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planned bylaw banning snakes

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Posted by amanda on January 18, 2001 at 12:52:26:

Greetings. I am sending this email to as many people as I can and I ask

that everyone who recieves it forward it on to all other relevant
parties. *All* of you can help, please read on to find out how.

There is a bylaw in my home town of Maple Ridge that is being considered

by council. I will include a copy of it below. This bylaw prohibits
the sale, trade and exhibition of exotics. Among the exotics targeted
are all snakes, all turtles, all birds except pigeons and poultry, all
venemous animals (reptiles, tarantualas...). This bylaw is ridiculously

general and unfair to say the least!

Some of you may live quite far away but in the last council meeting
several councillors and the Mayor mentioned the volumes of email they
had recieved and were quite impressed by the amount of information they
recieved as well as the fact that people from across the country were
emailing them. The unfortunate part of that is however that all those
emails came from bird enthusiasts. This prompted a discussion of
removing the birds from their list of exotic animals (though it was not
decided on). Very few people in the reptile community have gotten
involved thus far (even locally we found out very late in the game). We

need to show them that reptiles are good pets too and that we reptile
keepers will not take this lying down! Below is a list of emails for
the mayor and councillors. Please email them and tell them what you
think of the bylaw.

Mayor -- (seems on our side)
Councillors-- (definatly for the bylaw) (seems on our side) (definatly for the bylaw)

If you think that perhaps your in another city or your animals were not
listed and so you are safe consider these points: 1) the addition of
birds was last minute, the original bylaw did not include them--this
shows how easily small changes are made once we have a bylaw like this
as one councillor said "it takes nothing to amend a bylaw..."
2)Christine Schramm of the Rainforest Reptile Refuge is behind this
bylaw, she had such a bylaw passed in another town already and has
attempted it all over the local area. She has also traveled to Toronto
to fight for the laws against reptiles there. Her agenda is to see that

no reptile is kept by a human and she travels the world trying to make
this happen. 3) the humane society is also behind this bylaw and thier
agenda is to see that no animal is kept as a pet. None of us are safe
from these attacks and it is only by showing a united front that we will

stop them.

Christine Schramm spoke to council at the last meeting saying that
keeping anything in four walls and caged was a crime. She refused to
believe that captive bred animals were any better than wild caught
because at some point an animal came from the wild. She said that all
reptile breeders were monsters and compared them to puppy mills. She
tearfully informed the council of snakes that spend their entire lives
in rubbermaid containers with holes punched in them (interestingly
enough the anaconda she has at her refuge is contained in a plain glass
tank with nothing else and its entire bulk takes up half the tank--at
least the last time I saw it about a year ago). She claimed not to
beleive that reptiles breeding was a sign of physical and mental
health. She told the council that people in refugee camps could breed
and so reptiles would be able to breed under similar unhealthy
conditions. She said that she gets calls all the time about people who
want to give up their animal because it is sick and they do not want to
pay for a vet and she implied that all people who have reptiles are like

this--that none wish to spend more than the "20$" (that is the exact
amount she mentioned--though most snakes cost about 200$ here) it cost
to buy the animal. She also said that there are almost no qualified
reptile veterinarians around and those that are around do not know
enough to treat reptiles (I know of at least 5 reptile vets, who are
excellent, in the area and many more who claim to practice on exotics
though I am not sure of their knowledge).

Those pushing this bylaw seem to think it will stop abuse and neglect of

reptiles and yet it makes no mention of iguanas (unless they are
included under "all venemous animals (reptiles..."). It also will not
stop those people who would have abused or neglected a reptile from
doing it to another animal--they do not care what animal they get. It
will however hurt those of us who have spent years learning about a
particular animal and its care. We will care when we cannot get that
animal. It may stop a few unscrupulous breeders and sellers or reptiles

but it will also stop people who breed good animals and find good homes
for them. It will set back the education of the public and ignorance is

the root of almost all reptile abuse and neglect.

The key is education, not prohibition and we need to let the council of
Maple Ridge know that. The Westcoast Society for the Protection and
Conservation of Reptiles (WSPCR) and the Fraser Valley Herp Society
(FVHS) are the local reptile keeping groups and they are willing to work

with the council if they will listen.

