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Old 05-02-04, 05:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Education Release Form

http://www.reptileeducation.com/docu...ntopresent.PDF

This is a standard release form that was produced by a lawyer at DuPont for my educational programs. I have modified it so that anyone can use it. Hope it helps some people. It is all about CYA!
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Old 05-03-04, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey BW,

Great release form, and thanks for posting it. I hope that some of the people out there doing programs without insurance will make use of it.

Having said that, a couple of further thoughts:

1) Minors (under 18) cannot legally waive their rights. However, generally their parents cannot either (though some very specific waivers signed by parents have been considered to be acceptable to the courts if they clearly show that the benefit to the child was worth the theoretical risk). This creates a difficult situation regarding children at programs.

2) "control of the animal... ...shall not be compromised" If there is ever a bite, scratch, etc., it would be reasonably argued that "control" must have been compromised for it to occur. I would remove this phrase, and suggest that minor bites, scratches, etc., while unlikely, are part of the risk that participants willingly accept. Also, with respect to this sentence, how could you teach someone to handle a snake without relinquishing control? I'm thinking here especially of training programs for animal control staff, etc.

3) At public events, where access isn't specifically controlled, there is rarely a chance that either party could enforce handwashing (or washing of any contact area?). In many cases, for us, handwashing facilities are non-existent (outdoor festivals, parks, etc.).

4) In the corporate world, I doubt that this waiver would be sufficient to convince them to hire someone. Virtually all of the shopping malls, resorts, etc. now not only require you to have insurance, they also require you to have your underwriter issue a certificate stating it and adding their venue as an 'additional named insured' on your own insurance for the dates of the programs. I'm even seeing these requests now from conservation areas! Typically $1M coverage is enough, though many are now asking for $2M. This year, I got our first request (from a large resort) for $10M liability coverage- needless to say I told them we couldn't provide that!

Our insurance went up again this year by about $500- it's now around $4000 per year:-(

Jeff Hathaway
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Old 05-03-04, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Jeff. Very good points. I guess i need to clarify a couple things.
1. The form is not intended as a permission slip for parents. I have a separate one for that, just as I have a separate one for training. It is intended for the useof the Principal of a school or the like.
2. The statement was phrased that way by the lawyer. I thought it a bit odd as well, but it means that at no time will any person compramise control of the animal (i.e. if someone runs up and grabs it).
3. This is very true. That is why i do not generally perform these programs. And with an uncontrolled crowd, someone who was not even there could try to sue you.
4. I have also had to turn down programs due to insurance issues. Luckily I don't deal with much corporate. Most of my programs are for state and federal government entities.

This is by no means meant as a catch-all release. It was specifically designed for school shows. It is not really much use to those that do hundreds of programs a year as many variations and other forms are likely needed. But it is a nice CYA for the private keeper that is asked to bring snakes into their kid's class
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Old 05-03-04, 11:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No doubt, and I think it is great for that! Schools are nice anyway, in that they are generally the first in line if someone sues, since they've got way deeper pockets!

I see what you mean as far as someone running up and grabbing the animal. Doesn't work so well for 'hands-on' activities, though.

Keep up the good work!

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