Humane Society: Ban Pythons, Anacondas, and Boa Constrictors

Categories: Animal Planet

Wikipedia Commons
The Obama administration has discussed banning the reticulated python (above) since '12 but still hasn't.
Back in 2012, President Obama's Interior Department went forward with a proposal to list nine species of snakes as "injurious" -- legalese that would ban the importation and selling of the animals. But when the announcement was made, only four species were put on the list: the Indian python (including the Burmese python), Northern African python, Southern African python, and yellow anaconda.

Those four made up just 30 percent of imports among the nine species looked at as the biggest threats by the U.S. Geological Survey. The other five species of snake -- the reticulated python, DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda, Beni anaconda, and boa constrictor -- account for the other 70 percent of imports.

So now? Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is calling for the rest to be banned too.

In a post on his blog yesterday, Parcelle says the HSUS has tracked over 500 incidents that involve large constrictor snakes. They include attacks, escapes from cages, and intentional releases into the wild. So far, Boa constrictors and reticulated pythons have already killed five adults and three babies.

"It's time for the Obama administration to finish the job, stopping a reckless trade that results in snakes dispersed in our communities and ultimately leaving a major ecological wake," Parcelle writes. "Dogs and cats were domesticated for thousands of years, and they have a place in our homes. The large constricting snakes we are talking about are wild animals, native to Africa, Asia and South America. While we agree that they are fascinating and remarkable animals, they are best suited in their native environments, and they don't belong in the wildlife trade or in our bedrooms and basements. They die during capture and transport. In the end, too many people get them and then tire of them or realize that they do not have the resources, space and expertise to care for them properly, and release them. Some of the snakes adapt to the wild, becoming invasive species."

Parcelle goes on to call out the Boa constrictor specifically, perhaps the most dangerous of all the snakes talked about.

"Boa constrictors, the most popular of the nine large constrictor snakes in the pet trade, are predators who can grow up to 13 feet long, and they can and have killed large mammals, including humans," he says. "They have now become established in Miami-Dade County and Puerto Rico, and if they become established like Burmese pythons have in south Florida, they could cost the nation tens of millions of dollars in eradication programs - to say nothing of the effect on native species of birds and small mammals, including endangered ones. One study showed that Burmese pythons in the Everglades may have contributed to a 99 percent decrease in the numbers of certain small- to medium-sized mammals."

Wikipedia Commons
A Boa constrictor
If you've read this post done nothing but shiver and squirm thinking of how awful snakes are, perhaps you should check out the form the HSUS has set up for folks to let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service know they want these snakes banned.

If, however, you've read this post and done nothing but pet the slivering beast in the glass cage you have in your living room, check out what they're capable of:

You can follow Ryan Cortes on Twitter.

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Except that reticulated python "pictured above" isn't a reticulated python...or a python at all.

Fantastic job of not understanding the difference between the green anaconda (actually pictured) and a reticulated python.


Actually it's been illegal for quite some time to import snakes from there native areas and people have been keeping boa constrictors for almost 100 years and you're telling us that they aren't domesticated the snakes that killed those people by the way there probably the only deaths they've caused EVER were probably never fed by there ignorant owner or were imported THROUGH BLACKMARKET and that's the only way possible they could come from the wild.

I can walk in my room pick up my boa Constrictor and kiss it Right ontop the head and There's no doubt in my mind that thing respects me and trusts me as I do it I can understand retics and anacondas they get huge but there still pretty tame if you take care of them and work with them right but boas they are the nicest snakes ever and males don't even get that big

KennyPowersII topcommenter

Snakes cause wars, heat waves, cancer, smallpox, global warming and many other catastrophic events. They serve no useful purpose. I've made my case and stand by my accusations. Why do people need snakes as pets?
-  The Onion


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Pure lies from an organization that specializes in them.  No one who cares about animal welfare would ever support HSUS.  5 people have been killed by 'boas and reticulated pythons?'  That's EVER, by the way.  Dogs kill more than 20 people per year.  EVERY YEAR.  Want to know how dangerous boas are?  One person in the history of ever was killed by a boa - accidentally.  The snake did NOT attack him in any way.  It was a tragic accident caused by the owner's complete foolishness.  No other animal this size is as harmless.  More people are killed by septic cat bites than by large snakes (and LOTS of these animals are kept as pets).

HSUS has tracked '500 incidents' - out of tens of thousands of these animals kept as pets in the US, that's all you've got?  And you're including the occasional escape in that?  These snakes cannot survive anywhere on the US mainland other than South Florida, and that has been proven through experimentation.  They cannot become invasive in any location where they are not either already there, or already banned/restricted.  There is 0 cause to further restrict these animals.  Certainly not by using the LACEY ACT, which is intended ONLY to protect natural environments and agricultural interests.  The Lacey Act is not a tool for some animal rights activist agenda (animal rights is NOT animal welfare at all).

"One study showed that Burmese pythons in the Everglades may have contributed to a 99 percent decrease in the numbers of certain small- to medium-sized mammals."