Please send as much protest and information as possible to all the
addresses of the mayor and councillors--the bylaw will be discussed and
possibly passed at council meeting on January 23rd, 2001. Also please
note that if you reply to this message make sure you are not replying to

all the recipients, just

Thank you for your help
Amanda "IguanaLady" Fenrick
WSPCR-executive member

here is the bylaw:

BY-LAW NO.5755-1999
A by-law to prohibit performances involving wild or exotic animals

WHEREAS, the Council may, pursuant to Section 527(a) of the Municipal
Act, 1979 R.S,B,C. C.290,
prohibit the operation of a public show, exhibition, carnival or
performance of any particular kind or in
any particular location or both:

AND WHEREAS it is deemed desirable to prohibit the exhibition, sale or
trade of wild or exotic

NOW. THEREFORE, the Municipal Council of the Corporation of the District

of Maple Ridge, in open
meeting assembled. ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

1) This By-law shall be cited for all purposes as .'Maple Ridge Exotic
Animal By-law No.5755-1999.

2) In this By-law ."Wild or Exotic Animal" means an animal as listed in
Schedule "A" of this By-law,

3) Subject to Section 5, no person shall operate or carry on a circus,
public show, exhibition, carnival or
performance in which wild or exotic animals accompany or are required to

perform tricks, fight or
participate in performances for the amusement or entertainment of an

4) Subject to Section 5. no person shall sell or trade any wild or
exotic animal referred to in Schedule
" A " unless in possession of a current permit for the keeping of those
animals as issued by the
Province of British Colombia, the Government of Canada, or any other
recognized authority.

5) Nothing contained in the bylaw shall prohibit or restrict:

i) Performances or shows in which a person or persons continuously rides

a horse or pony;
ii) Displays or showings of animals, save and except wild or exotic
animals, in agricultural
fairs, pet shows or other animal shows or exhibitions;
iii) Horse races and dog race;
iv) Rodeos and any activities associated with rodeos, save and except
wild or exotic animals;
v) The use of animals, save and except wild or exotic animals. in magic
vi) The operation of an aquarium or zoological park as accredited by the

Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums.
vii) The keeping or use of wild or exotic animals by the film industry.

6) Section 2 does not apply to anyone who has entered into an agreement
or contract to operate or carry
on a circus, public show, exhibition, carnival, or performance upon real

property owned by the
District of Maple Ridge, prior to final adoption of this By-law.

7) Any person who contravenes the provision of this By-law is guilty of
an offense and on summary
conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.

Maple Ridge Exotic Animal by-law No. 5755 - 1999
Page 2
READ A FIRST TIME the 23rd day of February, 1999 .
READ A SECOND TIME the 23rd day of February, 1999.
READ A THIRD TIME the 12th day of December, 2000.

Maple Ridge Exotic Animal By-law No. 5755 -1999.
Schedule " A "
The following list of animals constitutes "wild or exotic animals" for
the purposes of the By-law to which
this Schedule is attached. The list includes all such animals whether
bred in the wild or in captivity and
also includes all their hybrids with domestic species. The words in
parentheses are intended to act as
examples Only and are not to be construed as being an exhaustive list or

to otherwise limit the generosity
of each group of animals.

1) Non-human primates (such as gorillas and monkeys).
2) Felids, except domesticated cats.
3) Canis, except dogs (as defined in the Bylaw).
4) Ursids (bears).
5) Elephants.
6) Pinnipedia (such as seals and walruses).
7) Crocodilians (such as alligators and crocodiles).
8) Marsupials (such as kangaroos and opossums)
9) Poisonous & venomous animals (such as reptiles, tarantulas,
scorpions. blue winged octopus, stonefish),
10) Ungulates, except domestic horses, mules. asses. goats, sheep, pigs.

cattle, llamas and alpacas.
11) Hyenas.
12) Mustelines (such as skunks, weasels, otters and badgers) except the
domestic ferret.
13) Procyonidae (such as raccoons and coatis).
14) Edentates (such as anteaters. sloth and armadillos).
I5) Viverrines (such as mongooses, civets, and genets).
16) Chiroptera (bats).
17) Rodentia. (such as porcupines, prairie dogs, capybaras) except for
domesticated rodents such as mice
rats, guinea pigs & gerbils.
18) Birds all except domestic pigeons and poultry.
19) Erinacidae, except the African pigmy hedgehog.
20) Cetacea (Beluga whale, Orca whale, dolphin).
21) Testudines (turtle, tortoise. terapin).
22) Snakes.

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