Reptile Shows

 
--- NEWSFLASH November 11, 2013----

Extract from the coalition agreement (page 118):

 

" (...) The trade and the private housing of exotic  and wild animals will be regulated on national level. Imports of wildcaught animals in the EU shall basically be prohibited and commercial trade expos for exotic animals shall be forbidden.

 

This is the end of reptile expos like Hamm and others...

 

 

You did expect a calender of reptile show events? You will search for it on our website in vain, because we strictly oppose reptile shows. But before you leave this page we recommend to take the time to read it!

Won't hurt, would it?

"I had been dragging him around for three months, I finally got rid of him today".

This statement comes from a dealer, who mentioned this with a satisfactory tone in his voice towards the end of a large reptile swap in Bavaria, Germany.

This was in regard to a young reticulated python (Python reticulatus) that had previously been noticed by the author for his nose rub.

By searching every inch of the box with his nose for weak spots, the animal had constantly tried to find a way out of its small prison. Over time, the python had rubbed the scales off so badly, that raw flesh was showing through his wound. The statement of the dealer left no doubts about the length of the martyrdom of this poor being.

This incident, which the author personally witnessed, puts a glaring light on such events. During the “season”, there is a reptile swap every Saturday or Sunday in another town in Germany and the neighboring countries.

In the last 8 years, these swaps have spread with the speed of a contagious disease, and the effect it has on the animals at the swaps resembles this.

A large part of the participating vendors consists of (un-) professional dealers, who go from swap to swap, and often times do not even take the animals out of their plastic display boxes between shows. The animals barely fit in these boxes, even when coiled.

We have heard many times from friends and fellow keepers, how animals that were purchased at a swap became sick and died shortly thereafter. Why is that?

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In the wild, starring is an aggressive act, and the reaction to this is either flight or attack. Neither is possible for the boa to do in the small container, while the snake is being evaluated by the eyes of hundreds of visitors from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. Since the nature of a show is to display the animal for sale, the snake is unable to hide, which causes permanent stress. We do not even want to get started on other factors, ranging from temperature conditions that are far from ideal to other conditions that are common during these swaps, including the stress caused by traveling to the event.

The animal is taken out of the box for potential customers, which can easily happen a dozen or so times during a busy swap event. In addition, the poor animal is lucky if it is not being probed several times to prove its sex to potential buyers. We also found out that the show restroom is used from time to time as location for measuring the length of the Burmese python that is offered for sale.

Obviously, this permanent stress has great influence on the animal’s immune system. Pathogenic agents, which are abundant in all living creatures, and are normally controlled by the immune system, are now able to multiply readily. Result: The snake gets sick.

If this reptile also happens to be a “show-tourist“, who has already seen all the halls and small arenas (where these swaps are usually held) in Germany from the inside, you can only congratulate yourself to this purchase. A great example of how despite much effort on part of the governing institution, such an event can never be held in a truly animal-just manner is the “Terraristika” in Hamm, the largest reptile show in Europe.