An Open Letter: Canadian Government & Reptile Legislation

A letter to the people of Canada, and the Government that represents us

Hello, My Name is Rob and I have reptiles. In some circles I am known as an expert, someone who people will go to when they have questions or concerns about their scaly friends. I know these animals better than some, but one thing I know more than reptiles, are the people who keep them. We are seen as a fringe group, outsiders, not the norm. I have also seen many comments from people suggesting

“You need to be sick in the head to want to own a snake” or “Snakes are not pets, they are wild animals and people who keep them are just feeding their ego.”

I have read all of these comments berating myself and my brethren, and I also know there is an impending attack on us. I want to make this very clear to the government, the lawmakers and the misinformed public who wish to restrict us, and at worst take away our animals. We are not a fringe group, we are not the trailer park resident with a mullet and prison tats who own a boa like many perceive. We are educated university graduates. We are writers, who write about these animals more passionately than a women scorned would write a romance novel. We are the outgoing club fancying girl who bought one as an impulse, but fell in love with their new little buddy and started reading. We are breeders, who breed species for conservation. We are the kids who one time had a boa constrictor on their shoulders during a visit to a certain zoo with magnetic qualities. These are the reptile keepers whom the public gladly refers to as “sick in the head”. There are many more of us than you can possibly imagine.

You have to realize something, this tragedy, and how painful it is to think about, was a fringe incident. The animal in question (Python sebae) was not a pet, and you could not get one in pet stores. People that own these snakes are not the people you will be affecting with new ban laws. I cannot go into PJ’s pets and get a (Python molurus bivittatus). You will not be stopping people from harming themselves, you will be stopping people from learning, keeping and experiencing these wonderful animals.

I may not know the circumstances surrounding your backpedaling on who gave Reptile Ocean the prohibited animals. I do know what I have seen on the media. When it was brought to light that these animals were prohibited in NB, there was no one within the government who stepped in and said

“Yes, they are prohibited but this facility had animals that belonged to the government, they were not pets”.

For that, you should be ashamed, and before you think about bringing in new laws, ask yourself. What laws were broken to enable this accident to occur.

To all those who support a broad spectrum ban, and to those who will no doubt try to pass it as law I say to you. Be ready for a fight, and be ready to fight people who are smarter and more passionate about these animals than you will ever be. To quote a certain group of internet hooligans

“Expect us.”

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