That's a long sentence that says NOTHING.  ONE study.  MAY have CONTRIBUTED...  So, other studies did not show this.  The snakes may or may NOT have had something to do with it.  And if they did, they did not cause all of it (or most of it).  In other words, nothing - Burmese may have had nothing to do with the declines at all, lol.

But, EVEN IF THEY DID... and even IF boa constrictors might cause harm... The Lacey Act WOULD NOT prevent them from establishing in the Everglades.  Why?  Because the animals are already restricted in Florida.  It's already illegal to bring them there.  An additional law is not going to magically prevent people from breaking the first law if they're going to.  Enforcing the existing law is all you need to do, for that.  People do not drive to Florida to release pet snakes.  Especially not expensive snakes... Oh, wait.

If this addition goes through, these snakes won't be expensive anymore.  In fact, thousands of people will lose their investments and their businesses.  They'll be left destitute because of twerp with a political agenda who wanted to stir up sensationalistic nonsense in the media, and because some people just don't like snakes.  That's a great excuse for putting people out of business in this economy, isn't it?  "I don't like your pets, so you can just lose your livelihood."  That's true evil.

The irony?  Cheap snakes are more likely to be purchased by people who have not done their research.  They're much more likely to be abused.  They're more likely to be released.  And people will still keep them as pets.  Why?  Because a Lacey Act listing does not ban ownership of these animals.  It ONLY prevents importation, or transport across State lines.  This means owners cannot take their pets with them if they move to another State.  These snakes are currently captive-bred in pretty much every State in the US where they are legal.  Boas in particular are one of the most popular pet snake species.

How does this proposed listing even REMOTELY make any sense?


The HSUS just settled a RICO ( you know RICO, that would be racketeering and corrupt organizations) case for having lied to the judicial system and having paid $200,000 to an individual to lie on the stand.  HSUS is full of it. They also just were downgraded by CharityWatch and CharityNavigator to cesspool levels.


Saying a Boa can get 13 feet long is like saying humans can get 9 feet tall.  Because the tallest man on record was 8'11".   Despite our potential to get "9" feet tall, how many 5'4" women have you met?  6-8 is true boa size, and for every one that gets 10 feet long there is a 5 foot adult. 


Boa constrictors have only killed one idiot man in their entire history as a pet in the U.S. for the past 40 years. One guy, who had frightened his boa constrictor after putting it on a trampoline, and then wrapped it around his neck. This is the equivalent of looking down the barrel of a loaded gun; it was a Darwin award. Yet, that is only ONE death in the ENTIRE EXISTENCE of pet boas.

That's a pretty damn good track record if you asked me.

Boa constrictors are the least concerning of all the snakes and the most economically crucial. They have small population in Miami-Dade county. Not in north Florida, not in the Everglades, not in New York, not in Oregon, not in Texas... not anywhere else. Yet we have populations of feral hogs going from state to state, and feral, invasive cats that have become an invasive species ACROSS THE GLOBE yet people are ENCOURAGED to set them loose, despite extreme environmental concerns and animal welfare concerns. We also have dogs, who, regardless of breed, are both capable of slaughtering adults and kids alike and have caused several deaths in one year and several more deformities and permanent damage. Yet, we're not banning those any time soon but we're worried about some rather innocuous snakes? Even Florida has their own laws regarding snakes - they chose to ban Burmese pythons but chose AGAINST banning their in-sate trade of Boa constrictors. Why the hell a nationwide ban?

And why does everyone still fraudulent @$$hole of an organization leader either? This is the same deceitful organization that claims all their donations go to shelters, but only 1% OF THEIR ENTIRE BUDGET GOES TO HELP ANIMALS. Where does the rest of the money go? Either to their animal rights lobbyist in D.C. as they continue to buy their agendas in the government or - now the majority of their budget - is going to pay off a racketeering lawsuit after this scumbag hired a witness to lie in court. Yes, why the hell does an organization that claims to help shelter cats and dogs need to hire a witness to lie in court? (Source: ) What the hell happened there? This lowlife scumhole and his garbage organization needs to be permanently ran into the ground.

And whatever happened to freedom and the pursuit of happiness? Even in my disagreements, I respect my neighbor's rights and freedoms, many of which are more hazardous than just some pet snakes. All I ask is for fellow Americans to do the same, but even that may be a tall order considering how arrogant, ignorant, stubborn and callous some people are these days.


@KennyPowersII @wingedwolfpsion Honestly because they are wonderful pets for those who can't have large animals. I can't care for a dog and cat EVERY single day but my ball python is happy to be fed once a week and handled every once in a while.


@KennyPowersII @wingedwolfpsion Why does someone need a cat or dog? Why not, I say. As an American, we are endowed by our creator the right to life, liberty and - what else - our pursuit of happiness. Nobody's forcing you to have a snake, but at least understand that we are individuals with our own personal interests. I, personally, am just enthralled with keeping and studying snakes, and don't thinking I'd have much else to do in life without my burning passion for herpetology motivating me forward.

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