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Old 03-29-03, 02:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Proposed snake ban in Okanagan, we need your help!

To make a long story short, the Central Okanagan region is proposing to ban a few snake species mainly large constrictors, like boas, afrocks, and burmese pythons as well as the green iguana. For more info please email me.
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Old 03-29-03, 03:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I cant write at all, but i will get my sister to express my veiws the next time i visit her (she is a great writer). Also just an idea, maybe get people that are afraid (or pretend to be afraid) to go and explain how if kept properly they are really interesting and rewarding animals. it always helps to get people who one would think are totally against them to agree with the keepers, just a thought.

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-03, 07:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Katt,

While I always try to help oppose unreasonable by-law proposals, this one doesn't look that bad. In fact, it appears so far to be one of the least restrictive and most suitable proposals that I have seen. I wouldn't include the common boa constrictor, myself, and I'd ask for it to be removed from the list.

Are there any exemptions allowed for educational purposes, shelters, etc.?

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Old 03-29-03, 01:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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While it might not look that bad, it is. Think of the consequences. Once the Okanagan starts banning, the rest of the Province will start too. This has happened in the GVRD area and we are constantly in a battle with city councils to keep what we have.

There is some exemptions for certain organizations to keep the prohibited animals, but NOT to display them for educational purposes. A bit backward I think. I don't see the reason for them to ban the large constrictors. I am a owner of a burmese python and I am aware of a burmese owner in Kelowna. Now there is a Grandfather clause, but honestly I don't see the reason for banning the large constrictors. I think it is only because of recent publicity concerning Kerry-Ann Koop and Boaz Pythonamous.

Also, while I'm not a big fan of iguanas(I do own one) as pets who am I as a large constrictor owner to tell anyone else what they keep? We as herpers have to stick together, even if our views differ a bit.
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Old 03-29-03, 05:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"14. Non-human primates."

I find this one interesting.... Thank god my pet human collection wont be banned!!!!

LOL
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Old 03-29-03, 05:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They shouldnt ban anything they should make all owners and future owners take a test if they do it there hopefully other area's will start doing it instead of a outright ban
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Old 03-29-03, 06:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I feel for you. Here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia we have a bi-law that states that no snake over 2 feet can be kept in the bounderies of the city.
So I to have some what the same problem.

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Old 03-30-03, 08:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There is a tremendous difference between a law that bans snakes over 2', and one that bans large constrictors, venomous snakes, crocodilians, and large lizards. The former is completely ridiculous and has no logically bearing on public safety, the main (or perhaps only) legitimate reason for prohibiting animals at a municipal level.

I agree that a 'test', permit, authorization, etc. would be the best way to go. However, I have yet to see a municipality go this way. They are afraid of the cost and workload of administering such a system. I have come to believe that the only way a system like this would work is at the provincial level.

Even a permit system would be a prohibition, except for permit holders. Prohibition with specific exemptions can accomplish close to the same thing, provided the exemptions are appropriate. It doesn't sound like they are in this case at this point, and I would focus my lobbying at making them more useful. I'd still like to see the actual wording of the by-law, though.

I, too, own large constrictors, all of which have come from previous owners who couldn't care for them. We use them in most of our educational programs, and try to discourage people from buying them very strongly. I am not opposed to the prohibition of them (as stated, I wouldn't include boa constrictors in this) as pets; in fact, I think it is a fine idea.

While the domino theory of municipal by-laws may be true (once one bans, they all ban), I don't subsribe to the belief that once they ban one thing, it will lead to more, and eventually to a complete ban. Reasonable, practical, and enforceable laws tend to become pretty stable and endure without much revision. Unfortunately, even unreasonable ones can endure far too long!

I agree that "we as herpers need to stick together". We need to be organized, and we need to be active in the battle to avoid unnecessary regulations and prohibitions. However, we also need to realize that not all regulations or prohibitions are unnecessary. We live in a society with other people, and we make laws to try to enable us all to live safely and in peace. Venomous snakes, large constrictors, crocodilians, and even large lizards, can and do constitute threats to public safety, and therefore regulations concerning them are not likely to go away. I'd just like to see them be sensible and manageable.

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Old 03-30-03, 10:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Abbotsford area went through this last year, and with the WSPCR member showing up with actual facts and figures for sizing, animal collection contents, the fact that it is more than a hobby, the un education of the general public, and all of the faulty myths, the group along with PSAC was able to have a civil talk with city council. The council did take a good long hard at the facts on salmonella, escapees, rescues, to the factual number of reptil keepers, and the did come up with a set of by-laws that all involved (other than those animal activist junkies whom have nothing better to bitch about). These by-laws restricted venomous, crocadilian, larger boids, spiders, wild cats, dogs, large exotics such as elephants (dang it all, there goes pet dumbo).
But all in all, it is good if the club members do show their support and write a civil but truthful letter to the council, and do attend the meetings, as it does affect us all.
Abbotsford did the right thing, and if we can pursuade the city council there to look at the reptiles in general, then the same members should bring the facts they showed with last time and attend the PoCo council meetings as well.
I did write the council of PoCo a letter of concern, and I encourage others to do the same.
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Old 03-30-03, 12:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Jeff,

At the risk of bringing up an old topic, one that almost turned into a flame, I would like to add a few comments.

1. I don't think there is a tremendous difference between banning snakes 2' and banning large constrictors. The reason that they say 2', IMO, is to stop any large constrictors from attaining the huge size. Aside from colubrids, that is. I don't necessarily agree with the laws, but I can understand how they came up with it.

2. Again, this is the reason behind why we, as the responsible herpers out there, need to follow the laws put forth, whether they are right or wrong. Some people had suggested in an earlier post that the laws are incorrect, and therefore they are going to do whatever they want. This type of behavior does this hobby no good. Again, I reiterate, if you do not like the laws in your area, then do what you can to change them respectively and with a level head. Get flyers going, meet with your local authorities, maybe even meet with your city government. Go prepared, and have your facts straight and all layed out. Give them numbers, statistics, and alternate ammendments. Above all else, project yourself as a respnsible and knowledgeable keeper. Going in there and spouting off about unfair laws is NOT the way to go.

I know of people that break the laws all the time....I even knew of someone that smuggled a ball python into another country!! This is the type of actions that will continue to cause complete bans in our cities. These are the people that hurt the hobby for the rest of us. Again, keep in mind that the general public has a fear of snakes and reptiles in general..smuggling or illegally keeping them further feeds their fears.

Although the laws may not be what you want, or if you want to make a difference in your city, then do it the right way. And until the law does change, then do your part and follow it. There would be nothing more embarassing than for a person to fight to change the laws in their area, only for the local authorities to find that you are breaking the law in the first place!!
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Old 03-31-03, 10:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Just to clarify, the things we (the WSPCR --the reptile society in BC) are taking issue with in this bylaws are mostly the Common boa constrictor and the Green iguana. We do pretty much reserve the opinion that there should be regulatory bylaws rather than bans however since we do not anticipate compliance on that from the governement we are making compromises. As long as they have grandfathering and only target the giant species of snake, crocodilian, venemous, and large monitors we do not make such a fuss. Actually we have pointed out to these people that while they have targetted an few species that should not be on the list they have also left many off. We see that they are trying to be fair because when we first caught wind of this it was much broader and I believe it was our input which caused them to narrow it down. There is one individual on this counicl or comittee who is particulkarily disturbing because she has a vendetta for the common boa constrictor. It is that sort of person we will be fighting. The propsed law as a whole is much more reasonable than it could have been.
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