Posts Tagged ‘PETA’

Reptile Skin Trade Under Fire

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Photo:  Bryan Christy

Photo: c. Bryan Christy

We slaughter animals–for food, for fashion.  Below is a story running today in Indonesia.  I had a chance to spend time inside an Indonesian reptile slaughterhouse, a major source for US and European skins.  It wasn’t pretty.  Some of the videos are on my site.  One of the photos ran alongside my latest National Geographic story.

Most snake and lizard skin products you see in fashion are from animals caught in the wild.  I don’t buy snake or lizard skin products anymore, although I used to.  I do eat meat.  And fish.  Every year I say I’ll make time to hunt again.   I commend PETA for raising the issue of standard of care of reptiles.  It reminds me what I’m willing to stomach, what I’m not, and why…

From the Jakarta Post today:

Activists rally to campaign against exotic-skin trade
Hasyim Widhiarto,  The Jakarta Post 04/07/2010

A dozen of animal right activists staged Wednesday a rally on Jl. Sudirman, Central Jakarta, campaigning for an end to exotic animal skin trade for fashion products.

Spokeswoman for the Asia-Pacific’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Ashley Fruno said the rally was held to follow up the organization’s investigation, which found that (more…)

Flipping Bling

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Old school snake hunters call looking for snakes, “flipping tin.” Why? On account of that’s what you do.

Are you too fat, too old, or your weather too cold to go out and dig through trash for reptiles?  Don’t worry, it’s Oscar season. You can go reptile hunting without leaving your sofa.  From the advert pages of Vanity Fair and New York Times Magazine to the latest awards ceremony there’s plenty of opportunity to flip a little bling and find a python or two.  You’ll see snakeskin shoes and bags, alligator belts, and more. If you’re good, you can even ID the species.

So where do these come from?

I don’t agree with Peta on its anti-pet shop policy but I do think they’re on track with this video:

Inside the Exotic-Skins Trade.

I have vid of a far larger operation in the videos section.

U.S. Global Exotics loses appeal

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I’m in a PETA frame of mind because PETA coordinated the investigation and raid of U.S. Global Exotics, of Arlington, Texas, the largest exotic wildlife seizure in U.S. history.  Saturday, a judge upheld PETA on appeal.  Now, in the reptile world PETA is hated.  At my first Daytona Show python breeder Bob Clark was wearing a t-shirt that read People Eating Tasty Animals, and I was often accused of being a Peta-mole, a bunny hugger, and other nasties, until people got to know me.  Then they just called me an asshole.  In a nice way.

PETA is using the USGE case to urge a ban on imports from Malaysia and to advocate a ban on pet shops in the United States:  “Please don’t shop at PETCO or PetSmart and tell your friends not to either, and to never support any pet store that sells live animals,” was posted on its blog.  

Without a pet shop, I never would have developed my love for wildlife so I can’t agree with that latter proposal.  What surprises me is that no one is using the USGE case to call for minimum standards of care for the sale of exotics.  From the time I was a boy, I have gone in every pet store I have ever seen.  This applies anywhere in the world.  If I see a pet store I have to go in it.  I don’t know why.  For years, that meant seeing alot of reptiles in poor conditions.  Lately that has changed.  Many pet stores recognize the value of well cared for reptiles.  Still, others treat their reptiles as trash pets.  There ought to be minimum standards of cleanliness, space, food and water for those animals and there ought to be better standards among breeders and keepers, too. 

In the small world category, USGE, owned by Jasen and Vanessa Shaw of New Zealand, is a customer of Anson Wong’s companies, as reported by Hilary Chiew of Malaysia’s The Star and by, which kindly mentions my book, The Lizard King.