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Posted by bc_reptiles on September 09, 2002 at 17:32:54:
In Reply to: Wild Caught vs Captive Bred: In Defense of them both posted by LLDG on September 09, 2002 at 17:05:54:
I don't think the argument is against you or I going out and capturing 2 or 3 herps to add to the genetic diversity of our breeding programs or collections. I think the problem is with the BIG importers that have around 50% or more fatality rates on imported herps. Also a big problem for us is the way in which these herps are treated before and a lot of times after they are imported to this country.
Like you said earlier, a first time herp owner SHOULD purchase captive bred. I fell into the trap of cheap, imported herps when I first got into the hobby. In fact, I still have my first imported ball python that I first got 8 years ago (mine is still alive because I choose to educate myself and take him to the vet for lots of $$$). Sometimes I wonder how many, if any of the other ball pythons in the same cage as mine are still alive? When they are priced so cheap, they become "DISPOSABLE" pets in many peoples eyes? One of my biggest problems with some people is that they aren't honest with the first time herp buyers and will tell them that the animal is healthy and some even will tell them that they are captive bred? This is not right! Now that I have been in the hobby longer, I'm more able to spot an import (I know the animals that are imported with some regularity or can see that they aren't in great health). Most of the first timers getting into the hobby can't tell this.
At our last meeting John Cherry had a great thought, he said that some person wants to get into the hobby and gets a cheap imported snake. Not long after this, his snakes dies. He thinks to himself, "man, it's to hard to keep snakes so I won't bother with it anymore". If you look at this, we just lost a new member to our hobby that we love so much! This person won't ever know the joy that we all experience with our herps.
I think the most important thing is education and honesty. If we keep this up, I don't really think there is much of an issue. The cheap imported herps will not be wanted as much, and more people will chose to purchase captive bred. And yes, like you said, there is a place for imported herps, I think it just needs to be done more responsibly and more care needs to be taken for the animals well being!
Brian & Crissy Miller