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Old 12-20-02, 02:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hate to beat a dead horse....or do I?

Ages ago we had a discussion and it evolved into whether or not prices affect how animals are treated (sorry Paul, my fault. LOL!!). I didn't like the idea of inexpensive imports or even CB animals as I thought it would create a "disposable" market. Of course other disagreed. Anywho, here's a post from a reputed breeder that seen many sides of the hobby for probably 30 years! It was posted on another forum, but it gives a different perspective on our previous discussion. I'm not re-opening this debate to pi$$ anyone off, I'm just trying to start intelligent, progressive discussion (which is what this site should be all about!!). Its about cheapo water monitors that are imported in great numbers to people who really shouldn't be keeping any reptiles, let alone a water monitor!!

Thanks to all who participate!

Quote:
Posted by FR on Thu - Dec 19 - 10:14am:


Here is more to think about.
In most cases, as Daniel says, its an animal wellfare issure, rather then a conservation issure.

Heres some thoughts on that, first, the commonly imported monitors, are the monitor sold to the newest of keepers, beginers. They are sold to them because of price. The common ones are the cheapest ones. The real problem is, they are not necessarily the best for beginers, with waters being the very worse. To offer a monitor that can easily gets 6 feet and can reach 8 feet or more, is definately not for the first timer. Also, add to that, they are water monitors, that really complicates keeping them. In fact, all the commonly imported monitors are not good canidates for beginers. All have various problems, from size to parasites and other sicknesses.

Mangroves(indicus group) fit into this group as well. They are not nearly so nasty as Daniel thinks, but again, not for beginers. They are very agressive feeders and have very sharp teeth and at times slice up there cagemates in a feeding frenzy.

Of course, many captive hatched monitors are much better canidates, but they too have their own unquie problems. With these, because they do so well in captivity, have lots of reproductive problems, that don't occur with the wild caughts, those simple do not readily breed(so no problems there).

I believe if the price and availibily was equal, there would indeed be different choices made.

Neither here nor there, I was told that the reason some monitors are more availible, like mangroves was. They are hunted with dogs and normally go down holes or into water. While many of the other indo monitors are just as common, but they run up trees and are harder to catch. Those need to be trapped.

More neither here or there, I once worked at a reptile park and large anacondas almost never fed. After a few died, I prepared there skeletons, in doing so, I found their skulls had bird shot in them. They collected them with a shotgun, hmmmmmmmmmm no wonder they did not feed. F
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Old 12-20-02, 09:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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jeff, i didnt see the original thread, but from reading what you said, i fully agree with you. Unfortunately, i think price affects what people buy all too much.
IMO, it IS creating a disposible market, becasue too many people think that they can either just get another one if it dies, or just take the loss 'cause it didnt cost too much.

Furthermore, and this may be off topic a bit, and i know that price is regulated by supply and demand, but it makes me feel uncomfortable that one can buy a WC black mamba for like $250.
people that have no hot experience and want to keep the worlds "deadliest land snake" can get them so readily and they will becasuse they dont cost too too much....and this of course leads to more animal abuse and maybe some dead keepers.

anyways thats just my opinion
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Old 12-20-02, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What about this for an idea...

If, for example, the black mamba shouldn't cost $250, how much SHOULD it cost? $1000? And how much SHOULD a normal corn cost? $200?

If all the breeders out there decided to sell their cb animals for more, wouldn't that just encourage poachers to capture MORE animals because of the higher profit they can snag? I think this mentality would carry over to any regularly wild caught species.

The prices have likely settled to an amount people are willing to pay given each species' availability, aka supply and demand. The low price of certain species likely contributes to their popularity. For example; if a newbie liked both the Honduran Milksnake and Normal Cornsnakes equally, which do you think he'd choose as his first snake, one that costs $30 or $175? And that's partly why some of these cheaper species are so popular, especially with beginners.

Now, I agree with the "Disposable pet" syndrome, but what can actually be done to change it? Would anybody pay $300 for a leopard gecko or $200 for a normal cornsnake when they could get one for far less?


*Note: All the figures used are just for argument's sake
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Old 12-20-02, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you got some great points there but i think that aslong a they arenot to cheep and kept around like 100 people arnt so redily going to think of them as disposable. but when there are corns and savannah monitors sold for like $20 or less that is to low and then people dont care because the the food and enclosure will eventualy cost a lot more then the animal and people will start to think why they ever got it and start mistreating it. i dont think that it is possible to stop the disposable pet idea the only way is for pet shop to tell the possible new owner what they are relly getting into and not just try and make a sale.(saw 2 bad examples yesterday as i was buying mice.)

thats just my $.02
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Old 12-20-02, 12:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the iguana market is a good example of this, I have seen many owners of 6"-1 1/2' iguanas over the years, probably 1000's, but I almost never come across the owners of 4'+ iguanas. The only conclusion I reach is that these 1000's of iguanas are mostly casualties of the capitalist market and wind up dead and that this killing of animals extends to most non-interactve animals.
 
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Old 12-20-02, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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...

Cranwill: Prices have NOT settled to what people are willing to pay. I have friends that paid over $600 for their Jungles when they first came into Canada. Would you pay that now? Probably not. Why is that? Because there are so many people breeding them, no one can sustain a high price like that anymore. Prices have settled due to competition, not because the buyers have dictated how much they want to pay.

Matt: $250 for a mamba? Yikes! Sometims this industry sucks man.
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Old 12-20-02, 12:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes...

