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Old 01-03-03, 02:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
eyespy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep-2002
Posts: 2,125
Ranching might be good for the hobby when properly done, but unfortunately it often isn't.

Herps ain't herd animals. They don't tend to do well when overcrowded, and disease levels skyrocket. It isn't just parasites found in some ranches, there are deadly funguses and adenoviruses introduced to the US from one ranch in El Salvador that have infected a few thousand animals.

Some breeders of bearded dragons lost their entire stock in 2002 because they were trying to expand their bloodlines and brought home one of these ranched animals. Little did they know adenovirus is airborne and just caging separately is not an effective quarantine. My friends CheriS and Axe have been tracking infected animals on their website and the mortality rate is very high.

The day I read that a stampede of beardies ran through the streets of Adelaide is the day I will agree that ranching is a good way to produce bearded dragons. Now the scuttlebutt is that adenovirus is also being seen in mass-produced cornsnakes as well. Some of the vets I've spoken to feel that overcrowding and subsequent stress is weakening the immune systems of these animals so that they are more likely to be infected and this is why adenovirus is found in ranched animals but seldom in animals produced by breeders.
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