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Posted by Thamnophile on March 21, 2003 at 01:12:05:
In Reply to: Re: How's this for a solution.... posted by s_simpson on March 18, 2003 at 11:16:42:
The herp society that I was in, used to discuss this at length since all of the states around Pennsylvania seem to be getting more restrictive in what herps are legal to keep - we're afraid it's gonna happen here soon. We started discussing ways that we could develop a liscensing system for the state, that would allow *qualified* people to keep whatever hots they wanted, and what qualifications would be necessary. We never followed through with this though.
More so than the government (state or federal) - the bigger problem would be the insurance companies - they DO NOT like herps even NON-venomous ones. I have heard of people who lost their homeowner's insurance, when the insurance company found out that the homeowner had many reptiles (basically, a reptile room). I won't name names, but from it's name, you'd think the company would have a friendly attitude towards raising animals. Maybe other companies would be more accepting, but I wouldn't want to call up and ask, only to find out they'd cancel your policy if they found out you kept pets that weren't the warm, fuzzy kind....
Something needs to be done though, and it's definitely better, that herpers band together and try to come up with a common sense system, before some ophidiophobe goes and bans them for all of us!
Basically, what we came up with was more like a fishing/hunting/drivers license, in that a license would be issued for keeping herps, but you would need a special tag - one for each category, not species or individual - for giant boids, crocodilians, "non-deadly" venomous rear-fangs - maybe this level would also cover Heloderma(sp? - Gilas and Beadeds) as well, and the final category would be for venomous. This is kinda based on Pennsylvania's fishing license - you buy the basic license, but have to get a special stamp for trout. Each category would have some requirements, maybe need a mentor or apprenticeship, like with falconry... and maybe after 4 years or so, you need to get the license renewed, like a driver's license.
:I'm not so sure that registration would be so impossible. For instance, consider the number of cars that are registered in the U.S., or as FAF pointed out, the number of dogs/cats/horses/etc.
:It would certainly be inconvenient, but not impossible. Moreover, maybe if the system was a little more complex there would be fewer instances of people getting venomous snakes to "show off".
:As for the insurance, I respectfully disagree that you couldn't have a plethora of different risk classes. I used to work for an insurance company (health/life/prop-casualty) and they had a boggling number of classes for policy holders. The real question is whether or not so many classes would be necessary.
:I think the bottom line is that you have snakes that are: harmless, dangerous but not venomous, mildly venomous, moderately venomous, and extremely venomous. All that the insurance companies would care about would be "what is the dollar-liability for medical expenses related to an attack and how likely is that attack".
:For something like a ball python, the risk would be low and the dollar-risk would be low. For a mangrove snake, the risk would be moderate (semi-aggressive) and the liability would be moderate (venom not dangerous unless there's an allergy). For a mamba, clearly it would be high risk and high potential cost.
:It's really an interesting notion, though.
:Pet Insurance -- the next way for insurance companies to rake in premiums! lol