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  1. #41
    BPnet Veteran JRLongton's Avatar
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    But how can the reptile hobby police itself? To "police" means there is some effective method by which the activities of the participants can be controlled.

    Allow me to cite what I feel to be an example of a hobby effectively policing itself:

    My other hobby is to fly RC aircraft. In the US we have an national organization, the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics), that effectively polices the hobby. RC pilots need large maintained runways and open areas to fly and practice the hobby. These spaces are at a premium as most optimal sites are athletic fields. The AMA provides assistance for local clubs to have exclusive access to flying sites. The catch is only AMA members who abide by the rules can fly those locations. Here in Mass, you pretty much can't fly RC unless you are an AMA member. But if you are a member, you can be assured of always having priority access to a flying field. If you're a trouble maker, bad neighbor, or otherwise cast shade on the hobby or its practice, you can be effectively policed by the AMA. I've never heard of it happening , but it is possible to be kicked out and pretty much lose the ability to fly RC.

    The reptile hobby has no such controlling organization, so to speak of the reptile keeping/breeding hobby as policing itself makes no sense.

    From what I see, the prevailing attitude is that some may not approve of breeding the spider gene, but feel that the market should decide. The problem is that, as we all know, there are always a few bad apples that care more about a fast buck than the welfare of the animal(s).

    So to say that the market should decide or that the hobby should police itself, seems like a long way of saying we should do nothing.

    And maybe we should do nothing. Maybe there is actually nothing that we can do beyond simply try to do what we feel is right in our own lives.
    \m/

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  3. #42
    Registered User Treeman's Avatar
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    Re: So the UK Really Banned Spider Balls

    What Brian means by the hobby policing itself is relying on its members to distinguish whatís right vs whats wrong to do. Like breeding spiders that are healthy and minimal/ no visible defects. One example is if a person with no experience or knowledge wanted to buy a retic from a breeder. The breeder would have no requirement to explain that these snakes get to a very large size and are not a good beginner snake, but should do so to ensure the best care possible for their snake, maintain a healthy business and a healthy, respected reptile community. He is saying there doesnít need to be an outside governemt policing our hobby, we should do it internally.


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  4. #43
    bcr229's Avatar
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    To some extend there is internal policing. In some cases it happens for economic reasons, with others it's for moral reasons.

    Example: Desert ball python. If you look around you can find them for sale but there are not many, and they are super cheap due to the fertility problems with the females.

    Example: Super motley boa. Put one up for sale in a Facebook classified group and you will get ripped to shreds in the comments, and Lord help you if you admit to pairing critters where you might produce one.

    In neither of these instances do I see a reason for government involvement. The government already has plenty on its plate with investigating abuse and neglect, and unfortunately most animal control officials are just clueless when it comes to exotics. At the federal level it has to deal with invasive species, plus threatened or endangered species, investigate smugglers, etc.

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  6. #44
    BPnet Lifer zina10's Avatar
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    Good points have already been made.

    I've heard about / seen quite a few neurological issues in Ball Pythons, cork screwing and others, that have nothing to do with spider genes. As a matter of fact, the first question asked is usually whether there is spider in the snake and it wasn't the case with those. Something happened to those snakes husbandry wise, either before the sale, or after. Usually owned by a beginning snake keeper that bought a snake with a issue, or caused it.

    Spiders are very common nowadays, as they have become very affordable and are quite pretty.
    I've owned one (Bumblebee) had a couple of hatchlings and have seen or heard about countless others that were/are perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, usually GREAT eaters, growing fast and healthy, great pets, too. I would say that easily 95% of all of them grow and live perfectly fine, given they have the right husbandry and no undue stress.

    So then we have the few terrible examples. Usually, those are the easiest found on youtube or when spider issues are discussed.

    Given that there are so many spiders and that neurological issues can also be caused by environmental issues, husbandry etc, I have to wonder, just HOW many of those spiders with extreme neurological issues might have actually have had them caused by other factors? Or made worse by them?

    As common as spiders are, that is definitely not out of the realm of possible.

    Its so easy for some to point fingers. Yet, there are definitely other genetic factors that can cause issues, but those issues aren't as visually disturbing. We already know albinism can cause eye problems. In many species and not just reptiles. It also causes extreme light sensitivity. Many animals (humans incl.) have lids, we close our eyes if light hurts us. Snakes cannot do it.
    Yet, if it doesn't move a bit funny, we aren't worried about it ? Even though THOSE issues may actually cause a snake more discomfort, then a wobble may.

