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Old 09-21-02, 02:16 PM   #30 (permalink)
sophia's Avatar
Join Date: Jul-2002
Location: Sanford, North Carolina
Age: 47
Posts: 759
While I agree it's a saftey issue, rope doesn't have the ability to rip off scales like tape does, I realize it doesn't look as pretty, but most handlers that I've met and watched, use rope rather than tape. The issue about the whole taping or roping of the jaws that concerns me is the 'period of time' that the jaw is held shut, since the holding open of the mouth is the way that crocodiles and alligators 'cool', or 'thermoregulate' themselves. I probably should have made that more clear and concise.

At shows which last for hours on end, a stressed animal's temperature goes up, much like your blood pressure when you're angry, the only way they can cool themselves out of the water, is through opening the mouth and taking on air while expelling body heat build up. That's where the cruelty of taping and roping for extended periods of time comes in. It's okay to rope in order to move and transport, but to keep them roped or taped for hours on end, uncovered with multitudes of humans milling around them stressing them further, is uncalled for. The tape on the other hand, now that's just something I find negligable because once those scales around the mouth are damaged, they're hard to keep clean and treated until they heal. There are some who will say, oh, but we use painter's tape, well somtimes the adhesive is stickier than you bargained for and that tape pulls off paint and laminate from moldings, think what it does to the animal, then there's electrical tape, that crap is just plain gummy when wet or handled too much. The worst I've seen yet is duct tape, it does some awful damage, it'll remove hair and skin from your body, what it does to the animal is horrible.

My point is, if you can't gate it off and keep it and the general public safe from one another at the shows, then perhaps you should wait until you can afford proper equipment. I'm all for education, but if your education causes damages to the animal, then what you're doing is perpetuating ignorance rather than educating.

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