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Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
06-05-2012, 03:02 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-05-2012, 03:03 PM by tajnz.)
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tajnz Offline
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Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
Snakes are banned in my country (New Zealand) and I'm actually a little bit scared of them. However I'm aware in some states of the USA it's actually legal to own certain species of snakes and to keep them as pets?

So here’s the question. In your opinion do you think it should be legal in your area to own certain species of snakes?
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06-05-2012, 07:31 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
People will always own all kinds of animals that are not native in their area. I don't see why snakes should be treated any differently. Although there should be some kind of law to forbidden the escape of pets, whether or not it is intentional or not by the owner. They have the responsibility not to let the pets loose.
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06-05-2012, 10:34 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
Actually, Tajnz, in most states in the US, it is legal to own most species, and, with the exception of hawaii, there is no other state that bans personal ownership of snakes altogether.

I'm pretty sure the reason snakes are banned as pets in NZ, as well as Hawaii, is that there are no native species of snakes whatsoever, so most of the rest of the wildlife has adapted in ways that don't take snake predation into account. As well as the fact there are no other predators that have evolved preying on snakes. Island chains like yours are concerned they'll have the same fate as Guam, which had no native snake species, and now has a thick population of brown tree snakes, which all but destroyed most of the native bird species. So the main concern there is the impact on the local ecology if a few snakes escape and start breeding.

As for whether I think snakes should be allowed as pets here? I obviously do. Smile I am in favor of sane regulations in certain places on certain species, but Ohio is preparing to pass some legislation that I am completely unamused with, and will be all but impossible to enforce, practically speaking, without a boatload of money spent.
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06-06-2012, 03:46 AM,
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The CatDog Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
In the Florida Everglades there is a large problem of people just releasing Boa's out into the wild. Just like Fishbone said, there isn't any other animal that can take on the new incursion of non-native snakes and it will lead to native species becoming fewer in numbers or at worse, become extinct in the area.

I don't want broad overbaring relegations imposed on one type of pet over another but something to get people to become more pet aware. When kid is wanting a pet snake and you get it for him. You better learn as much as you can and how large the snake could grow and plan for it down the road.
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06-06-2012, 07:18 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
(06-06-2012, 03:46 AM)The CatDog Wrote: In the Florida Everglades there is a large problem of people just releasing Boa's out into the wild.

Those people are too irresponsible.
No pets should be released into the wild. Extra penalty should be applied for those who released non-native species on purpose.
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06-06-2012, 02:33 PM,
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ArmyOfDreams Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
I know that Ohio, where I'm at, is about to pass/has passed some laws that make the ownership and movement of large snakes (say, burmese pythons, of which there are about 6-7 at my school) really tricky. Currently they will be staying at the university until such time as there is a place for them and their owner is allowed to move them, but I don't know too many details beyond that.

I am completely a fan of most species being pets, but I must say that I kind of agree with the idea of making it harder to own species that are either extremely difficult to care for/handle, are unusually dangerous, etc. I think the larger snake species are in this group, burms, anacondas, etc., even though they are gorgeous and amazing creatures.

People should just plan better to begin with. So many times people have a pet and guess as to its care, then wonder why there are problems down the road!
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06-06-2012, 03:26 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
Well, I'm sure there have been irresponsible pet owners that have released & lost giant constrictors. The major problem in the everglades isn't any species of boas, its burmese pythons. And most of the research by SWIFTMUD & the university of florida keep leading back to the theory that the population probably started from mass releases during hurricane andrew. There were, & still are, ALLOT of importers and breeders in south florida. And allot of those facilities were destroyed during that hurricane.

So, depending who's numbers you want to go by, there were between 1,000 –2,000 Burmese pythons adult/sub-adult Burmese pythons released/lost then. Some of them surely died. But even if 25% survived, that is a pretty good start to a breeding population. And, they have been keeping genetic samples of most of the snakes killed and collected, by park rangers, FWC, hunters, local trappers & law enforcement. And apparently all of the samples collected were closely related. And somewhere in the early to mid 90's, there was a ban on importing Burmese from a few areas, and almost all of the imports have been from Vietnam since then. And so far not one snake collected and tested has had any close genetic relation to the Vietnamese populations imported in the last 17-19 years. Not to mention, that when those imports started becoming common, is when most of the “morph” pythons started to appear in private collections. Albinos, greens, labyrinths, etc... I would go as far as to say that it has gotten to where a majority of the Burmese pythons kept in the last 15 years have been carrying one or more of those genetic “morphs”. And not one snake tested yet had any of those genetics. Not to mention, the number of snakes that would have had to be released by owners in the right places to reach the population levels that are out there now, it just doesn't make sense. There aren't enough pet owners close to the everglades to even do it. And most of the kinds of people irresponsible enough to just release an animal where it doesn't belong, isn't going to make a long trip to release one in the everglades, because it would have a better chance of survival. That would require a “responsible” type of person, in a way, I would think. Do some searches for the research info.

http://snakebytestv.ning.com/profiles/bl...se-pythons

There is also a very whacky theory going around that they were released by the army or CIA, in the late 60's &/or early 70's, when they had imported animals, testing them to see if they could be trained,and used in Vietnam during the war. Seriously, I couldn't make that up. Do a search for it if you are into conspiracy theories. I don't think I can buy that, But I guess you never do know.

