Some of you may have heard, most of you have probably not. Today is another day and example of the community not policing itself as it should. Global Captive Breeders owned and operated by Mitch Behm located in Lake Elsinore, CA was raided this evening by animal control officials and local Sheriff’s offices. They were acting on information (video) that was garnered by an undercover operative of the animal rights activist group known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
We here, at Reptile Apartment, have often asked and promoted the industry policing itself and calling out the ‘bad apples’ that were known to other breeders and tonight’s raid is a perfect example of why this needs to happen. We all want to enjoy our privileges of owning captive reptiles in our homes. Some individuals in our community breed these amazing animals to provide those who are interested with the opportunity to own these reptiles and amphibians and invertebrates. This privilege comes at the high price of responsibility. Not just to the community of humans that want to keep these animals but to the animal itself being held in a captive environment.
According to sources, PETA is filing charges against Global Captive Breeders. It is not known at this time what those charges will be. I personally spoke with *Brad Chambers, snake Curator for Ron Tremper’s Center for Reptile and Amphibian Propagation,
“A lot of the trouble the hobby is experiencing we brought on ourselves.”
This is something that we have been saying for quite some time; most of the problems that we are experiencing have in fact been brought on us by the inactions of those we are doing business with. We participate by buying and promoting companies and individuals that don’t hold up to the ethical standards of herpetoculture. Numerous groups have tried and sadly failed to promote responsible herpetoculture practices and were in fact chanted down by the community at large because the ‘community’ doesn’t want to be ‘policed’. The fact of the matter is, if we don’t police ourselves properly the government will be forced to do so from the pressure which will be directly applied by the animal rights activists and the general public that they will garner support from.
So now with this incident upon us, I ask you, our readers this;
“Is it time yet that we begin policing our own, or shall we wait for those who would have us not own any animal at all write the legislation for us?”
*Authors Note: Brad Chambers is in no way affiliated with Global Captive Breeders.