View Full Version : Selling unhealthy wild caught animals at shows...
04-22-2002, 04:37 PM
There is a discussion going on on another forum regarding the selling of freshly imported reptiles to the general public at shows. I posted my opinion and several people disagreed with me (I believe they are just trying to defend the shows in question at all costs!<img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'>. Here is the link to the thread in question:
Click Here to Read the Thread (http://www.texasreptiles.com/forum/messages/1285.html)
04-23-2002, 11:22 AM
I read the thread you were refering to on the discussion forum, and all I can say is WOW. Who is this randal guy anyway?
As far as your question, No, I don't think sick animals should be allowed at shows, or anywhere for that matter, but what kind of proof are you going to require? A vets bill of health? a physical exam of all animals on display? Proof of LTC? its hard to say.
It seems to me that this particular issue was started by someone who had no business buying the animal he did. It sounds like the vendor hid nothing. He said they were recent imports, he said he knew nothing about them (I assume he meant those particular animals and not the species in general since he has been selling them for years) Sounds like somebody wanted to save a few bucks and got in over his head . He didn't even contact the vendor about the problem. There are lots of animals that I do not think should be sold to the general public (at expos, at shops, at flea markets etc.) that is why I don't sell them. Unfortunately, as long as no laws are being broken (and even that is not a deterant to some people) there will be people who will sell anything to anyone no questions asked as long as the money is there. On the flip side, as long as there is a buck or two to be saved there are always going to be people who will buy from the questionable dealers without asking the proper questions . It takes both to make the cycle complete.
Keep up your eduction efforts but remember, not all WC are neccessarily bad.
I think it goes w/o saying that it's wrong to sell sick animals w/o letting the buyer know what they are getting into. I believe in complete honesty up front, even if that honesty costs me a sale. However, once you decide to buy, especially if you were warned about a potential problem, I assume NO responibility. I will still answer all your questions and help you in any way I can, but if you bougth an imported animal that I warned you about, don't whine and cry when it croaks.
The question that will pop into some of your heads right now is: well, why even sell an animal your not sure about? The answer: I won't sell ANYTHING that I know is in bad shape. I will sell imported animals (even recent imports) because there is a large demand for those species, and in most cases many of those imported animals do well in captivity. But, I always tell people they are imports.
The question I have is this: what responsibility does the customer have, if any? Shouldn't the customer have some clue as to what they are getting themselves and the animal into? And do their complaints really have any merit if they bought an animal as difficult as a chondro to take care of, w/o any knowledge of how to do so?
04-23-2002, 01:17 PM
Think about it like this if you buy software for your computer and didn't read the requirments and when you get home open the software up and then notice it doesn't work on your computer. The store doesn't care if it is useless to you. You open the package you are now stuck with it. So read the small print always. Just a thought
04-23-2002, 02:04 PM
***disclaimer*--the following statement is not meant to single out any individual, vendor, or show--it is intended as an opinion about shows and philosophy of sales in general***
i think the point in this case is not about a particular individual who had a problem with a particular vender...the real issue seems to be the regulation of shows. we all have to remember that shows are advertised to the public and the public is not always (and usually is not) very educated about reptiles. i have seen so many sickly animals get sold to 12 year old kids--a death sentence for that animal, and heartbreak for the kid. should the promoters be responsible for regulating a show? I would think so. true, you dont want to lose vendors or make for a "boring" show, but do you really want a 12 year old girl going home with an emaciated import just picked up from the airport--no meds,no care sheet or nothing? Especially with the HSUS and others on our backs, we should really be careful. Not to mention, dont we care about the animals we sell and promote, our reputations, or our customers anymore?
whether or not this particular case is valid (I was not there, didnt see the animal), I know that these things go on, and much worse. And as a vendor, it can be scarey. I have heard a lot of terrible stories (rumors???) about venders having problems due to wc vendor neighbors. i once got a call the day after a show i did to warn me about how infested with mites the table next to mine was--everyone who bought from this vendor had snakes full of mites and ticks--and this guy was taking his snakes out, handling them, etc etc. i was just thankful that i didnt have any snakes at that show and was strict about hand sanitizer.
i understand where you are coming from Kelli. I dont think you are anti wild caught (steve works at the zoo)--it is a matter of better standards and regulation by the promoters.
i thought the texas shows were supposed to be captive bred only?--or at least started off that way. i see lots of shows advertised that way, and then tons of wc animals are allowed in. isnt that misleading for the general public? why not just be honest in the advertising? what about the poor kid who buys a frilled dragon, assuming that it is cb since the show is "cb only" and then runs into a ton of problems with parasites and acclimation? and of course they buy the import because it is $125 vs the real cb animal being sold for $200, because they are both supposed to be cb animals. not to mention, there are people in the general public that go to cb only shows because of ethical/moral/conservation stances--then they wind up buying an import without knowing? in this case i feel that it is the promoters fault for false advertising and/or not enforcing their rules. by now it seems almost "understood" by vendors that "cb only" doesnt REALLY mean "cb only"--bring whatever you want.
btw, could you post more info about this new show being talked about?
