Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby sildargod » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:03 pm

If it were feasible, having a buyer of a venomous snake take a venomous course beforehand and get a certificate of knowledge and understanding of the implication would be the ideal situation, but that, apart from being unplausable, would also have a significant impact on the market. Perhaps each sale should have a full care sheet, including warnings about the dangers, the venom type and most importantly, the cost of antivenin per vial along with an indemnity form detailing that medical aids don't cover bites and the snake is bought at the PURCHASERS own risk would put a damper on uninformed people taking unnecessary risks?
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby jaksno.9 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:18 pm

18 I won't sell any highly venomous snake to a youngster even if there is no law. Not being nasty to any of the the younger herpers. Start small then move your way up
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby Wolf777 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:19 pm

I say illegal to buy a venomous snake until 18+, no younger than 16 but then you have to have an indemnity form signed by a parent. Like Westley said if a parent then wants to go and buy a cobra for his 10 year old it's not on your head, because you sold to an adult. I also think a decent caresheet should be supplied with every snake, and the seller should have a short talk with the buyer just to see if he knows what he is about to do. The ideal would be all of the above plus a venomous snake handling course, but I don't see that happening unless it becomes law.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby Westley Price » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:46 pm

I really enjoyed the read and thank you for keeping it all civilized.

I agree with all of you that education, experience etc. should all play a role in deciding whether to sell highly venomous snakes to someone, but it's just not feasible and controlling it will be a difficult task. How long will it take you to verify that I've kept Taipans for 5 years and completed a course with Ronald Mc Donald 5 years ago in Riviersonderend?

Age is such an easy thing to check up on. It'll take literally 10 minutes extra per transaction. We must keep this simple and easy for the sellers too.

Sure, Piet Snot will ask his older buddy to buy him that Rattlesnake he's always wanted, but at least that will not reflect badly on us as a community.

Implimenting and trying to enforce such a law will show that we actually care and try to keep harm to a minimum.

I still think 16 years old is a bit more realistic than 18.

I realize that propsing this is easy, but implementing it will be a lot harder (keeping records etc) but I hope in the future something like this can be done.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby Silvrav » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:34 pm

I agree on all the above :)

But seriously, age is not the only concern... Experience plays a big role as well. Therefore a minimum age of 16, plus a certificate showing the he/she has gone for handling venomous snakes training.

But as uncut said, there is other regulations that is not being adhered to. So, although it could be implemented, I think the time/money must be spent on educating people and making the public aware of snakes.

You all know I recently only started with reptiles, and in these last weeks, I have learned a lot.

If everyone can just know the basics and understand snakes, I believe it will already make a big difference.

MISA, you are very competitively priced...this is my R5 worth :)
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby Hustler » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:36 pm

I think that envenomation pictures/pictures of tissue damage etc to go along with what the venomous snake being bought, should also be provided with potential venomous snake purchases. A good eye opener to the dangers of keeping the animal and what you might potentially look like years after the bite.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby armata » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:07 pm

The great thing about field study/trips/courses is that there is no real age limit. Also youngsters after this may well prefer their reptile 'Al fresco' than keep them and spend their money on a decent camera and binoculars.
Then again I'm biased I suppose ;)
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby rolandslf » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:44 pm

Very Good Post.

Westley, if anyone is going to get fried it will be me, here is my idea of how it should be done.

At 16 a temporary sort of licence is given (Learners Licence), on production of a Venomous Snake Identification and Handling Course Certificate/Diploma.

This does not entitle the Bearer to keep Venomous Snakes, but does enable them to catch Venomous Snakes under the Mentorship of an Experienced, Certified person.

At 18 the person can receive his licence as such to keep and catch Venomous Snakes after being vouched for by the Mentor.

Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby TonyK » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:30 pm

Control the sale of venomous snakes with an age restriction, I vote for 18 and over.It would be pointless to try and control the minimum age to own/keep the snake because how can it be enforced?The parents will just say the snake is/was theirs.My parents let me keep venomous snakes when I was a teenager and I am sure they knew that they would have been blamed if things went wrong.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby mgiddings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:52 pm

I would say 18+ although 16 would work as well. I am under both those limits, but I have no desire to keep anything highly venomous. I do enjoy some venomous snakes, but I know my limits. I suppose a venomous snake is just a rush.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby BushSnake » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:17 pm

All of the above mentioned points are good, but maybe you should look at the stats before making the decision. From what I can see (and that is only based on newspaper reports, posts here, etc), the majority of "preventable bites" are from irresponsible adults, and especially the younger adults. This makes me wonder if an age restriction has any value, because you can't really set the limit to be a 25 year old testosterone-free adult and expect anyone to follow the rules, can you?

I've met a 15 year old who handles mambas with more care and respect than many 50 year olds, so I don't think age is really the problem. To me it is actually simple: if someone ( 10 years old or 50 years old) keeps venomous simply because they are venomous, then you should not go through with the deal. On the otherhand, if someone wants to keep a venomous snake because of a true interest in the snake, then let him. We are all quick to set an age restiction but virtually all the top herpetologists were handling venomous snakes from a very young age onwards, and not all of them were bitten before reaching the age of 20. You'll probably find that the ones who have a true interest will respect the snakes enough, learn a lot about them and won't keep them untill they feel confident enough and ready for it.

(Keep in mind that I don't keep snakes at all, but I do catch them in the field)
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby Westley Price » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:50 am

BS, some very good points there.

My trend of thought was, "What looks worse for us as a community? A young kid getting bitten and losing his arm or a irresponsible adult getting bitten and dying?"

If an adult gets bitten he/she will get the blame in newspaper and in the media, but as soon as a younger person gets bitten there's always some finger pointing. Was it the parents? Who sold him the snake? etc.

We cannot control how adults handle/keep/maintain their venomous snakes, but we can ensure that highly venomous snakes aren't readily available to young, possibly inexperienced keepers.

As mentioned, if someone below this age does want a venomous snake, his parents can make an educated decision and get him/her a snake.

I specifically recall a rumour I heard a year back of someone in the Western Cape selling Rattlesnakes to a 13 year old. That's just NUTS!
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby fredsmith » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:26 am

westley wrote:If an adult gets bitten he/she will get the blame in newspaper and in the media, but as soon as a younger person gets bitten there's always some finger pointing. Was it the parents? Who sold him the snake? etc.

Very good point!
I think the age should be set at either 18 or 21. 18 is probably more feasible, but at 21, a person is considered an adult in terms of being able to sign legal documents etc.

I've witnessed the sale of a white lipped viper to a 12 yr old. No adult was around and when the youngster inquired as the the damage of a possible bite, should one occur, the answer was circumvented and focus was drawn to what next the youngster could purchase.

I suppose the sellers' would have to honour the agreements, should an age limit be set. How would that be controlled?
Perhaps a registry of sorts for the sale of venomous reptiles would be required aswell?
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby deleray » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:50 am

I think that envenomation pictures/pictures of tissue damage etc to go along with what the venomous snake being bought


Waste of time. It's like putting pictures of black lungs on smokes and all the drink driving adds showing people having accidents. It doesn't stop a youngster getting into a car drunk and wiping out a family or two.
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Re: Minimum Age for Keeping Venomous

Postby swazi » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:28 am

Armata I have to agree with you. Over the last few years I have changed my mind set about snakes behind glass, it is so much more rewarding seeing a snake in the wild...but that’s not what this post is about..The ideal scenario would be that everyone, irrespective of age, needs to be certified before they can keep any venomous snake and 18 should be the absolute minimum age.
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