animals on factory farms, but agribusiness groups defend the status quo. We don’t want lifelong confinement of breeding female dogs on puppy mills, but the big breeders and the American Kennel Club bollix up reform. Special interests too often rule the day.

One example that’s been both disturbing and confounding to watch relates to the trade and possession of large, dangerous, and exotic constricting snakes. Within the last couple of years, we learned that the pet trade has been shuttling enormous numbers of snakes—from yellow anacondas to reticulated pythons—into the country. Somehow, these merchants find willing buyers, and many of these exotic fanciers soon realize they are in over their heads—sequestering the animals in some deficient aquarium or holding cell, shunting them off on sanctuaries, starving and killing them, or even releasing them in the wild. As a result of the random releases, enormous numbers of exotic snakes, such as Burmese pythons, have colonized Florida, wreaking havoc with native species, including endangered species.

Some of these pet snakes have injured or killed people; in fact, two weeks ago, two adults were sentenced to 12 years in jail for their negligence in allowing a python to slither into a baby crib and kill the 2-year-old girl sleeping in it. And finally, there’s the issue of the snakes themselves. Hundreds of thousands of the animals have been imported into the country in recent years, and there’s almost never a good outcome for these hapless creatures. They are curiosities that invariably turn into victims themselves.

You would think enacting a policy to halt the import of these dangerous snakes would be a no-brainer. It’s good for animals, the environment, and public safety. But as Jim Snyder of Bloomberg reported last month, there’s a lobby, led by the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers, that’s been fighting this reform at every turn. The group has temporarily succeeded in blocking federal legislation to crack down on the trade, and they’ve at least slowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from adopting a rule to stop the spread of these injurious species.

The snake sellers argue that it’s a jobs issue—that a federal crackdown on the trade will cost them jobs. They want to preserve their profits and their opportunity to exploit these animals at the expense of so many other people. Is it possible to put a figure on the life of a child killed by a pet snake that should never have been in this country—no mind in someone’s living room in Sumter County, Fla.? And what’s the cost of the death of hundreds of thousands of snakes who suffer and die as a result of this trade? The Interior Department does have an answer on some of the ecological costs. It says it’s spending about $100 million this year to combat invasive species such as the pythons in Florida.

It’s easy to rail at Washington, and in so many cases, it’s the right response. But there’s more to the story. Rail at the special interests that are thwarting the public good. And take action to turn it around. It’s up to us to provide a counterweight and to restore some good sense and sound policies. If we leave the playing field to the reptile dealers, the puppy millers, the NRA and so many other selfish interests, the animals won’t stand a chance.


   

[ Reply To This Message ] [ Subscribe to this Thread ] [ Show Entire Thread ]


>> Next Message:  RE: We caught the HSUS'es attention... - cychluraguy, Sun Sep 11 11:13:32 2011
>> Next Message:  RE: We caught the HSUS'es attention... - EricWI, Sun Sep 11 13:08:51 2011
>> Next Message:  RE: We caught the HSUS'es attention... - Aaron, Wed Sep 14 04:05:01 2011