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  1. #1
    bcr229's Avatar
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    PETA Sues Zoo Med

    The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — PETA — filed a lawsuit against a San Luis Obispo-based company that sells products for pet reptiles, claiming the business encourages consumers to buy enclosures that could be harmful to snakes.

    The national nonprofit organization, known for its aggressive activism, filed the lawsuit Sept. 24 in federal U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc., which has an office on Sacramento Drive and is described as a major global supplier of reptile products to retailers such as PetSmart, Amazon, and Walmart.

    Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the company represents to consumers that snakes only require enclosures that are “no shorter than half the length of the snake” and that all of its enclosures, which PETA says are “small and inadequately enriched,” are not only appropriate but also ideal for pet snakes.

    More at link...
    https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/l...246180400.html

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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: PETA Sues Zoo Med

    Okay, I have a few thoughts here and welcome feedback and disagreement.

    1. I am not really in favor of this lawsuit. PETA paints a pretty broad stroke here and will do more to scare people into not keeping reptiles or feeling bad about keeping reptiles in adequate enclosures in many instances. Are there some where people do not properly keep their snakes or other reptiles, yes. We see it every day. But most of the time it's not from lack of enrichment. More on that in a moment.

    2. This is incredibly circumstantial. Different species have different requirements. I generally go with length + width = snake length for active species and my boas, etc. However, many smaller species or inactive species can be kept in smaller enclosures, even boas. I don't see PETA suing nature preserves where a corn snake will literally wedge itself into a barely body size tree root and wait for food for weeks at a time.

    3. Enrichment? I love Behira, but last time I checked, she wasn't a Rhodes Scholar needing constant enrichment. She comes out of her tank several times a week and gets to explore, climb, etc. She's properly fed and housed and seems to be doing great health wise.

    I don't see PETA going after herding dog owners who don't have 100 damn sheep for them to herd. Enrichment can be construed in many ways, and in snakes cases, I think much is anthropomorphizing. In dogs cases, probably less so, but it doesn't amount to cruelty.

    4. Zoomed wants to sell products. It is advantageous to them make keeping a snake seem easy, space limited, etc. This is where education comes in. All heating devices = thermostat. Cage size and type is dependent on species, in general. For example, more work to keep a BP in a class 40G than a 3X2' PVC tank, due to privacy, humidity, and heating requirements. Does that mean it cannot or should not be done. NO. It just means it's more work for the owner to make sure the snake is safe, secure, eating, etc.

    Here I don't think zoomed is the greatest company on education, from what I've seen, and they are in the business of selling. I tend to favor specific reptile companies for specific needs and not a one stop shop. However, do they deserve to be under attack from PETA, probably not. If this article is any indication of how PETA views reptiles in general, they should not be advocating for them.


    Note: Above I said, ......"make sure the snake is safe, secure, eating, etc." I didn't say happy, or content. Snakes, IMO, deserve to be treated with respect and cared for properly, just like all living creatures, especially ones we take on as keepers. It's our responsibility. Meeting the basic needs of our captive animals, be it a dog, snake, cat, fish, etc. is our obligation. It's a choice, but it's one we make when we take on the animals. I used to fly RC airplanes a lot. We used to say, "talk of is optional, landing is mandatory." If you don't want the responsibility of caring for an animal properly, do not get that animal!

    However, snakes aren't happy or sad, or need love and affection. They don't have the brain capacity for that - no frontal lobe. They can feel pain and hunger, and can also not feel those things if taken care of properly. However, they are very largely instinct driven. It's not a mood thing. That's us interpreting. Why do snakes bite? Fear or hunger. No malice, no intent to harm, and they don't hunt for "fun" either.

    Bottom line: PETA is overstepping their bounds but we as reptile keepers need to continue to educate and support organizations like USARK who fight for our rights.

    Again, I welcome comments.

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  5. #3
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    Re: PETA Sues Zoo Med

    To me, the larger concern is if PETA should win this suit. Does it provide precedence to go after the whole Ball Python Industry? Lets face it, there are already two sides of the tub vs enclosure debate among us enthusiasts. The standards today have been created by the industry and breeders, and have become largely acceptable because the leaders carry enormous clout. It could however be argued that none of the standard tub practices, actually fit the length of the snakes they are housing. I thing there is a hidden agenda here as is usually the case with PETA. I think this is one that ARKS should pay close attention to and perhaps even consider involvement. I am not advocating for ZOO MED. Personally, I feel like there items are missing the mark on adequacy for the animals in which they are being peddled. But this could have larger implications and so it may be about protecting the Devil you know versus the Devil you don't. Just my $0.02
    Last edited by rlditmars; 10-05-2020 at 08:31 AM.

