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Posted by WW on March 18, 2003 at 03:31:42:
In Reply to: How's this for a solution.... posted by LAF on March 17, 2003 at 16:12:54:
That's actually an interesting set of ideas!
:Abolish the DWA act (it's terminally flawed - and that's a whole post in itself) and base the system on what we do with... cars. Seriously... Classify things like corns, rats, kings etc as pedestrian and therefore exempt. For everything else, from your boiga/FWC through constrictors to your bad @$$ elapids, impose the following requirements:
:1) MANDOTOTY REGISTRATION - Venomous must be registered nationally (like a DVLA for venomous). Keep it relatively cheap just to cover admin. Register EVERY year - this keeps track of snakes and informs of death of animal etc. If snake is sold re-register to new owner, etc - just like we do with motor vehicles.
You miss one crucial difference: car's don't reproduce, and most people have fewer cars than snakes. Registration of individual snakes would be a nightmare.
Let's imagine you breed something: you have 14 hatchling FWCs, 3 of which look pretty weak and might not make it. What do you register? All 14, and then phone up the authorities 3 times as the 3 die? Only 11, and risk getting your backside kicked if per chance they have an inspection before the 3 have all died or if one of them survives?
Registering individual snakes would take a large and costly bureaucracy, and would be a nightmare, especially as snakes are born, die and/or change hands.
: And finally, for succesful registration you would need a proof of...
:Let the insurance companies deal with the variables. So the mangrove would be a low group (eg group 1 or 2, a la Ford Fiesta 1.1), whereas your mambas would be a high group (eg group 20 a la Porsch 911). This would cover the public liabilities issues (insurance companies would make their own demands on keepers, but in this case the Mamba may require AV and a double secured room instead of the 911 needing a Thatcham cat 1 alarm and Tracker). And at the end of the day, if someone really must make a Darwin award applicant of themselves they can do.
:And it would go without saying that there would be severe penalties for keeping unregistered vens. It would also keep ignorant local authority civil servants safely out of the way too.
I am all in favour of classifying snakes into categories like car insurance, althoug, given the uncertainty about how dangerous many species really are, about 3-5 classes are the maximum that can possibly be justified.
Compulsory insurance should be the case anyway, but insuring by class of snake kept would be a sensible move. The question is whetehr insurers can be bothered to go throught he motions for a small minority market.
Personally, I think the DWA is not as bad as you suggest - the implementation is the major problem, in that it depends totally on the attitude of the local civil servant involved, leading to widely varying requirements and costs from place to place. What would be needed is a set of standards for venomous snake accommodation, and a set fee that is reasonable and affordable for most people. Classing snakes would then allow different standards of safety for different spp. - e.g., a locked cage might be all that is needed for a Boiga dendrophila, even though it may be in the living room, whereas a Dendroaspis would require a secure, double-door room with alarm system, antivenom available on the premises or the local hospital, and full insurance. These are just some ideas.
:Just a thought, as is this; Wolfgang - on that scale of 1-20 for insurance purpose where would you put FWC's, Philodryas, and Vipera berus?
Out of 20... FWC 2, Philodryas 3, V. berus 6 or thereabouts.