Actually, I agree with what most of you are saying...
Our main frustration here is this:
On the one hand, the organisation as a whole actually has some really GOOD ideas, and yes, I completely, 100%, wholeheartedly agree that the reptile trade is responsible for activities which are less than adequate, BUT...
Does that mean there should be NO serpentariums, NO reptile shows, NO public education initiatives? In the whole of the country? And NO-ONE should be allowed to keep reptiles? At all?
I'm not trying to do down animal welfare organisations, far from it, but what I do want to do is try to get a balance!
I'm pretty sure (I'm going to check my facts on this one) that the millenium serpentarium in South Wales was overturned eventually on the grounds of public health hazard - they got residents from nearby up in arms about having lots of dangerous and virulent reptiles living soooo close!!! Now I also seem to remember that those plans were absolutel NOT 'inadequate' in so far as the animals were concerned and was intended to be a showcase educational, conservation-minded attraction!
However, any facility would be 'inadequate' in the protester's eyes because they claim that 'most reptiles die within the first year in captivity'!!!
Judging by the number of young most species of reptile produce in the wild, I'd say that numbers-wise most reptiles die within their first year in the wild, too.
What I was really looking for in my first post was ideas for getting more balance, more facts into this whole area - not the undermining of the organisation generally. I'm sorry if this wasn't very clear - I'm a tad upset by the whole thing!
I've even thought of joining them, and then trying to educate them from the inside... what do you think?