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Posted by Adam Britton on April 15, 2003 at 05:30:04:
In Reply to: Re: The real problem... posted by John_White on April 14, 2003 at 19:42:12:
I agree with you in part John, which is exactly why legislation exists to prevent pet stores from selling entirely unsuitable animals. Venomous snakes are a good example - these should not be on sale to the general public without a permit, which is a demonstration of competance. In states where that level of legislation does not exist for animals like Nile crocodiles and alligators, however, it's true that pet stores are the only thing standing between an overenthusiastic 12 year old kid and potential disaster.
My scenario might be idealistic, but then so is yours. To expect every member of the general public to properly educate themselves regarding dangerous pets is unrealistic at best. To expect people running a business to exercise moral judgments is perhaps slightly less unrealistic, but you wouldn't sell DDT to schoolkids so why alligators? You shouldn't need a lawsuit to back that up.
So you've got unscrupulous business owners versus impatient people. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a broken system in danger of heading over a cliff, taking legitimate businesses and owners over with it. That's why we'll see greater legislation in the future.
:I agree with your statements regarding how things should be done, but in my experience this is not the reality of the situation. The vast majority of pet stores are about as effective at being "barriers" as a screen door on a submarine. Pet stores are in business to move merchandise and maximize profits.
:Given the resources available today, If I purchase an inappropriate animal it's my fault, not the pet store. I think it's unrealistic to expect pet stores to screen all potential customers. What happens if a pet store owner makes a "moral judgment" not to sell an individual an animal. Here in the US this "moral judgment" better be backed-up by some type of evidence or the owner may quickly find himself in court faced with some sort of law suite.
:I think that the "barrier" between pets and the end consumer must be formed in the mind of the end consumer.