    And then again, even perfectly normal animals, meaning wild type, can and will have some issues. They just aren't always noticeable to us.

    So no, spiders don't bother me.

    Breeding genetics that can cause bad kinks or issues that make it difficult for a snake to thrive are another matter. There are supers which are lethal.

    And yes, the hobby does police itself. Animals with severe issues just don't sell well. They don't thrive, grow or breed. And no breeder enjoys culling animals. And sorry, you will not get filthy rich off of breeding snakes. Esp. if you get a bad reputation. I doubt any breeders breed spiders because they want to get rich off the suffering of an animal.

    If you think its a great idea for the government to step in and start telling you what is ethical or not, just beware. Its all fun and games when it doesn't really affect you directly. But the day may come when it does. Because if you start to nitpick like this, it can quickly snowball. Today its a spider, tomorrow its anything with a possible issue, and then we have any genetic anomaly, which is any morph.

    And while we are at it, also cruel to house them in a home, so why not get rid of them altogether.

    Spiders are far from the image of a all suffering freak of nature that is exploited by humans for gain. Most are perfectly fine, actually many seem to do exceptionally well. All mine were the best eaters, fastest growers, least shy, GREAT pets. And I've heard others notice the same. Whether there is something to this or not, fact remains. There are many, many spider morphs out there doing well and being treasured by their owners.

    just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by zina10; 02-11-2019 at 02:21 PM.
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  8. #45
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: So the UK Really Banned Spider Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by zina10 View Post
    Good points have already been made.

    I've heard about / seen quite a few neurological issues in Ball Pythons, cork screwing and others, that have nothing to do with spider genes. As a matter of fact, the first question asked is usually whether there is spider in the snake and it wasn't the case with those. Something happened to those snakes husbandry wise, either before the sale, or after. Usually owned by a beginning snake keeper that bought a snake with a issue, or caused it.

    Spiders are very common nowadays, as they have become very affordable and are quite pretty.
    I've owned one (Bumblebee) had a couple of hatchlings and have seen or heard about countless others that were/are perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, usually GREAT eaters, growing fast and healthy, great pets, too. I would say that easily 95% of all of them grow and live perfectly fine, given they have the right husbandry and no undue stress.

    So then we have the few terrible examples. Usually, those are the easiest found on youtube or when spider issues are discussed.

    Given that there are so many spiders and that neurological issues can also be caused by environmental issues, husbandry etc, I have to wonder, just HOW many of those spiders with extreme neurological issues might have actually have had them caused by other factors? Or made worse by them?

    As common as spiders are, that is definitely not out of the realm of possible.

    Its so easy for some to point fingers. Yet, there are definitely other genetic factors that can cause issues, but those issues aren't as visually disturbing. We already know albinism can cause eye problems. In many species and not just reptiles. It also causes extreme light sensitivity. Many animals (humans incl.) have lids, we close our eyes if light hurts us. Snakes cannot do it.
    Yet, if it doesn't move a bit funny, we aren't worried about it ? Even though THOSE issues may actually cause a snake more discomfort, then a wobble may.

    And then again, even perfectly normal animals, meaning wild type, can and will have some issues. They just aren't always noticeable to us.

    So no, spiders don't bother me.

    Breeding genetics that can cause bad kinks or issues that make it difficult for a snake to thrive are another matter. There are supers which are lethal.

    And yes, the hobby does police itself. Animals with severe issues just don't sell well. They don't thrive, grow or breed. And no breeder enjoys culling animals. And sorry, you will not get filthy rich off of breeding snakes. Esp. if you get a bad reputation. I doubt any breeders breed spiders because they want to get rich off the suffering of an animal.

    If you think its a great idea for the government to step in and start telling you what is ethical or not, just beware. Its all fun and games when it doesn't really affect you directly. But the day may come when it does. Because if you start to nitpick like this, it can quickly snowball. Today its a spider, tomorrow its anything with a possible issue, and then we have any genetic anomaly, which is any morph.

    And while we are at it, also cruel to house them in a home, so why not get rid of them altogether.

