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Re: Toads?

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Hognose Forum ]

Posted by Colchicine on April 11, 2003 at 18:22:46:

In Reply to: Re: Toads? posted by mike z on April 11, 2003 at 12:41:36:

What an excellent way to get warmed up for this year's hognose debates! Let's get started…

You said it yourself…
“there is no hard data proving a rodent diet has no detrimental effects”. On the other hand I have listed some of the detrimental effects of using amphibians as feeders including: the transmission of disease and parasites, passing along the bio-accumulations of toxins. I have always provided my own hard data supporting that hognoses can be fed mice, it is not secondhand. There are currently two Eastern hognoses in my care that had been fed almost exclusively mice for the past 10 years (supplemented with fish recently). I have documentation on paper and on a database supporting this, this hardly fits the definition of anecdotal or meaningless. You provided a great example in your previous post. I would like to point out the flaw in that example by stating there are just as many people who have gotten emphysema in their mid-30s from smoking. There have been many people who have had major surgeries for cancer related to smoking in their 40s. When all of the data is presented to you, it's easy to see your example would be what is considered an outlier, an extreme case that is hardly the norm. In the case of a hognoses, there currently is no proof that a rodent diet has detrimental effects on the majority of those snakes fed rodents. My argument is supplemented with my personal communications with hognose breeders (one of them used to post on this forum) who feeds only mice to their hognoses straight out of the egg and actually breeds Eastern hognoses on a diet consisting solely of mice.

“Small scale harvest of secure abundant species has long been proven to be sustainable.”
I don't care to argue about that statement, but as I have emphasized in the past some species must be abundant to survive. Some species just are not capable of sustaining their numbers with only a few adult breeders. Have you ever heard just a SMALL chorus of spring peepers? I have usually only heard them calling by the hundreds, or not at all. Just an example to think about.

“Small scale harvest of secure abundant species has long been proven to be sustainable.”
I don't have a problem with that. However I am quick to throw out amphibian decline and the generalities that go with it, because the epitome of amphibian decline is the severe loss or extinction of amphibians in seemingly pristine environments and in some cases, habitats that are not disturbed by humans. If we are unable to protect animals under the most ideal conditions how do you suppose we protect the toads breeding in our backyard garden pond that have to overcome seemingly impossible adversity just to live old enough to breed?

“What credentials do you have which makes you qualified to judge what is humane and what is not?”
I think this is an absolutely ridiculous question! Since when do I have to be a member of an ethics committee to be a good judge of humanity? I have a strong education in science, but I'm still a human capable of judging emotion. I hope you won't go so far as to say that you don't believe amphibians are capable of feeling pain and resultantly capable of suffering. I do not think it is merely a personal opinion when I say that an animal that is eaten alive is experiencing pain and is probably suffering. I don't disagree in the least bit that it is a natural process, but that argument breaks down when I point out that your pet snake is not in nature. When you put it in four glass walls it is no longer subjected to the natural selection that wild animals have to face in order to survive. In other words, putting a live animal in with its predator, with no place to escape or a way to defend itself is the farthest thing from natural!!!! In captivity we are perfectly capable of controlling pain and suffering and that is why I disagree with feeding live amphibians to hognoses. You have to admit there are some sickos out there that get their jollies from watching a live animal getting eaten.

Mice are quite a different story. The two usual methods of euthanasia include gassing and what I call “bonking”. I agree that swinging a mouse by its tail to inflict a huge amount of trauma may sound crude, but in reality the mouse only feels one second of fear before it hits the table. I challenge anybody to tell me that the animal sufferers afterwards in done properly. Gassing is popular with rodent breeders who sell them for feeders, and although it is a much slower process than “bonking”, it is still much quicker and much more painless than the time and the experience it takes for a hognose to eat a toad.

In fact I do eat some meat but I have seriously reduced my intake. For instance I have eliminated any seafood in my diet. As much as I savor the taste of shrimp, the process of catching them is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of sea turtles a year. The difference here is that I'm not able to control how they euthanize farm animals. If this seems like an easy copout, then so be it.

“This is a false statment. Most, if not all states provide protection for amphibians which they have determined [hopefully with good science] require protection. Also many states require licenses and bag limits for non-protected amphibians.”

Amphibians are still considered to be fish bait and in which case there is no license or bag limits to collect them as long as they are not endangered or threatened. I challenge you to present me with information where most states give protection to common animals like Fowler's toads and green tree frogs. The bag limits may indeed be a technical form of protection, but it is hardly effective much less enforceable.

“>>>>[:I truly hope you'll make an educated decision and understand that hognoses do not need to be fed mice.<<<<]
Thank you! I couldn't have said it better myself! :^”
Ha ha, you caught me in a screw up, I meant to say hognoses do not need to be fed amphibians. That is what happens when you get back from 12 hours of fieldwork!

Thanks for keeping this discussion reasonable mike, you have done a good job of asking tough questions.

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