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  7. #4
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: PETA Sues Zoo Med

    Quote Originally Posted by rlditmars View Post
    To me, the larger concern is if PETA should win this suit. Does it provide precedence to go after the whole Ball Python Industry? Lets face it, there are already two sides of the tub vs enclosure debate among us enthusiasts. The standards today have been created by the industry and breeders, and have become largely acceptable because the leaders carry enormous clout. It could however be argued that none of the standard tub practices, actually fit the length of the snakes they are housing. I thing there is a hidden agenda here as is usually the case with PETA. I think this is one that ARKS should pay close attention to and perhaps even consider involvement. I am not advocating for ZOO MED. Personally, I feel like there items are missing the mark on adequacy for the animals in which they are being peddled. But this could have larger implications and so it may be about protecting the Devil you know versus the Devil you don't. Just my $0.02
    I agree with your concern, if you can go after a company for making 40gallon glass tanks for a BP, you can go after the big breeders who are keeping everything in a rack it's whole life. That's not to say I have any issues with racks, tubs, or breeders, I just understand where you're coming from. We tend to be short sighted I think sometimes when these cases pop up and forget that there's more than just Zoomed on the line if they were to win this.

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  9. #5
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    PETA will do anything for attention and it's far easier to chip away at their end goal, no household pets, by focusing on the scaly and scary vs cute and cuddly. It's fairly easy to convince your average dog or cat owner that reptiles are "bad" or unsuitable pets. Can't get laws passed against keeping them? Go after everything else, the breeders, owners, caging manufactures, feeder breeder companies, etc. Make them too expensive to keep or too hard to find and less people will keep them.
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    Re: PETA Sues Zoo Med

    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    PETA will do anything for attention and it's far easier to chip away at their end goal, no household pets, by focusing on the scaly and scary vs cute and cuddly. It's fairly easy to convince your average dog or cat owner that reptiles are "bad" or unsuitable pets. Can't get laws passed against keeping them? Go after everything else, the breeders, owners, caging manufactures, feeder breeder companies, etc. Make them too expensive to keep or too hard to find and less people will keep them.
    This ^ ^ ^ exactly!
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  12. #7
    bcr229's Avatar
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    If PETA truly cared about reptiles they would go after heat rocks.

    Also PETA's "shelter" has a high kill rate.
    https://arr.va-vdacs.com/Reports06
    Select a reporting year, report type "Individual Agency Reports", then select PETA.

    You can compare their intake, adoption, and euth numbers to the other shelters in Virginia. If PETA takes in an animal then it's lucky to get out alive.

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    Lol this is so dumb on their end. I highly doubt they will win on the DEC action. I'm not aware of any laws out there pertaining specifically to how a pet snake is to be housed. The closest you may find is a city ordinance or licensed requirement of some sort from the Department of Wildlife in that state, and these rules are usually pretty vague and not strictly enforced for snakes that would fit in a 40gallon zoo med tank. They are more concerned about large invasive species like a burmese than how you housed a corn snake, lol. Animal cruelty investigated by most states animal control in their respective county will also have their own rules.. but mainly, they apply to dogs and cats, and even most are relax on what constitutes neglect and cruelty for a dog or cat. They are less concerned about the size of the tank but whether or not the animal is being abused, neglected or abandoned in said tank. And technically these are not registered zoo animals, so can't apply their caging requirements either. So long story short, unless PETA can back this up with a strong legal argument, not with feels, I highly doubt they will win.

    I hope they go to trial. I hope they have a 'battle of the experts.' I'm not a big fan of Zoo Med either, so I think both sides can learn something from people other than themselves. Maybe that will scare the other companies enough to stop making and selling heat rocks. It would be a joy to read the depo transcript of the idiot in PETA, their designated corp rep, trying to explain themselves away, while being grilled by the opposing attorney who probably would ask him or her, "Have you ever kept reptiles as pets?" Or "What is PETA's shelter procedure pertaining to the intake and care of pets?" Oh the humility, lol.

    Btw, I have a 40g Zoo Med tank. Popcorn is almost a year old, and he already reached the length of one side of the tank. But you know what, this is his adult tank until he grows bigger than expected, because corn snakes also like to climb, so adding climbing decor and building up matters as much as floor space for species that does both. And corn snakes are in the top 3, if not #1, pet snake in the US. There will always be a small group of people who keep their snakes improperly, but that can be in a tank as big as a 8 foot long.

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  16. #9
    Registered User SilentHill's Avatar
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    Re: PETA Sues Zoo Med

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    If PETA truly cared about reptiles they would go after heat rocks.

    Also PETA's "shelter" has a high kill rate.
    https://arr.va-vdacs.com/Reports06
    Select a reporting year, report type "Individual Agency Reports", then select PETA.

    You can compare their intake, adoption, and euth numbers to the other shelters in Virginia. If PETA takes in an animal then it's lucky to get out alive.
    thank you so much for pointing this out. they kill more animals than they help.

    if anyone dislikes PETA and wants a good laugh, google Jimmy's Seafood and PETA. they had a twitter (?) war because of billboards in baltimore suggesting us baltimoreans stop eating steamed crabs.
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    Re: PETA Sues Zoo Med

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    I highly doubt they will win on the DEC action. I'm not aware of any laws out there pertaining specifically to how a pet snake is to be housed.
    And hopefully this doesn't lead to the creation of such.
    Requirements are so different for various species, it could be a mess.
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