That's where the supply part of supply and demand comes in. I meant to convey that in my post but I guess it didn't come through.
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Old 12-20-02, 02:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well on the captive bred / WC thing.. it looks like this year, WC and CH bp's have been available at the shows here for in and around 50$, and the prices of ball pythons has went up for $200 - $225 for females and $150.00+ for males, but the breeders still dont have a problem moving the CB stuff I know myself, that i am so scared to buy a adult imported boa for a chance of introducing something to my snake room that i just wont do it.. Plus i hate to admit it but i am not a big fan of having to quarentine for 6 months to a year, i only quarentine for a few weeks to be sure of mites and solid stoool and any other funny behaviour so personally WC really doesnt appeal to me, its better to pay a higher price IF it is available in Canada already. Thats my 0.2.
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Old 12-20-02, 04:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think that unfortuanately price contributes greatly to the number of impulse purchases and that's the worst scenario for abuse and disposable pets.

I'm not sure what the best solution to this problem is, but sometimes I feel that herps should be sold through breeders only, who can teach better husbandry and handling skills than most pet stores, particularly the big chains. In order for a store to be allowed to sell herps, employees should be able to demonstrate good teaching skills and a decent general knowledge of reptile husbandry. Yet when laws against herps are passed, it seems like breeders and keepers are hardest hit and the stores are the last to suffer. Ironic.
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Old 12-20-02, 06:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Part of it is edjucation. part of it is some people don't care what they are selling as long as they make $.
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Old 12-20-02, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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er, lots of breeders (not necessarily good ones), sell their offspring to these stores, however competition with imports can make the business into sell as quick as possible. I understand, I traded earlier this year and one of my hatchlngs died after the person got it. They wanted another snake, which I agreed to, yet here several months later I've invested several $ into food I still have the snake to support. If the guy asks he'll get it free, but from a trade deal for neos to spending bucks feeding it I don't think I should be expected to give over a snake without compensation. Chain stores give the cash up to the dealers, whether importers or breeders, so it really does depend on the market. Will individuals buy EVERY hatchling I produce this year? Should I be required to spend the cash to feed those that don't, without raising prices(everyone complains)? If not a broker or a chain may get them.
 
Old 12-20-02, 06:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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On the topic of disposable pets...

To take this on a bit of a tangent...reptiles are not anywhere near being the hardest hit by the "disposable pet syndrome"...consider small rodents which usually retail for under 10$ and are THE pet to get for children to teach them "responsibility"... then this kid forgets to feed and water it and mishandles it...and at best, the animal is housed in a cage that's too small and doesn't have cagemates (should it be a social species) and has to put up with infrequent harrassment, but at worst, the animal gets to sit in it's own filth and starve to death...or is actually injured purposefully (there really are some sick, sadistic kids out there)

I've seen this stuff first hand and, to me, this kind of mistreatment is all the worse when applied to mammals because of the fact that many are very intelligent and operate at higher sensory levels than reptiles (with regards to pain perception, etc). In the case of rats, they have an equivalent intelligence to dogs...and I'm not even getting into how people treat fish...
So, what I'm saying is, you can complain about cheap reptiles being considered "disposable" because they go for 20$-30$ (which, might I add, they do NOT go for in most pet stores where the markup is ridiculous)...but then you have a 5 dollar hamster, that's going to suffer much more when it's mistreated and is going to be mistreated 10 times more often, not only because of the fact that it's cheap, but also because it's a more popular pet...

I'm not trying to justify mistreatment of reptiles at all, I'm just saying this is something else to consider...another thing to consider is, should people be "buying and selling" animals at all? In the case of hobbyist breeders, selling offspring to cover costs is probably more ethical than your big chain pet stores which buy the cheapest animals they can get, mark them up 300%, make a huge profit, and people buy the animals on impulse. I personally think they need to make some laws governing what pet stores are allowed to sell, this might put an end to puppy/kitty mills and WC reptiles being sold retail. (I'm not against keeping WC animals, provided they aren't being depleted in their natural habitat for the sake of the pet trade, but pet stores shouldn't be selling them)
Theoretically, one would think breeders are more likely to sell their animals to someone who is fully prepared to take on the responsibility and knows how to go about it...but I wonder how many reptile breeders actually know if their animals go to "good" homes...

Wow, I babbled on a lot more than I meant to... :P
But I am interested to hear people's opinions regarding this stuff...
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Old 12-20-02, 07:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This hits home.

Being an unemployed 16-year-old, I'm a big penny pusher. My parents are divorced, so it's just my dad supporting the two of us. I am not however, going to go out and get something I can't handle just because it's cheep - I know my limits. Before I think about getting something be it an animal, instrument, craft item, whatever - I look into it and make sure I'll be able to handle it.

I mean, I knew that selling reptiles to just anyone can be bad. I knew a girl with a ball python - it wasn't full grown, but it was way to big for it's 5 gallon tank and hidey hole that my garter would have enjoyed... no heating worth mentioning. Her uncle took it away - it's doing much better now, don't worry.


Yet animal abuse is going to happen no matter what the prices are - people will save up ( I know this story..) to have these animals. Raising the prices would be an insult to people who don't make as much, but are still good keepers. I mean, come on, you can get a cat or dog for free almost anytime of year - and they'll be mistreated the same way. I think the best way to solve abuse would be Education - starting a a young age, people seem to have more respect for things they can understand.
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Old 12-20-02, 09:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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....

Eyespy: great post! I fully agree!
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Old 12-20-02, 09:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I dont understand the hype of ball pythons lately. I purchased a CB ball for 100$ last year, and now they go for 200+ sometimes for normal females. I think too many people want to hop on the Corey Woods bandwagon. They pay big bucks so they can dream of producing some nice animals, when it takes alot more work than they think it does.
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