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Posted by MsTT on May 13, 2003 at 00:18:04:
In Reply to: a poem posted by creep77 on May 13, 2003 at 00:01:48:
:And for all you snmartasses out therelooking for a way to push my buttons, I am aware of the threat of pathogens and most of them can be remedied prior to release.
Unfortunately I have one word for you: viruses. I wish I didn't, because I have gotten grumpy enough about the way most people take care of their snakes that I would rather breed for release into the wild than sell any of my babies to a stranger.
It's easy and not very expensive to check for and eliminate bacterial, protozoal, fungal and most parasitic pathogens. Testing for the presence of a virus is just not that easy, and what can be done is extremely expensive. Eliminating the virus once you've found it is even harder and more expensive, and you'd need to do multiple tests at intervals to be sure you weren't getting a false negative and the animal really was clean.
If you're seriously interested in the issues behind captive breeding of venomous snakes for wild release, drop me an email and I'll put you in touch with some scholarly folks who can answer the relevant questions better than I can. It can be done, especially if you are working with a university that has the equipment and financial resources to do virus testing, but it definitely should not be done in a haphazard fashion.