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Old 02-11-04, 12:31 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar-2002
Location: Alberta, Canada
Age: 47
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Here are a few ideas.......

This was posted on another forum about this .......Some ideas and well thought out actions we can take .......

-New post-
I wrote a response to this that the private messaging system ate...

Bottom line is, the article is a load of lies, propaganda and outright crap that's intended to appeal to people who don't know any better and form a kind of foot in the door legislation that can later be expanded to meet the rabid anti-human ideals of these groups. Their goal is not better treatment for animals, it's not even no reptilian pets... it's no pets. No animals eaten as food and no service animals used. Ever.

Couple points, kinda quickly...

CITES pays very close attention to species collection numbers and the conditions the animals are shipped in, their website has a great many studies and papers which support the idea that animals are actually being treated well throughout the entire process. Yes, there are deaths and yes sometimes it has health effects but these are the minority, not the majority when it comes to situations surrounding exportation of fauna. Further, the countries most responsible for exportation into the pet trade have realized that they have a valuable sustainable resource on their hands and it has dramatically changed collection methods and numbers. When battaling anti-pet activists, be sure to have the most up to date numbers and facts possible, since most of what they use as a base for their propaganda comes from the somewhat naive times prior to regulation of international animal trade.

In order to fight them, grouping together with other herpers works well but you'll need additional support. Find someone working for Canadian fish and wildlife or the department of natural resources (whatever it might be called up there) who agrees with your cause and can act as a spokesperson... They may not be as credible as a genuine research biologist but voters trust uniforms. As sad as it is to say, make sure the person acting as a spokesperson for the group when it comes to media relations is clean cut, well spoken and somewhat attractive- it's perhaps not the best side of human nature but people don't listen to trolls (Which is why I never got to go on TV). When it comes to a written campaign, same thing goes... let the articulate people do the footwork and anyone who's not great at it can simply sign their name. Tirades and anger don't appeal to the masses in situations like this.

Get information on the groups you're opposing... In the United States, non-profits are legally obligated to make their financial records public. It is through this that PETA lost a lot of support, when they were proven to have been supporting eco-terrorism and nobody could figure out where the money to help animals actually was (But the high ranking leaders sure did have fat salaries).

Locate some quotes from the oppositions leadership which prove that they are psycotics... Anything having to do with rabid veganism or how people shouldn't own dogs or how a human child has less right to live than an animal usually works. A few such quotes were shown to General Mills executives and caused them to pull the HSUS calender that they had been including with some cerals as a prompotional campaign.

Back up your position with biology and be sure to combat bambi style stereotypes. Reptiles have pretty simple brains, they're not capable of much when it comes to thoughts or feelings other than hunger or fear, it's all stimulus leading to genetically ingrained responses. Prove this to be true and they'll be forced to abandon the arguments about environmental enrichment... A leopard gecko is not and never will be close to a chimpanzee or a dolphin.

Associate yourself with other legitimate animal groups, be they animal welfare or animal hobbiests. By doing so on a local level you can prevent those small bills and legislatiove attempts to restrict ownership... It's all too easy for a bill to be passed which bans venomous snakes and constrictors over fifteen feet long. Once it's on the books, it can easily be changed to read all snakes over ten feet... then six... then all snakes... then all reptiles... Then all exotics. If there's a local aquarium society or some parrot fanciers or hamster lovers, get them on your side before everything hits the fan and you increase your voter base when and if it comes to that point.

Collect hard numbers, the number of people who die every year from reptile related injury or illness (this is another attack point for PETA types) is much lower than the number killed by dogs or horses. Similarly, there are more abused and abandoned housecats than there are all exotics lumped together in a group... If there is some degree of success in getting legislation up for review surrounding abused reptiles, demand that legislators tack house cat permit requirements of a few hundred bucks a year onto the bill and watch it sink in flames.

Local legislators make great friends. If something doesn't pass inside city limits, it frequently won't pass inside a county or a state (or Providence).

Hit every resource you can on a national and international level for support, internet forums are fast becoming a great way to do so... Hit other big sites (I know that Nett is more active on many than I am) like (especially, considering the number of active canuks), Kingsnake (it might get deleted, Melissa Kaplan is a moderator there and she's allied with these groups), Fauna and any others you can think of... Make fliers, hit herp and pet related shows and symposiums and generally get down and dirty with your own propaganda campaign, but make sure yours is truthful.

Oh yeah.... this kind of group has been active in the United States for decades, they've been getting steadily smarter about how they conduct themselves and how they approach things... Gotta keep a sharp eye out for that proposed legilslation which bans even a single species, it's not always the obvious "Make eating cows illegal" that it was in the past.


Rob Laidlaw, the author of the article, has many other articles online, which I have spent an entertaining morning reading... He doesn't like zoos, people keeping pets, anyone eating meat, insulin production, medical research, antivenin production, gasoline powered cars, taking potentially medicinally useful plants out of the wild or apparantly human beings in general.

This one was interesting

This one is completely composed of lies about salmonella.

A few other psycotic anti-animal sites have him listed, praising him for his work in closing zoos and a few mentioned that he's been hard at work trying to close down the reptile industry, this is not an objective report from an individual uninvolved... it's a clear and direct threat from an individual who is taking his moral views and trying to make them law.

The only credentials I've been able to find are all related to the guy's qualifications in mammilian biology... basically... he doesn't know his *** from a hole in the ground when it comes to herpetology.

Ooh... here's a good one where other Canadians realized that Laidlaw was a psycotic...

Basically it sounds a bit mixed... he's got a bad history of this kind inflamatory nonsense that's reccognized by the assorted governmental agencies, but he's also apparantly seen by a lot of people as being educated and somehow trustworthy... It might be a difficult fight.

Seamus Haley
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