Death of the hobby part 2

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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby ClintonT » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:16 am

Transfer done.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby froot » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:12 pm

Any updates?
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Bushbaby » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:18 am

He said it went well, but there are some compromises which have to be made.

I am sure he will update everyone tonight, when he is back home.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby rosshawkins2812 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:05 am

transfer done.

Regards

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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Bushviper » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:24 am

I was going to start a new thread but for continuity this one will be used again.

Firstly it was a give and take as any settlement in the new South Africa always is. Eventually the ones that would have the most impact on us that they wanted to "take" were Rat snakes, Corn snakes, Carpet pythons, Burmese pythons, Reticulated pythons and Ball pythons. Rattlesnakes, Monocled cobras, White lips and Purple mangroves were the more common venomous species. Lizards included Iguanas, Bearded dragons, Basilisks, Leaf tail geckos, Gargoyle geckos and Bosc monitors.

The final list will be posted next week so this is just the bare outlines and I will discuss the flagship species. All animals were graded according to their likelihood of invading and then the impact of their invasion. These were graded from 1 to 5 and a combined total then decided what category they would fall into. A total of more than 5 meant the animal needed some form of control. This could go from monitoring all the way up to an immediate programme to eliminate it.

The workshop started with only a small number of amphibians but eventually all exotic amphibians were included. These are based primarily on diseases which could wipe out our local populations. We had to agree and the import of ALL exotic amphibians is illegal unless you are a registered institution and comply with certain conditions . The risk to our indigenous fauna is too high to risk this just for a few pets. Anyone who wants to keep frogs must indulge himself with local species.

We did "lose" some reptile species countrywide and KZN lost quite a few more pet species but nothing major. The final list is not available yet.

The Burmese python with its reputation for invading the Everglades was always going to be a problem. We fully expected that this species may need some radical controls which would stifle our hobby. Eventually (after a few heated words as well) it was decided that they will require permits and probably microchips in KZN, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Trade and keeping in the other provinces is not affected at this stage as long as responsible ownership of this species is adhered to by the public. This also applies to the Carpet/Diamond python complex.

Reticulated pythons and Ball pythons were unexpectedly also listed and a good fight was made of that. Eventually it was decided that at this stage the status quo must be maintained. We nearly "lost" these species to the pet trade.

The Green iguana was the next hurdle. The first recommendation was that you can keep them but not breed them or get rid of them and when they die you could not replace them. This would lead to the eradication within a few years. With help from the scientists we have managed to have them treated the same as the Burmese python. It may be possible that people in the Western Cape will be allowed to keep them (on permit of course).

The final list and the recommendations will only be available next week but as this stage we can all rest a bit easier. This list does get reviewed from time to time and any stupid stunts by the public could jeopardise our hobby in future. It is now up to us to police the system and avoid antagonising the authorities by doing things which they can hold against us.

The people in the Cape should stop whining now because the officials you have there were possibly the most reasonable to listen to facts and figures. Sorry KZN but the "land of no permits" has just changed for ever. Mpumalanga is not too badly affected and Limpopo now requires permits for some exotic reptiles.

In the other provinces nothing really changed but risk assessments will have to be done to import any exotic into the provinces from another provinces or countries. Please do not now go and get hyped about this and challenge the authorities. Just be thankful because I really expected us to be battered and bleeding after the workshop. We do have a workable piece of legislation for the future.

Thanks to Marcel Witberg who backed me all the way and to everyone who donated time, money etc to help us fight this battle. This includes the owners of Die Vonds Snake Park (Riaan and Juanita) who accommodated me and transported me around, as well the people listed above in this thread. None of the other workshop attendees come on to this site regularly but we were backed by most of them including Bill Branch, Johan Marais, Werner Conradie, Sarah Davies and a few others.

I am extremely proud of this achievement and will fill in the details as soon as I have them.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Mitton » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:52 am

Thanks BV, I am glad it is not as bad as people expected it to be.
When will the KZN permit system be implemented? Will the guys with indigenous animals just have to apply for permits to continue keeping their animals?
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Mongoose » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:03 am

Bushviper wrote:The people in the Cape should stop whining now because the officials you have there were possibly the most reasonable to listen to facts and figures.


Awesome - I've believed for a while now that the Cape is pretty organised and friendly - just strict!

Thanks for the effort BV!
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Scavenger » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:06 am

I'm also interested on the indigenous side of it, would I have to apply for permits to keep my indigenous animals?
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Westley Price » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:11 am

Thanx to all who contributed and especially to BV. I'm 100% sure this was done more for the hobby than for yourself.

Good work!

The Northern Cape pretty much copies the Western Cape, so seems like not much will be changing my side, which is good news.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Bushviper » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:41 am

Permits for indigenous reptiles is a separate issue. This is just for the species listed above.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Q Ball » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:16 pm

I've been following this as and when I can. Thanx to BV and everyone who put in a great deal of their own time, effort and money.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby hissing roach » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:13 pm

BV,

I am not sure if there is still opportunity, BUT there should be some discussion of a standard of microchipped to be used. There are different frequencies that the chips work on (134.2kHz ISO microchip, 128kHz microchip and 125kHz encrypted or unencrypted microchip). In South Africa apparently Identipet (125kHz) and Virbac (134.2kHz) are widely used.. but they require seperate scanners. There is a universal scanner which reads ALL microchips put out by HomeAgain based in the US. I think if they specify which frequency should be used it will prevet a lot of confusion and problems. Dr. Elliot uses the Virbac system which is widley recognized in Europe, while others use Identipet the same frequency as many companies in the US.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby JPWittstock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:15 pm

Microchips are invasive.
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Snakes4Africa » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:32 pm

Thanks BV. Much appreciated. I feel we got off fairly lightly and have felt for a long time that there should be some type of control over Burmese Pythons ( and other large constrictors) and all venomous exotics. Iguanas and bearded dragons do have some invasive potential and as BV has said, we need to keep our own noses clean. Microchips are not without risk and are not free either, but if it what we must do in order to our hobby/business going then we must do it. At least we can all breathe again!
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Re: Death of the hobby part 2

Postby Boadicea » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:56 pm

Great news on the whole BV. I am so glad that the herping community managed to get it together so well. It is difficult in a somewhat amorphous group like ourselves to find individuals who have the drive, time and energy to "fight the good fight" in a focused way. Many thanks for what you did.
The main thing now is not to rest on our laurels but to keep watch for the next instalment. People in government can sometimes 'forget' what they agreed to previously. I will assist wherever I can on commentaries that may be needed in the future.
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