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Posted by Mr. D on January 03, 2003 at 09:34:47:
In Reply to: About time? posted by Lyle on January 03, 2003 at 04:52:49:
It's about accountability, Lyle. You said so yourself in so much as "I don't see why it should be the responsibility of the person who's selling the animal to educate the buyer on the species in question, though I do think it's a good idea for the seller to make sure the buyer knows what they're getting into." I don't know the last time I saw a sentence do a quicker 180* turn without being attached to a politician's lips. Poor analogy here but you've got to be 21 to legally purchase alcohol. There are regulations in place to help ensure that if either the distributor or the end user decide to be "lazy" consequences will be met. Same goes for the use of alcohol after the purchase. Consumer inappropriately uses alcohol there are consequences (laws - gasp!) governing punishment of said end user.
The problem in the reptile industry is that there are no real consequences for either the distributor OR the consumer because, let's face it, BOTH the distributor (pet shop) and consumer (JQP) are LAZY when it comes to proper husbandry info. If there are regulations (laws - gasp!) in place to help ensure that proper information is supplied then that covers the distributor end of things - as long as the husbandry information is CORRECT. There are already regulations (laws - gasp again!) in place to help ensure that the consumer properly cares for the animals in question in the form of animal cruelty RSA's. The problem HERE is that there are very few people willing to uphold the cruelty RSA's because they consider them trivial for one reason or another - animal cruelty isn't a "real" crime. Trust me, I know this one.
Tell you what, Lyle. Come up with a better solution for regulating the reptile industry. Just do it quick because organizations that have little or nothing to do with it directly are deciding the future of the industry/hobby. The AR organizations are influencing uninformed politicians at every level thereby taking away reptile keepers rights almost daily. The time for "self policing" for the industry is and always has been now but that's no longer good enough. Heck, the Doris Day Animal League began the caresheet bill. Do they have anything to do with reptiles? Somehow I don't think so yet what they accomplished at the state government level directly affects the reptile industry. Like it or not, Lyle, somewhere along the line the reptile keepers are going to have to start playing at the same level and familiarize ourselves with governmental (gasp!) processes because everyone else is already there and regulating things FOR us. The only way to ensure that the hobby/industry is regulated fairly is to be part of the lawmaking (gasp!) process.
We, as reptile keepers, have some of the most expensive animals to care for in terms of proper husbandry. Maybe it's time that we scale back our private collections a bit, take some of the finances saved from that and start looking into how we form an actual legal lobbying presence in the world of government (gasp!) instead of continuing to stick our collective heads in the sand and pretend that the problem will just go away? Well, the problem WILL eventually go away but only after the entire industry/hobby has been completely wiped out.