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Brutal rattlesnake roundups have got to stop

By Gary Bogue
Friday, February 5th, 2010 at 7:02 am in Rattlesnake.

Rattlesnake orgy? Photo by Flickr user Finious Fingers used under a Creative Commons License.
rattler orgy finious fingers

The Feb. 4 issue of the weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity has a piece on something that has been bothering me since I was a kid: Rattlesnake Roundups.

I like snakes and used to collect them in my childhood days, before I realized they should be left free in the wild. I was horrified to learn about these Rattlesnake Roundups, where the beautiful reptiles were collected in huge numbers, and killed so their meat and skins could be sold. Disgusting.

Fortunately, the Center for Biological Diversity is trying to put an end to it. You can see what they have to say about it below. /Gary

Rattlesnake by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
western rattlesnake

Center Takes on Brutal Rattlesnake Roundups
To stop the indiscriminate — and abhorrently legal — killing of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in the Southeast, On Jan. 28 the Center for Biological Diversity wrote to the governor of Georgia urging the state to outlaw rattlesnake roundups.

During these annual contests, hunters bring in as many rattlesnakes as they can catch in a year, at which point the snakes are slaughtered and sold for meat and skin. A recent study shows that roundups have seriously depleted populations of eastern diamondbacks in the Southeast — but Georgia still holds two of the gorefests every year.

Rattlesnake roundups also harm other species, since snake collectors spray gasoline into tortoise burrows to capture their prey, destroying the burrows and usually killing the other animals inside. More than 350 other wildlife species use gopher tortoise burrows, and the tortoise itself is under consideration for Endangered Species Act protection.

“These senseless killing contests are imperiling entire ecosystems and must be stopped,” said Center biologist Tierra Curry. “Roundups should be replaced with festivals that celebrate native wildlife.”

Rattlesnake by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA

Check out this press release:

Learn more about why Rattlesnake Roundups should be outlawed:

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4 Responses to “Brutal rattlesnake roundups have got to stop”

  1. Doc Says:

    Culling of rattlers is a necessary thing. There are not many predators that eat the snakes and their numbers need to be kept in check or they encroach into areas that people live. Pets are bitten and killed in areas where they flurish without checks.

  2. Aubrey Says:

    I couldn’t agree more Gary. Thank you for taking the time to raise awareness and discuss this issue. How vile that humanity seeks to harm animals that have never sought to harm us.

  3. Morgan Says:

    This is a poor example of ‘culling’ rattlesnake populations. Rattlesnakes have plenty of predators, and are killed by humans who come in contact with them on a daily bases.
    The thing is, that the rattlesnakes are no longer being pulled from human populated areas, Doc, they are being taken from feilds away from ranches, and away from humans.
    Please, read and educate yourself on rattlesnake roundups before you form an opinion next time.

  4. Robert Whittle Says:

    nothing wrong with round ups. I live in the desert and there is definately no shortage of rattlesnakes.

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