I personally feel that hots shouldn't be kept as pets.
Let me clarify!
Keeping such an animal or animals for pure personal enjoyment wether one is experienced or not I feel is too big a risk. Even the most knowledgeable, experienced keepers have accidents, NO one can say that they are completely avoidable. Wether it be a handling mistake, escape or other these things do happen to the best of them. Not only counting the risk that the actual keeper is taking for himself, one has to consider the surroundings and other people at risk no matter how slim a chance such a disaster would happen.
Then one has to think of the economic impacts an accident with a hot can have. Take a bite to the keeper. Even if he curbs the cost of the anti-venin, who covers the cost of the medical help, hospitalization, etc? (I.E. in Canada?!) Such an accident would run up in the thousands of dollars for health care. If there is an escape, having the appropriate authorities step in to retrieve the snake can also incur hefty costs.
We haven't even begun to assess the impact of such a thing to the herp community in General.
For these reasons, I think hots as PETS aren't a good idea no matter what the circumstances.
Are there circumstances that I think hots should be kept?
Yes. For scientific and anti-venin purposes, I feel there is a need for it. I don't feel it has to absolutely be done by officially credited individuals as I feel there are other types of experience that would qualify someone to participate in such a project. I don't even feel that it has to be studies necessarily stated sanctionned. I just feel that the practice of keeping hots should be productive in some way to society to account for it's risk factor. Wether it be an individual starting on his own and making his own studies and then publishing them or a big governmental project.
My 2 cents,
Keeper of 5 snakes, leopard geckos, 1 green iguana, 20+ tarantulas, 2 dogs & a bunch of rats!