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Exotic Pets: Reptiles

Not to long ago I had the opportunity to visit a reptile show in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  For the most part the show was well run and informative.  By the demographics of the attendees it was easy to determine that people from all racial groups and all walks of like life seem to enjoy reptiles.  The demographics of the attendees wasn’t the only thing that was varied.  At the show I found that you could purchase anything from a small soft shell turtle to large constrictor snakes and even venomous snakes as well.  VENOMOUS!  WTF!  The only thing worse they having the ability to buy a venomous snake was the ease in which it could be done.

While walking around the isles of the show I and my 3-year-old son came across a table with small containers containing baby snakes.  On some of the containers were red tape.  To my amazement I discovered all of the containers with red tape contained venomous snakes such as various Rattlers, Bush Vipers, Copperheads and yes, even a freaking Cobra.  Really, I mean REALLY!  I asked the gentleman manning the table what documents or professional licenses are needed to own a venomous snake in PA? His reply was that PA doesn’t require any permits or qualifications to buy a venomous snkae and as long as I had the money to pay for it I would be able to take it home with me that day.  Needless to say, no I didn’t purchase one, and no I don’t advocate doing so either.

I’m fascinated by the fact that in PA,  it’s illegal to sell & purchase a Sugar Glider, a harmless marsupial,  but you can purchase a reptile that can kill you within minutes.  Not only PA, but the country in general has to come to their senses with owning exotic animals. Thankfully it looks like Senator Richard Alloway of PA is looking to propose legislation that would regulate the ownership of the American Alligator and Venomous Snakes in PA.  I have included a link below to the PDF file that describes Senator Alloway’s intentions.

Wake up people.  Lets use good judgement when it comes to owning exotic animals.  Make sure the cool factor doesn’t become the reason you decided to purchase an exotic animal.


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