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March 2008 Editor's Note

Do you stay on top of the ongoing issue of reptile legislation?

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This month in “Who’s Who” (page 28) we’re featuring a profile of Marshall Meyers, a lawyer with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) who has argued many cases on behalf of the reptile industry.

While shopping for new animals at pet stores and reptile expos, we can easily take their availability for granted. So many are on view that it’s hard to comprehend the possibility that a time could come when the numbers of herps available to us could be drastically reduced. But the fact of the matter is that organizations against reptile ownership (as well as bird ownership, fish ownership, ferret ownership — take your pick) are out there.


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Recent years have seen an increase in reptile legislation. Often something is going on somewhere in regard to restricting people’s ability to maintain herps. Whether we’re talking about large constrictors in New York or red-eared sliders in Florida, chances are we will be — or may already have been — affected at some point in our herpkeeping endeavors.

I’m not suggesting there should never be any regulations in regard to keeping reptiles. I don’t think youngsters should be able to walk into a reptile store and buy a cobra or a huge python. What I am against are outright bans on animals based on either a perceived threat enhanced by news media living by the “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality, or by misinformation put forth by militant animal-rights organizations.

If you’re a devoted reptile enthusiast, it would behoove you to be aware of attempts to curtail your hobby. If possible, you can join efforts to battle them, too.

A good place to keep tabs on pet legislation is PIJAC’s website at http://www.pijac.org.