2014-06-08

Revised snake breeding screed

I've been thinking and talking with friends about the current snake trade situation, and have come to amend, and dare I say, refine, my views on the matter. Last week, I posted a rather lengthy article about why I won't by a fancy-colored snake (and neither should you). My views on selectively breeding snakes for color, inbreeding, and producing sick or non-viable animals remain unchanged. I honestly don't think this sort of thing should be supported.


However, a huge number of animals on the pet snake market are still imported. A great many die in transit, and many again die in the first year as pets due to mishandling and neglect.

It appears that the root cause of snakes (and other exotic pets) being so plentiful and affordable is this unending stream of wild-caught animals imported into the US every year. Being cheap and readily available at any pet store makes snakes prime candidates for impulse purchases, resulting in death of the animal or its abandonment.

I've now come to change my view of the breeders' place in this market situation: As long as they responsibly produce healthy animals and offer education and support, they can help satisfy the demand for reptiles on the market and contribute to the improvement of the pets' overall condition.

What I still believe needs to stop is capture of wild animals for pet trade and any kind of import of them. There are plenty of them already in the country, and the breeders should be able to satisfy the demand; even if not, the rising prices will help prevent people from buying a snake only to find out that they can't (or don't want to) take care of it.

Either way, guess I'm no longer thinking that all breeders are evil, even though I'd wish not everyone with a pair of snakes would just breed them if they only felt like it. But regulating breeders is a whole 'nother can of worms, and I'm not even going to get into that here.

Anyways, that's what I currently think on this matter, but I do reserve the right to change my view somewhat again if I learn something relevant. One thing I will always stand on is the welfare of the animals. We are the ones who decide we want a pet, and we should jolly well be responsible for that pet's well-being. Anything less is just shitty.

There.