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Posted by Todd Evans on February 17, 2002 at 21:30:08:
In Reply to: The reasoning behind my argument... posted by Zac on February 17, 2002 at 18:22:15:
sometimes. While we are hosting the event, the dealers themselves are responsible for what they sell. We are as well (Beyond Utopia) and we have set our own guidelines as far as venomous sales go. Go to Hamburg, or Lancaster, and see if any of the show security or officials step in to ask somebodies age when they're buying a hot snake......it won't happen. It's up to the dealers to make a judgement call on the age or experience of the hot customer. They will ALL sell to us, knowing that we are experienced, but the average Joe will be asked numorous questions (much like internet sales go, hell, EVERY time I order from glades they ask me my age and experience level. The majority of vendors WILL interrogate the customer BEFORE selling them a snake. They understand that human life is more important than a wuick sale. One member, Ron, is looking into getting his first hot. He wants an Eastern diamond back and was looking to buy one at the show. George and I stepped in and gave him some advice and opinions. he understands what he's getting into, and was well prepared to get it. He has all the equipment and has enough handling experience to move on to hots. If he did decide on a purchase then at least he has the knowledge to be able to handle it. Now, the thing about our shows that make them interesting is that mainly the vendors buy venomous from other vendors, so they obviously know their customers, and the customers that want to make a venomous purchase are either known buy the vendor as a hot keeper, or are known buy the society as one. The first hot customers have, at every show I've been to, which is all of them, will ask a slew of questions. They usually aren't MACHO guys trying to impress anyone, they are serious herp keepers. They'll ask questions and the vendors will ask questions, then a TSHS member will find out about it and try to give their opinions on the purchase. For instance, at the first show, a gentleman wanted to get a rattlesnake, I believe that Dean had the snake, but the guy would also need a setup. Willy stepped in and sold him all the stuff he would need, hook, forceps, cage, locks, etc. We found out about it and had a 3 hour discussion with the guy (off and on) while he made up his mind what to get. He eventually got a Western Diamond Back with the complete setup. Both vendors were happy, heck, they made sales, and we were happy, because the guy left with good equipment, a good snake, and a good ammount of knowledge. I have talked to the guy since, and found that the snake is doing fine.
As far as the labeling system you mentioned. It is an unwritten rule at ALL reptile shows to label the venomous snakes either hot or venomous. The toxicity of venomous snakes is a relative factor. A copperhead bite might be nothing for one person, but deadly for another, it depends on the person and their own phsyical nature. As far as the death adders, I know Kirk and Rick, and they are not the kind of people that would take a quick sale over educating people about the toxic dangers of the animals. The point is, venom is venom, and death is death, a boomslang can be just as dangerous as a black mamba................
I guess the main reason I was irritated with your post is because we are trying to please everyone, the vendors, the customers, our members, the general public, the owner of trios, our insurance company, and the rest of the herp community as well. It has been VERY difficult to make one group happy without totally pissing off another. Our members are the ones that are supposed to benefit from the money we take in at the show. But without them helping, it has been proposed that we make it private and pay those individuals that dedicate most of their time to it. The planning involved and sometimes the day itself are huge headaches at times.
Now, I'm not sure what you keep or what you study, but I do know that you are not in the industry that we call the reptile trade. While there are no regulations in PA and there may be areas that NEED them, your opinions and conceptions are obviously uneducated as far as the trade goes. These shows are indicitive of the way reptile shows are run (venomous anyway) We follow the same guidelines that the Hamburg shows follow, and try to enforce them to the best of our ability (it's kinda hard with only 10 people there.....2 at the door, 2 watching the displays so nobody attempts to do anything to them, Beyond Utopia needs at least 1 person to watch our tables, leaving 5 people to cover the rest of the responsibilities (watching that nobody takes a venomous from a table unless they're leaving, making sure no venomous are removed from their containers AT the table, inspecting the livestock, half the day I was following around the raffle winners when they were making purchases, etc) With more members we can put a greater concentration on security issues, but without manpower, how is that supposed to happen? We are trying the best we can, I just wished that you had addressed one of us before posting on here.
Beyond Utopia Serpentarium