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B.C. Surrey python tamers take fight

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Posted by: EricWI at Wed Jul 18 20:14:26 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

Surrey python tamers take fight against exotic pet restrictions to final appeal

A Surrey couple is making a last-ditch attempt before B.C.’s Environmental Appeal Board to keep a travelling snake show in business.

Professional python tamers Jozef and Bibiana Demcak have six snakes and a lizard they used to take to places like schools as part of their pet-show business.

In 2010, the couple was left without income because of changes to the law on exotic pet ownership.

Demcak has obtained permits to keep the reptiles but he is not allowed to display or show them in public.

Because of that stipulation, Demcak and his wife Bibiana say they are left without a source of income.

“They have ruined me financially,” Demcak said on Sunday.

Now the Demcaks begin Monday a legal battle at the tribunal of the Environmental Appeal Board. The hearing is expected to last a week.

In November, the snake couple lost their case against the province in B.C. Supreme Court, where they sought to regain two years worth of lost revenue.

They launched the lawsuit to challenge the Controlled Alien Species Regulations that took effect in 2009. The judge at the time ruled the matter should be brought before B.C.’s director of wildlife, and if that failed they could take the case to the Environmental Appeal Board.

The reptiles have been kept at Cinemazoo in Surrey.

The couple has been spending all their savings to save their business. They argue the shows were educational and the crackdown has left them homeless.

“They are pets, not wild animals,” said Demcak. “I have raised them since they were babies.”

The province cited public safety in its decision to outlaw dangerous exotic animals.

That came after a number of snake escapes from homes and the 2007 killing of a woman by her boyfriend’s pet tiger in Bridge Lake.
www.theprovince.com/technology/Surrey python tamers take fight against exotic/6937620/story.html


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: B.C. Surrey python tamers take fight - remreps, Thu Jul 19 18:17:38 2012