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Discussion Starter #1
I know snakes aren't popular here, but I know of many member here that keep geckos and other reptiles (and a few snake owners are out there I'm sure).

The Lacey act has been in place for over 100 years now and was originally intended to stifle the trade in smuggled species and to protect the environment. It includes harsh penalties for those that traffic in wildlife across state lines.

All that said, this act is now being used by the animal rights groups to limit and eventually end ownership of some exotic animals. About 3 years ago, 3 species of large constrictor snakes were added, using the issue of Burmese pythons in the everglades as a pretense. They used "scientific evidence" from scientists affiliated with PETA and HSUS to claim that these species could become invasive in the US (when truly they can only survive in southernmost FL).

Last week, they added three more species of snakes, the rest of the anacondas and reticulated pythons... And almost added boa constrictors (one of the top 4 pet species in the US). I own boas myself... and I was extremely worried and nervous before the judgement was made public. If they had added boas to the list... I know that I'd have to give up my pets should I move out of state (and it's not easy to find a home for a large snake and there are not many rescues either).

Basically, they are chipping away at the species you can own, and gauging our reaction each time... If there is no or little uproar, they will add others to the list, until we can't own any reptiles or other exotics (keep in mind that both PETA and HSUS have the end goal of NO pet ownership, period. They are targeting the least kept pets first)).

At this point, the only hope going for those that own these species is USARK's lawsuit against the USFWS. They are using the dicey science as grounds for pursuing this and will be adding the new species to the suit, which has been ongoing for several years now.

If you own any reptiles, please consider donating to USARK or the lawsuit (they have a donation option to just put money toward the suit).

And, even if you don't own reptiles, but might want to one day please consider donating as well.

It has been too long that the pet community has been divided and owners of different species have been pitted against one another. They have come for the snakes today, but soon it will be the hamster and birds, the fish, the rodents, and then cats and dogs. :(

I will post a link to USARK's page here, they have other information there on legal issues across the country and on this matter. Please consider at least checking them out.

Thanks for your time!
 

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PETA is honestly one of the worst organizations around. They are hypocrites. And anyone who supports them is usually completely ignorant to what they actually stand for or just plain stupid. I'm a huge believer in animal rights, but PETA doesn't practice what they preach.

I'm not a snake owner (yet. There is a Kenyan sand boa in my future), but I do have a pit bull and have to deal with the discrimination that comes along with them. I'm just hoping all these snakes and their owners can get past this ridiculousness.
 

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PETA is honestly one of the worst organizations around. They are hypocrites. And anyone who supports them is usually completely ignorant to what they actually stand for or just plain stupid. I'm a huge believer in animal rights, but PETA doesn't practice what they preach.

I'm not a snake owner (yet. There is a Kenyan sand boa in my future), but I do have a pit bull and have to deal with the discrimination that comes along with them. I'm just hoping all these snakes and their owners can get past this ridiculousness.
I agree. PETA goes off of "It's better off dead then us trying to attempt to find it a better home" when it comes to abused animals and such.
 

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Like you said, after snakes, other "exotic pets" will also be banned. Unfortunately, rats are one of the most "exotic" pets. I'm so worried. This also really effects my friend, considering she owns six frogs, two leopard geckos, two moss balls (but they're plants) and a bulldog (which doesn't apply......yet.....).
 

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PETA views are definitely a little warped. The sad thing is that passing laws like this will discourage the responsible pet owners from providing good lives for these animals while the hoarders and idiots continue to do what they please and get what they want from the black market. There's definitely a problem with ignorant people keeping animals that they aren't capable of caring for and especially with large snakes that's an issue that could prove to be extremely dangerous but saying that nobody can keep the animals at all because some people make horrible mistakes seems wrong to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for your replies guys!
I wish there was a larger lobbyist group, like one for ALL exotic animal owners, so that we could have more voice in larger numbers. USARK sends representatives whenever there is a law up for vote in a state and also tries to get the word out so that people know about and vote on local laws. The problem with the lacey act, is that it is not something that can be voted on. This decision was made by appointed officials, who are probably being paid off (or at least heavily infulenced) by both PETA and HSUS. The problem with HSUS, is they often play the "straight man" to PETA's "crazy nut organization", so people don't realize that they have the same agenda... They only donate 2% of proceeds to actual shelters and the rest goes to advertising and lobbyists pushing stuff like this. There's a website dedicated to getting the word out about them as well.. I think it's called humanewatch.org or something similar. If you check out their charity rating, it isn't good at all either.

