More harm than good

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More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Mon May 31, 2010 3:06 pm

Hey all.

I have been researching on how to import reptiles for almost a year now, trying to find out everything I could.

And I think the system is very rediculous. It is impossible to try and get things right.
The heat treatment being the worst, what animal is going to survive being subjected to an ambient temperature of 26C for 30 days? When almost every reptile requires a temperature drop of about 10 degrees at night!

The system is doing more harm than good to the animals and conservation IMHO.
Look at our slowly increasing market and demand for new reptiles in South Africa, if wasnt done by importing the "legal" way I can promise you that, so now there is support in the black market of smuggled animals, Im sure we ALL would not pass up the oppurtunity of buying the reptile we have always wanted, no matter how they got to the seller, all you know is that you are going to buy it.

I hope one day the law can be "changed" a bit, just to make things easier for us and the animals. . .

-Tyrone
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Snakes4Africa » Mon May 31, 2010 6:27 pm

The 30 day quarantine at 26 deg does no harm to any reptile. They do not require a 10 degree temperature drop except for breeding. The 28 degree (which is the actual temperature, not 26) allows any pathogens or viruses to make their presence known. This is better than the previous law of lifetime quarantine. The only real problems are the delays in getting permits and the costs involved. The quarantine is the least of the problems, in opinion.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Mon May 31, 2010 10:33 pm

It sounds like you have only ever kept snakes. If you had known requirments specificly of chameleons then you wouldnt have said what you did as chameleons and Im sure other lizards DO require a temp drop of atleast 5 degrees or more, so the law basicly states that you may legaly harm chameleons. Chameleons are easily heat stressed which can make them stop drinking and eating, and because of the heat stress and all the extra stress from the import the most species of chameleons will die.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Carpetpythons » Mon May 31, 2010 10:41 pm

Chamsss: It is not necessary to drop night time temps for lizards, and yes I have had years worth of experience when it comes to breeding and keeping lizards.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:10 am

Yeah, . . . sure ok. But I know people who have imported chameleons and about 80% of their chameleons died in quarantine.
I too have A LOT of experience in keeping and breeding lizards. If you had to look at updated keeping of the chameleons that you have kept then you probably would gasp at how much you COULD of made their lives better and probably made them live longer. I dont see how furcifer labordi would have a lifespan of only 1 year? When they probably only mature from 8-11 months.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Fooble » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:17 am

Temp drops by ten degree's at night for Chameleons to survive?
Where'd you get that from?
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:32 am

Wait fooble are you telling me you have been keeping your chameleons at solid temperatures like 26C?

You dont know how much the chams actualy benifit from the drop of temperature at night. Have you imported CHAMELEONS before fooble and can share your experience with me?
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Re: More harm than good

Postby froot » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:46 am

Not speaking from experience at all here. I would imagine that quarantines are taylored to the species it's housing to a certain extent, which would definitely affect the costs of quarantining. These costs may also scare the importer into taking shortcuts. Quarantining mandarin rat snakes or European vipers for 30 days at 28 degress for example would probably kill a good percentage of them which defeats the whole point altogether. Special provisions must be available and it's probably a case of the right person to speak to.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:07 pm

Thanks froot! :)

Thats what I am trying to say, thats why I think the system isnt good at all as it is set all the same for any reptile imported, like it might be fine for a certain snake but it will end up killing a few other species of lizards and snakes.

Do you maybe know who is the right people to speak to regarding things like this?
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Bushviper » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:34 pm

Chamss it took seven years of research and negotiation to get the state vet to allow the import of reptiles for trade. Before that they had to stay in quarantine for 3 generations!!!! The reason has to do with the fact that reptiles can be vectors for equine encephalitis which is only manifested at certain temperatures. It "burns itself out" within this time (21 to 30 days) in birds and mammals and in reptiles it can live in excess of three years depending on body temperatures.

The chameleons that died in quarantine were probably rubbish wild caught stuff in any case. All the zoos and reptile parks adhere to these requirements and they dont lose their animals because they only import established captive bred animals.

I know Carpet python bred many lizards (including chameleons) and even did his thesis on certain aspects of lizard behaviour. Mandarin ratsnakes that were confiscated at OR Tambo last year survived the quarantine process. The chameleons and other lizards found abandoned at OR Tambo two years ago also survived quarantine and are on display at Cango, Monte Casino and Ushaka Marine world.

If you think that the authorities will change the quarantine requirements then contact the Department of Agriculture and ask to speak to the Plant and animal control division. Good luck.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Carpetpythons » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:37 pm

Chamssss: I am not going to argue with you. Chameleons die because of stress. They also need to be seperated from each other in individual cages with visual barriers. Most quarantine facilities can not accomodate this type of arrangement. I can assure you that my knowledge on chameleons is not based on what I read on the Internet, but from personal experience as well as a huge collection of books and articles on the subject. Why don't you do yourself a favour and get a few of the very expensive German books that are available on the topic of chameleons. You might want to subscribe to a a magazine like reptiles america as there was a good article a few editions ago on Furcifur labordi. Stress kills chameleons.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Carpetpythons » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:45 pm

Missed one point. Chameleons carry many different species of parasites, these parasites thrive when these animals are stressed. There can be that many worms in their digestive track that they actually block the digestive track. This sitution starves the chameleon as it can not digest it's food and the parasite absorbs whatever nutrients are left. That why many imported chameleons are dehydrated and emaciated.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:05 pm

Carpetpython. You told me everything I already know, I dont go just "by the book" I have researched using the internet and books for over 5 years and specificly on chameleons and nothing else.
And why buy a German book on the topic of chameleons when I am already in contact with one of the most experienced chameleon keeper and breeder of Germany who has taught me alot already. . . .

In quarantine the animals can be seperated, you provide your own caging in quarantine. With the chameleons freshly imported you need to give them alot of water, clear them of parasites and feed them LITTLE.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Chamssss » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:11 pm

And when I say internet I dont mean caresheets, I mean whole websites that can be dedicated to just one specie of chameleons, and also talking to the keepers of europe and the U.S.
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Re: More harm than good

Postby Carpetpythons » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:18 pm

Ok Chamssss, I am sorry I told you things you already knew. Just how many chameleons have you kept in your life? Always remember that anybody can own a website and put whatever information they want on it. Scientific publications and books are peer reviewed, and incorect information does not make it into print. Do you own the Petr Necas book called Chameleons- Natures hidden jewels? I recommend that you might want to get it.
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