    Spiders are far from the image of a all suffering freak of nature that is exploited by humans for gain. Most are perfectly fine, actually many seem to do exceptionally well. All mine were the best eaters, fastest growers, least shy, GREAT pets. And I've heard others notice the same. Whether there is something to this or not, fact remains. There are many, many spider morphs out there doing well and being treasured by their owners.

    just my 2 cents.
    Agree 100%. Well put.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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  10. #46
    BPnet Veteran Godzilla78's Avatar
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    Re: So the UK Really Banned Spider Balls

    I recently bought out a breeders collection as he was quitting the biz. Among them were 2 spider combos and I was pleasantly surprised to see them behaving perfectly normal with no noticeable differences.
    Iím sure when they are stressed, they might show something, but these are breeder aged spiders and they seem totally cool.
    Kind of helped my perception to own some first hand.


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  12. #47
    BPnet Veteran Crowfingers's Avatar
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    Re: So the UK Really Banned Spider Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL1561 View Post
    YThese animals are perfectly healthy. What about English bulldogs? On average an owner spends around $5,000 a year on vet related bills. They have eye, skin, hip, and stomach issues. They also have issues with seizures as well. So should we ban bulldogs as well?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    To be frank, yes. Dogs of this breed and those with similar conformation should be banned from breeding as well. As a vet tech of over 15 years, I have not need a 100% healthy bulldog ever. And not just unhealthy or age related issues, but true issues stemming from the malformation of their faces, bad genetics, and issues that are rarely seen in other breeds. They can't even give birth on their own, all bulldogs are brought into this world via c-section because their heads are too large to pass through the females' pelvis.

    Many purebred dogs are prone to issues, but few are prone to as many and in the high percentage that the English and french bulldogs are. Doodles are prone to allergies, labs can have bad hips, boxers can have bad hearts, there is lots of cancer along purebred lines - but these other breeds can eat, breath, reproduce, run, play, etc and lead far more normal lives when compared to the brachiocephalic breeds. So yeah, the breeds should not exist.

    As far as the snakes go - how do you measure comfort in an animal that lacks simple social cues? Even a dog with arthritis so severe that it can't squat to urinate or get up on its own will eat and wag its tail when its owner comes home. A good Appetite and the lack of "vocal pain signals" like whining or crying out do not mean that that dog is not in chronic terrible pain. I image snakes are no different. If you are born with discomfort and never know any different, the drive to eat and survive will outweigh the pain. Very few animals just lay down and die pain. The survival instincts to eat and breed overpower that. It's why we don't often catch illness in our pets until it is severe. They hide weakness too well.

    In my opinion breeding anything that has such a high outcome of defects mean the line should be discontinued. There is the argument that the original spider was wild caught, but again - the population would never reach what we have made it. Only those rare individuals without impairment would survive to reproduce and the gene would remain fairly rare and recessive. I don't see that as a support to breeding them just because we can care for their defects im captivity.
    Last edited by Crowfingers; 03-12-2019 at 06:56 PM.
    No cage is too large - nature is the best template - a snoot can't be booped too much


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  14. #48
    BPnet Veteran Crowfingers's Avatar
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    Re: So the UK Really Banned Spider Balls

    Timed out - either we as breeders and a community take it upon ourselves to decide what is moral to continue to do OR an agency of the government steps in a makes a law - either way it happens, as long as the interest of the animals are at the heart of it - the I'm ok with the lines being discontinued. Same with banning of wild animals as pets, invasive animals being kept in certain states, etc. I don't mind who creates the rule if the outcome is to the benefit of the creatures involved.
    No cage is too large - nature is the best template - a snoot can't be booped too much


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  16. #49
    Registered User Alter-Echo's Avatar
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    Tis ok, just send all the spiders to me, I will lift the unwanted burden from people's collections!

    Seriously though, considering most dog breeds can barely survive without human intervention and how few people seem to care about that, I don't think a few shakey snakes is such a big deal.

  17. #50
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I can remember watching a program on PBS about just how far away from the original breed the "modern" bulldogs are, and I for one find the breed appalling-
    just an example of humans desire for extremes to show off, for their egos & for profits, without regard for the health and life quality of the dogs. So I'm totally
    with you, Crowfingers. "Teacup poodles" are another aberration we could do without: my sister had one & it was prone to having her hips dislocate, causing
    excruciating pain & disability. If you want a dog the size of a rat, get a rat...don't make a dog that suffers for your abysmal desires. Why isn't what nature does
    ever enough for some people?

    In a "perfect world" we could depend upon breeders to have common sense & to know when to stop...but alas, it's not a perfect world.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-12-2019 at 07:43 PM.

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