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The Herpetological Community on borrowed time?

Sun, November 20 2011 at 22:44

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Yeah, ill take advice from a dipshit. Don't think so. All chris does is bitch bitch bitch. Take your own advice.
#1 chris law on 2011-11-21 08:19 (Reply)
Hi Chris. Great name, looks familiar. Here's a tip, though. The next time you want to run your mouth, grow some balls and use YOUR name. It holds more validity to your claims, otherwise, you're just another troll and your comments are discounted. Thanks.
#1.1 Chris_Law on 2011-11-21 09:18 (Reply)
Chris is absolutely right. (the guys with big mouths but no informed criticisms are idiots-disregard them. Also, name calling and throwing around meaningless platitudes is not informed debate, which we need here. The wild west isn't the wild west anymore (it died around 1890)because that sort of reckless behavior was no longer tolerated by the majority.I remember when there were no lease laws. Things change. We either bring our hobby into the 21st century or we risk losing it. I'd love it if people included their ages and experience (after age 18) with herps. I'm 51 and have 33 adult years with hots and non-not herps.
#1.2 Tom Hudak on 2011-11-22 07:40 (Reply)

An excellent article that I agree with 110%. This is not only a U.S. problem, but, it is a problem in every country that allows the ownership of exotic animals (and even the usual, domestic 'pet' animals). Responsibility is the key to keeping our privileges, and if we can't unite and work together, we will lose everything, and we will only have ourselves to blame.

One bad apple in a box of good apples will result in many bad apples - we need to remove the bad apples to keep the good apples.
#2 James Mintram on 2011-11-21 08:51 (Reply)
Yes folks, it's come to this. Time for us to grow up as a hobby, a community, and an industry. We truly will lose everything if we don't work together. Good one Chris!
#3 Brad Chambers on 2011-11-21 09:31 (Reply)
I completely disagree. The problem is the premise that keeping reptiles is not a right, but a privilege. This way of thinking has to end. As long as you think like this (and it extends into other areas of life, not just reptiles), you are going to lose more and more until nothing is left.

What I would proposes is that the reptile community goes on the offense instead of continually playing defense. The ideology and motivation of the "animal rights" groups needs to be exposed, as well as the sensationalism and pseudo-science behind the news articles attacking our hobby/businesses.
#4 Donovan on 2011-11-21 10:18 (Reply)
First his REAL name is Chris Law and unfortunately he is correct...
#5 Tom Crutchfield on 2011-11-21 10:22 (Reply)
Hi Donovan,

Thanks for the feedback and thoughts. Firstly, I'd like to say that I agree with nearly everything you said. AR groups need to be exposed for their ideologies and sound scientific evidence needs to be put into motion when exposing their claims. News media sensationalism needs to be attacked harshly (much like we did with the 'under cover' reporter who 'exposed' how easy it is to obtain an Egyptian Cobra in PA.

However, we can sit back and deliberate about whether or not we have 'rights' or 'privileges'. Either way, they ARE freedoms at this point. Unfortunately, there is nothing that states that these are 'rights'. Our closest defense is in the Declaration of Indepence, in the line stating that we have a right to life, liberty and PURSUIT of happiness. That doesn't mean that you are guaranteed anything and everything so long as it will make you 'happy.' The more we grasp reality, the better defense we will have. But, in our situation, I agree we definitely need offense, but that doesn't mean we don't come prepared with a good defense as well. Thanks for commenting!

#6 Chris_Law on 2011-11-21 10:28 (Reply)
It seems like more elitist segregation (which the aza has promoted for years). If it wasn't for roadside non aza credited menageries such as Dean ripas serpertarium or clyde peelings place (and many others) the aza wouldn't have ever had the.privilege of exhibiting some of the rarer species that they do (and furthermore look at all the aza escapes that did make press, not to mention one that didn't).That's what the herp community needs more separation and finger pointing ( unlike the well aligned equine community who despite fatalities can successfully defend against all parties, cause they stick together!). I mean divide and conquer seems the easiest way to break up and destroy a community doesn't it? Really seems like an attempt to continue the separate and destroy mentality geared towards the private community. My. 2
#7 J watts on 2011-11-21 10:55 (Reply)
Hey Jared,

I really wish things were that simple, and theoretically, you have a point. However, here's where the issue comes into play. The AZA still has standards. So, when they have an accident, there can be a punishment recourse (losing AZA accreditation and then being subsequently subject to the state's current laws in place, lawsuits, etc). When it comes to people or facilities with no rules to abide by and no punishment recourse, then what happens?

The equine community is certainly more together than we are in many ways. But, even they have rules and guidelines that are often developed by the state for the proper and safe keeping of the horses (minimum acreage, fencing requirements, etc). Just a thought.

Nothing's going to be an easy answer. Obviously, we want to get away with as little government influence as we can. But, if those who are causing many of our issues don't want to step up to the plate and start rectifying their poor choices that put us in these situations, then we're constantly going to be battling and eventually, we will lose it all.

#8 Chris_Law on 2011-11-21 11:17 (Reply)
"I completely disagree. The problem is the premise that keeping reptiles is not a right, but a privilege. This way of thinking has to end. As long as you think like this (and it extends into other areas of life, not just reptiles), you are going to lose more and more until nothing is left."

Where in the Constitution does it specifically protect owning reptiles? Or that one has the "right" to own any animal, property, or possession? It doesn't.

And that's the problem.
#9 Garrett Craft on 2011-11-21 11:54 (Reply)
"Where in the Constitution does it specifically protect owning reptiles? Or that one has the "right" to own any animal, property, or possession? It doesn't."