The other possibility is that there was one or a few illegal importers/smugglers who were close to getting caught with a large group, and released them similar to what would happen in the hurricane theory. I'm sure there have been irresponsible owners that have let their animals go, after they got too big, and weren't prepared to deal with them, but it is almost impossible to believe that that many individual owners could have released enough animals to generate the population that is there now.
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06-06-2012, 03:53 PM,
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ArmyOfDreams Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
Also, and Fishbone should correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not a rule that if you are to find a wild burmese python in the Everglades you are to kill on sight (if that is possible)? Last place I heard that rule was in the documentary done on the prehistoric Titanoboa (which I would highly recommend watching, it was pretty cool), and I'm not sure when that was made but I know it was in the last couple of years as the Titanoboa exhibit is currently still traveling the USA.

I have really hard time with the theory that the pythons were being tested to see if they were trainable. Not that someone wouldn't ever try it or that such research is totally garbage, because I find the extent of a snake's memory/intelligence a fascinating topic; but figuring out how to train animals never trained before does not strike me as something the army would risk doing in a high-pressure wartime situation.

The smugglers and hurricane make a lot of sense.

Also, on the count of people making long trips to release pets, in a way it almost makes sense that even an irresponsible person would do so, and certainly someone who was trying to be sneaky, smugglers included. The Everglades are a place where the snakes will blend in much better with the local fauna than in your typical city block; in a place where they would have to do unusual things to survive, they would be much more easily seen. A person desperate to unload a pet they suddenly don't want and can't care for might either not know the laws pertaining to it OR they might figure that if it's going to be in the wild, it may as well be in its habitat; perhaps no malicious intent to kill it or else they would have just killed it. And I don't know about you but if I was trying to get rid of an animal, I would want to put it in a place where it isn't likely to want to come back.
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06-06-2012, 04:24 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-06-2012, 04:35 PM by Fishbone.)
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
You have to get a permit to hunt the pythons. Its easy though. And they aren't hard to find.

The ohio law looks to be bad news and badly written. Its SB310 passes in its current form, the Ohio director of agriculture could add any species he wants to the bill at any time without any other legislative process or any input from the public or other lawmakers. It would be at his sole discretion.


http://usark.org/action-alert/stop-sb310...background

And, I highly doubt the army is the cause of the pythons in south florida. But, I disagree with the thought that they wouldn't have been dumb enough to try it. There its actually anecdotal evidence to support it. Not saying any of this is solid. But if your bored, give it a read.

http://people.moreheadstate.edu/students...eezer.html

http://www.kingsnake.com/blog/archives/8...1960s.html
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06-09-2012, 06:44 AM,
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The CatDog Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
That is some great information there. I didn't let it occur to me that for people to just release the snakes (not boas) into the everglades they would have to make a large effort on their part if they weren't nearby. That's the problem is when lawmakers begin to pass or draft up these types of laws that the law itself is very broad and covers too many things to be truly effective.
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06-09-2012, 07:24 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
(06-09-2012, 06:44 AM)The CatDog Wrote: That is some great information there. I didn't let it occur to me that for people to just release the snakes (not boas) into the everglades they would have to make a large effort on their part if they weren't nearby. That's the problem is when lawmakers begin to pass or draft up these types of laws that the law itself is very broad and covers too many things to be truly effective.

Well that's exactly my point. If you care for an animal, and want it to survive, you would take a snake like that to the everglades, sure. But, for most people, that would be even more work than researching, and learning how to take care of the animal. So if you aren't willing to do that, you probably aren't willing, or caring, enough to drive an animal all the way to the everglades to release it. I'm sure there are exceptions to that logic, but nowhere even close to enough to get the population we seem to have out there now.
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06-11-2012, 02:38 PM,
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tajnz Offline
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
Fishbone is right one the biggest reasons snakes are banned in New Zealand is that they are not native to New Zealand and if released into the wild will kill our native species of birds, geckos ect..

I also agree with ArmyofDreams and believe a secondary reason could be that snakes can be incredibly dangerous and in some instances with some species deadly. I'm curious as to have many people get bitten by snakes in America in a year? I have no idea at what the figure could be.

I also think owners should commit to keeping an animal before they make a purchase. It's insane reading about the amount of owners who try and release snakes into the wild. 0_0
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06-11-2012, 04:39 PM,
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RE: Do you think people should be allowed to own certain snake species?
Well the vast majority of snake species are harmless, and I wouldn't ever condone keeping a venomous snake as a "pet". I've been bitten twice this week, by a couple of defensive younglings. A little peroxide and that's that. I don't think the dangerous aspect is really a part of it, almost all of the popular pet snake species are all but completely harmless to people. But, as you said, in an ecosystem that has evolved without snakes, they could certainly eat allot of animals, birds and small mammals in particular. All you have to do is to look at the effects over the 70 or so years since the brown tree snake was introduced to guam.
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