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Old 06-30-03, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun-2003
Location: Aldergrove BC
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SPCA article on the ban of reptiles

Summary Report & Recommendations

Exotic Species

The Issue
Currently, thousands of wild, exotic animals are sold through pet stores throughout BC. Other larger animals such as lions, tigers and monkeys are sold at exotic animal auctions. Many exotic animals are taken from the wild in other countries and imported to BC. Others are bred and raised locally in captivity and sold to pet stores or sold privately through the Internet or newspaper. Adequate care information on most exotic animals is limited -- especially for the smaller animals sold in pet stores -- and many die in captivity long before they reach the store shelves.

Federal legislation governing the trade in exotic animals is generally limited to prohibitions on the import of species listed as endangered or threatened. Often exotic animals are surrendered to BC SPCA shelters, or released into the wild to live an uncertain future or to potentially disrupt local ecosystems. Refuges for exotic animals are few and most are filled to capacity.

In seeking input the BC SPCA asked a number of questions. These included whether a ban should be enacted on the trade of exotic species, whether keepers of exotic pets should be certified, whether sanctuaries should be established for exotic pets, and what the BC SPCA should do when it receives exotics.

Public Feedback
While public feedback on this issue was not voluminous, it was generally well informed. The Rainforest Reptile Refuge Society in Surrey, BC made a long and thoughtful submission, which we will reference.

Most submissions that address this issue are against keeping exotic animals as pets, noting that these animals should be left in their native habitats. A total ban of exotic species is broadly recommended. Strict bylaws prohibiting ownership of exotic animals would eliminate the need for certification. However, it is noted that there will always be an underground trade to deal with. Most recommend that exotic animals received by the BC SPCA be turned over to zoos or sanctuaries where they can be properly cared for.

Submissions indicate that sanctuaries are necessary at least until a ban reduces the numbers. In terms of funding, submissions put forward various schemes: government funded refuges, refuges run by volunteers with some financial support from the BC SPCA, or refuges funded by pet stores who sell exotic species; a portion of sales would go into a fund for sanctuaries.

The panel recommends that the best way for the BC SPCA to address the issue of exotic animals is through education and advocacy. The BC SPCA can work in partnership with exotic animal sanctuaries to develop and deliver messages that discourage the keeping of exotic animals in captivity. While the BC SPCA itself cannot enact a ban on the trade of exotic animals, it can mount or support advocacy initiatives to change provincial and/or federal legislation.

Our specific recommendations call on the BC SPCA to:


Partner with the Rainforest Reptile Refuge Society, other exotic animal sanctuaries and the UBC Animal Welfare Program to develop education initiatives aimed at not keeping exotics in captivity as pets.

Survey branches regarding the current handling of exotics received in BC SPCA shelters and identify options for the future.

Consider lobbying provincial government and/or in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies lobby the federal government to create legislation, banning trade in exotic species.
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Old 06-30-03, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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why does this bullshit not surprise me in the least......geeee.....I wonder who wrote this crap........Shramm.......hmmmmm.....I think I will call Surrey city hall and ask to see the SPCA surrender records on exotics...
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Old 06-30-03, 09:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Itís coming everywhere. They take our rights one small step at a time. The bureaucrat know nothings have already striped some of the rights from reptile keepers in NC and that was only the start.
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Old 06-30-03, 09:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well the time has come for all us BC breeders and keepers to band together in some capacity. We can not sit idly by and let people like this have the only say in this discussion! It is time for us to implement some kind of plan to fight this and many other by laws that are popping up around the province. We can no longer take a sit back approach while our rights are being taken away from us. Damn it something has to be done! We can not just let this go unchallenged. The oldest saying in the book is united we stand divided we fall. So why the hell aren't we all united already. Instead we are scrambling now to do something. Lets show them that we are not a few people but a good percentage of voters (since this is all they seem to listen to). having said this were do we begin?What is the first steps? Lets figure this out quickly before it is to late! Tim B.
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Old 06-30-03, 10:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tim couldn't have said it better himself.

From the time of the first B.C. bylaw with a Schramm influence, Sheila, I and many other people wrote letters.

Chris Richardson decided to start CROC - Canadian Reptile Owners Coalition, a multi provincial watchdog organization. "Find the new proposed bylaw, and act before anyone else does". Amanda made the webpage, Chris stepped aside to let Amanda run it.

I was the second member of Croc, and I found out about this new bylaw from Terri on snakes. So, Croc isn't really doing what it had originally set out to do, originally.

So either join croc, and keep the coalition part active, or start an informal coalition. (I'd either suggest a forum on ssnakess, or a separate email list (, sign me up) or both.

These bylaws will be coming at us, and all provinces have to help out now - not when it is too late. We have fought hard for B.C cities because we know it could just be a matter of time until those laws set a precedent to multiply throughout Canada.

We all have something to add, regardless of differing beliefs.

Myself, the part about pet stores not being able to sell RES or iguanas - is a sound idea. For others, it might not be. I am biased.

We can all attempt to positively influence change. Whether we like it or not, laws regarding non-traditional pets, they are a changing. (Or will be starting too). At least we can try to mould the direction of these new laws.

The trick is through education. Go to a town council meeting and let the councillors meet your reptile pet (this may not be a good idea in some cases, but it is a possibility).

Sure many of these people are ignorant. It is our job to make them not be.

And to those of you who don't live in that area of B.C, or Canada - maybe this will give you some encouragement.

"They came after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I did not object.
They came after the Catholics, and I was not a Catholic, so I did not object.
They came after the trade unionists, and I was not a trade unionists, so I did not object.

Then they came after me and there was nobody left to object."
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