#Animal Rights
New York State Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Conservation
United States of America

Acting under pressure from animal rights groups such as the HSUS, ASPCA, and PeTA, NY State has proposed to ban the keeping of "exotic animals", including reptiles as pets throughout its territory. It claims in Assembly Bill A07375 that "across the country, children have been asphyxiated by pythons" and that reptiles are a threat to the health of people because they carry Salmonella.

However, these supposed threats to public health are negligible. If a reptile is properly maintained and its keeper practices an appropriate regimen of personal hygiene, the threat of the reptile transmitting Salmonella is nonexistent. Also, as John Coborn, a noted herpetologist, once said, "it is easier to get Salmonella from the supermarket chicken roaster than from your snake."

The allegations of children being killed by pythons across the country are also incorrect. When a reptile escapes, it rarely hurts anyone, as any respectable herpetoculturist will tell you. If it does hurt or kill someone, that person is almost always its owner. Finally, most people bitten by snakes were drunk at the time.
When a wild animal hurts someone, it is not usually a snake, and some say these bills were spurred by Serval Cats scratching people.

I am not saying that reptile owners should not be required to have permits; several states require this. Florida is one such state. Reptile owners in Florida are subject to inspections by the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and this system seems to work well for everyone. I am only saying that we should not ban reptile keeping outright.

We, the undersigned, oppose any legal ban on the keeping of reptiles in New York State, especially Senate Bill S4755-B and Assembly Bill A07375. We believe that the keeping of reptiles as pets is not inherently evil, and that the State of New York should not ban the keeping of reptiles as pets.

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The Don't Ban Reptiles in New York State! petition to New York State Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Conservation was written by Alexander Baron and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.