FL handled the everglades issue well, I thought... They require a permit to own any larger or possibly invasive species and microchip the animal. If that animal is later found in the wild, the owner is fined heavily... Thus "punishing" those that do the crime, but not those that are good owners.

This addition to the lacey act will result in more snakes being released into the wild... There's no way to get around that... What are you to do when you move and you can't take your 14ft. retic with you and no one wants it? Shoot it? Most owners couldn't do that... So would probably release it.

ASFs (african soft-furred rats) are already on the act, so illegal to transport across state lines. I can easily see regular rats being added to the list. If they can add species based on made-up phony science, then adding species that actually have hard scientific proof of them being able to survive in the wild will be easy down the road... This could include cats and dogs eventually...

Pleae spread the word about this.. Many reptile people or other exotic owners don't frequent forums online, so may not know and also encourage them to check out USARK. Even if you can only donate $1.00, that'll do something to help fight the feds. There's also a FB auction that is going to get started on March 15th and the proceeds are going to USARK. Some of the big breeders are donating expensive animals, there will be other goods as well, so it might be worth checking out if you are looking into buying an animal anyway..Might as well buy and donate at the same time.

Thanks again for your time and consideration of this scary issue!
 

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Thank you for opening my eyes to this! I had no idea this was happening. Something REALLY needs to change before everyone loses their right to own companion animals... furry, scaly, and feathered!
 

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I really hope they don't get anywhere with this. My hedgehog is the most exotic pet I have and I would be devastated if I had to give him up. He got sick for a single night and I was a sobbing mess, imagine having to give him up.
 

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I can tell you from experience. I live in south Florida and I have NEVER seen any invasive species other than Cuban anoles, which came here naturally. The media highly exaggerates invasive species and their dangers. Heck, I have searched all over my city for exotic pets and cannot find any breeders or pet stores that sell anything besides the usual animals. The only way someone would get any exotics here is ordering online, which most common people don't know you can do.I own a bearded dragon. While they are very common reptiles that are all captive bred, I still am scared that PETA will convince the public my innocent lizard is some kind of monster that will kill everything if released into the wild.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
crazyratgirl101- I've heard that from other FL people as well, that the burmese python numbers are highly exaggerated, as is their impact on the swamps. I believe FL has a very strict licensing program for people that keep or breed exotics, so that could be why you're not seeing many for sale. I know that you have to have some sort of license to even sell any kind of snake or exotic there (I knew someone who didn't know about this and actually got "busted" selling a BP to someone... It was actually a sting operation... on a ball python sale... I'd think they'd have better things to spend their time on.

I think the license is $50 per year. I'm not sure if that effects other exotic breeders as well or not and I do know that people who keep the big snakes (those considered a "threat" or invasive) have to go through additional steps.

The media definitely doesn't help on this either... I saw a show on animal planet (which is horrible now) and they showed a horrible portrayal of a large snake this women adopted... The owner herself appeared "scared" of her pet and clearly didn't know proper handling technique.. They actually made out her snake to be scarier / a worse situation than a guy who kept a buffalo in his house.... which is far far more dangerous.
 

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PETA is the most hypocritical organisation on earth. It's been proven multiple times that they've poisoned dogs at shows (pretty much pet genocide) and tried to pretend it was just the stress of the show, then using that as "evidence" as to why dog shows to be banned. Hedgian, you're definitely right, apparently most of the animals they "rescue" are killed before anyone has attempted to rehome them (even the safe, healthy ones). It's also been proven that they've set animals free into the wild, which is practically instant death.

As a snake owner myself, I'd really like to see the percentage of snakes that died after they were outlawed, though the answer would probably enrage me.

Some pets are better off in captivity (as long as it's with a caring, knowledgeable owner) than they are in the wild.

PETA could be doing something useful, like trying to ban the use of animal testing for shampoos and cosmetics, but instead they put their time towards this junk.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
USARK won their injunction.. that temporarily allows members of USARK to ship retics / burmese / anacondas (only the species most recently listed on the lacey act) to be shipped between state lines except to FL and TX. Still waiting on the final court case which will decide this... Winning the injunction was a good step though, as it shows that USARK's case has merit.

I agree about PETA. HSUS is equally bad, mis-representing what their goals are and what they spend money on.
 
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