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Posted by JohnRobinson on December 08, 2002 at 13:52:02:
In Reply to: It's not about rationality it's about power posted by Brian Macker on December 08, 2002 at 09:32:02:
Here is an example of an irrational law the can make an instant criminal out of a law abiding citizen. In Pennsylvania, where I live, it is illegal to sell, barter or trade native species or reptiles and the posession limit is two of a particular species.
While visiting a friend, in North Carolina, I caught an erythristic garter snake. Awesome, brick red, large adult snake. I decided to keep it and, from the research of PA and NC laws it was legal for me to take home and keep. A month and a half later it had 15 babies and I was an instant criminal! It is illegal to possess more than two native species (it was thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis, a totally different gene pool than ours but technically native.) I could not legally be in posession, sell barter or trade them. It is also illegal to release specimens that are not native in the wild in Pennsylvania because of the possibility of gene pool contamination and disease transmission into a wild population. A wise law but it put me in a real pickle!
Laws need to be revised to allow for the captive propagation of reptiles and amphibians that keep these specimens seperate from native populations but allow for legitimate breeding efforts. This will greatly reduce the demand for collecting from the wild and encourage seperate captive and wild population.
It is a well established fact that captive born and raised herps are superior pets to wild caught because they are more parasite free and better acclimated to captive conditions. They simply make better pets and people will choose these over wild caught if they are given the opportunity. The cornsnake is a great example of this. It does not take too much imagination to realize how much captive propagation has reduced the taking of cornsnakes from the wild. In fact there may be more cornsnakes in captivity now than in the wild!
They are the proverbial "goldfish" of the reptile world and a shining example of what can be accomplsihed by captive propagation!