What bothers me most about high-end morphs is that the high price tag encourages so-called breeders (actually newbies who think they can exploit animals and make a quick buck) from jumping into the marketplace.
Once they don't achieve the colors they were after and find out how expensive it is to house and feed and heat all the offspring, those babies suffer horribly. They are neglected, overcrowded, dumped in an unsuitable climate where they are also at risk of transmitting or catching disease via the local herp population, or even euthanized.
Rescues are filled with this sort of thing and the needy keep growing in numbers.
The Humane Society here in the US is way out of control in their statements about keeping and selling reptiles, but sometimes I wish that some of their points were taken into consideration. It is my belief that herps should not be so readily available to pet stores and newbie breeders looking to make a few quick bucks at their expense. There should be some sort of a licensing procedure where the dealer must show a knowledge of general herp husbandry first. Unfortunately, most of the folks in animal control would need to learn a fair bit in order to administer the test. :-(
Jeff is right in that the low price tags of some truly beautiful "normal" animals greatly contributes to the suffering of herps at the hands of folks who buy on impulse. If folks had to seek out a qualified reptile specialty store or breeder first, they would be less likely to buy something that they cannot or just plain will not keep humanely.
The Zombie Mama is here!