I'm sorry but you have it backwards. The constitution isn't intended to list specifically what rights we have as individuals (it leaves that to the states), but instead limits the federal government's authority. The point is that there is nothing in there giving the government the authority to restrict private property, which would include my, or anyone else's reptile collection.
#9.1 Donovan on 2011-11-22 14:41 (Reply)
Chris my point isn't theoretical. Without certain private keepers and institutions ( many private zoos are Far better and more equipped than aza) certain animals would not be around. Parviocula, mangs, blackhead bushmasters etc. Every institution has rules and half the time aza doesn't even abide by there own. For years elitist in aza have tried to quash the more than competitive private community and this just seems like another attempt. I have worked aza and not and Both have pros n cons. But to separate the community it again seems like aza trying to gain an upper hand. Aza pays who will take the wage, not necessarily the most qualified parties.
#10 J watts on 2011-11-21 15:23 (Reply)

You're technically correct in this regard. But, what would you suppose we do, then? Obviously we have issues that need to be addressed. What's currently happening isn't working. All we're doing is crying 'Victim' without trying to step up and make any changes. What would you suggest?

#11 Chris_Law on 2011-11-21 16:18 (Reply)
I do feel that the reptile community should at least start holding itself to higher standards. Perhaps start an organization with specific husbandry and handling regulations and a modest entry fee to certify herp owners. Make it so that isn't impossible to join, but you DO have to follow certain rules, as well as any state rules, and any violations are dealt with within the organization itself.

This not only shows "Hey, we're policing ourselves so that everyone stays safe, we're being responsible about what we're doing" to people in general, but anyone wanting to buy from a breeder in said organization is pretty much garunteed to get a healthy animal, and any complaints (like what goes on the BOI now) would be forwarded to the organization so that they can deal with the person in question.

I know it's probably not an ideal solution, and there are a LOT of kinks to be ironed out, but it would be a start. I'd rather be proactive, be able to show that I'm a certified, responsible owner and breeder, and know that I have a bunch of people at my back should the wolves come knocking at the door to try and take away my reptiles. This wouldn't just be a way of policing ourselves, it would be a way to support each other, and weed out the bad eggs.
#12 Jennifer on 2011-11-22 12:17 (Reply)
The government already says I cannot have a cannon. It doesn't say I cannot have a hand cannon. So the 'private property' issue is out the window here. The fact that the Bill of Rights states I can own a firearm and the government does say I cannot have an anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on my roof is perfect example of how they can legally regulate even a clearly defined right.
Some of us have seen this community grow tremendously in the past 10-15 years. With quick expansive growth comes growing pains. We caught the attention of animal rights extremists. We have to deal with that accordingly.
Mr Law is right here. Fortunately majority has the sense to support proactive and pre-emptive attempts to save our lifestyle. Any who sees to undermine those attempts and call themselves responsible keepers are dragging us down. If you are not a part of the solution you are part of the problem. Get on board with someone with some kind of plan or just get the hell out of the way. You're impeding progress.
Until I see a better plan than the USARK model legislation here in NC, that doesn't infringe on privacy or ban account and is a responsible common sense practice; I'm backing that as an industry standard.
#13 Blue on 2011-11-22 15:20 (Reply)
I am relatively new to the reptile community, and I only have a few smaller snakes ball pythons, sand boas, and a few imverts, but I have seen some questionable behavior - people being able to buy animals via facebook actions, pet stores selling bad or sick animals..ect...
my question is how do we start to police the people that are causing the issues?
I do not buy and try to encourage friends to stay away from bad dealers.
And how can we know who will be responsible with the animal they get? Some people just lie.
I really love this hobby and I do think it is a exciting time to be getting it to it. I want to help the hobby, I think we need some positive publicity. when i was a kid I had Steve Irwin on the animal planet, now they just show show after show on animal hoarders that die... I really wish Steve Irwin was still around
#14 Noble (Homepage) on 2011-11-26 04:34 (Reply)
A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of ANY licensing process--myself included, because I do think that if you give the government a Burmese, it takes a ball. (No pun intended.)But I keep coming back to the model of falconry when I consider giant snakes, crocodilians, and hot species.

A falconer has to complete a course of training, enter an apprenticeship program with a master falconer, familiarize himself with the captive needs of birds of prey, show that he can provide for his bird, and then AND ONLY THEN is allowed to obtain one. This seems like a lot of nonsense, but does it weed out the idiots? You bet. Someone not fully committed to becoming a falconer will not commit to the training process.

The true giants, the crocodilians and the dangerously venomous snakes (elapids, viperids and about three genera of rear-fangs) by their very nature, make demands of a keeper which most people are not up to dealing with. Many of us may admire these animals and love them, but realize that for whatever reason, they're not for us. Others of us are willing to go to the appropriate lengths to ensure that these demanding captives are properly housed and cared for, and are justifiably concerned that all our hard work will be for nothing and we'll lose our animals anyway.

The problem is that we all know people who get these animals for the wrong reasons and give us all a bad name. And something needs to be done to ensure--for the sakes of the animals and the hobby and every legitimate hobbyist out there--that these wonderful, demanding and potentially dangerous creatures wind up with only the most dedicated of owners. I know that if coursework to get certification for keeping giant snakes or hot species were in place, I'd pay to take it: I think the overwhelming majority of people who are serious and care about the hobby and the animals would. As to how many critters you could keep, or who would administer it, or a dozen other questions--hey, I don't have all the answers, and I'd welcome constructive suggestions from anyone who could suggest how this rough idea could be improved.
#15 JS Argyle on 2012-02-11 20:23 (Reply)

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