it is a difficult question to know how to set the standards for wc animals, but it should be addressed. maybe not a vet bill of health, but a specific period of observation or quarentine before selling? and certainly no animals with outward issues such as dehydration, emaciation, etc. or, dealers should be able to recognize signs that the general public does not. part of the risk and responsibility of the dealer for working with fresh imports should be dealing with the need to separate out and care for ones that dont look as good--not passing that burden off to an unknowing consumer before the signs are too apparent. none of this "not my fault" bit because it is a fresh import. i dont know, perhaps this would make for an interesting new thread.
my lovely opinion,
04-23-2002, 06:59 PM
I agree with Kelli 110%. First off, the Texas shows that are in question are advertised as "cb" only shows. It has never been captive breed only. Freshly imports have no business at a show. There will come a time when we no longer will be allowed to own reptiles. The all mighty dollar comes first to so many WC dealers. I have purchased many WC animals but I also have the knowledge as to what they may need once I get them home. I do not believe that all WC animals be stopped from being sold at shows BUT that animal should be healthy first before being sold. I have seen too many people that have bought unhealthy animals that have died. Well, guess what, we just lost that person to a sell of a healthy one. More times then not, they are turned away from reptiles and the ones selling healthy ones have just lost out. Now the one selling healthy animals, whether cb or wc, have to work twice as hard to sell their animals. The public also needs to stop the impulse buying, they need to know what they are buying and who they are buying from and we can help them do this by asking if they really know what they are getting into and the extra care that is involved. After that, they are on their own. At least we warned them. We would not have the variety of animals that we have if it was not for wc BUT lets be honest about what we are selling. It is not fair to the public and also not fair to the dealers and vendors who think more of the LIFE that is their hands then the all mighty dollar. What we need to realize first is that it is a LIFE !!! 90% of the vendors and dealers think about that life first. Reputation is all that one has, after that is gone, you have nothing left. It does take extra work to rehab an animal that is wc but the dealer knows this before he buys it. If he/she does nothing for the animal before pawning it off on a customer, that is wrong. Most of the public does not know much about reptiles and it is our job to educate them. Most do not know what they are getting into and need our help.
Thank goodness there are alot more good guys out there then bad ones but as a customer that is buying for the first time, they know no different. Only healthy ones should be in the public to sell. If the dealer does not want to take the extra time rehabilitating or does not have the room to house it until it is healthy, then I say they should not have bought it in the first place.
Thanks for listening
04-23-2002, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the replies. I appreciate hearing the opinions of others on this matter, it helps me see it from a different point of view.
One complaint I have about these shows is that the promoters refuse to follow their own rules. Here are some excerpts from the Vendor Rules and Application sent out to prospective vendors for the local expo:
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">PROHIBITED ANIMALS: No venomous reptiles will be allowed in the show for sale, no exceptions. From time to time we allow venomous
displays. They are only allowed with special permission from the promoters. No iguanas may be sold at the expo. No unhealthy animals
may be brought into the expo.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
This is the main problem, many of the vendors at the show are brokers that pick up their order of WC animals at the airport on Froday night and unpack the boxes the next morning at the show, offering them for sale without knowing a thing about them (if they are feeding, if they have mites, if the harbor internal parasites, etc.).
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">CAPTIVE-BRED versus IMPORT/WILD-CAUGHT. The purpose of the Expos is to promote captive breeding. However, occasionally we
will allow certain imported or wild-caught animals. The vendor must state on the sold packaging whether the animal is wild-caught,
import or captive bred. Vendor agrees to take full responsibility for any problems which may arise from the sale of their animals. All
animals sold at this expo must be in good health and feeding. Any attempt to deceive the public as to origin of stock, diseases or
feeding problems, will result in expulsion from the expo and the vendor will not be invited back. Any animals showing signs of
malnourishment or external parasites must be removed from the expo immediately. Security personnel will help you escort your animals
out of the expo. Security and expo staff decisions are final.
Sadly, the purpose of the Expo is not to promote captive breeding anymore. It is to put money into the promotors pockets. The shows have way more imports than captive born now, and many of the breeders (including HISS) that used to vend at the shows have stopped going. I can assure you that as far as the "packaging" rule, it is not happening. Packages/receipts are not being labeled as "wild caught" and in some cases customers are lied to about the origin of an animal they are buying. Sickly animals are being sold at these shows, most are WC's that are fresh imports and are loaded with internal parasites and do not feed. It is not fair for the animal or the customer, the animal will either end up dying or being very ill and the customer will end up with a very high vet bill.
What if we were talking about dogs, cats or horses here? I believe there would be a much bigger outcry and more people protesting against these practices if we were. Reptiles and amphibians are living, breathing creatures and deserve to be treated as such and given the respect that every living creature deserves.
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">CITY, STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS. No animals may be sold or displayed that are in violation of any city, state or
federal regulations or laws. NO EXCEPTIONS. Anyone caught bringing these animals to the expo will have them removed immediately
from the expo by our Security personnel. Vendors will not be allowed to keep them under their tables. Security and expo staff decisions
are final. </td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
Here again, rules are not being followed! A well known python breeder is a regular vendor at the local expo. He happens to sell Nile Crocodiles and has them on his table at every show. Usually they will be on the table marked with a price for several hours on Saturday. I guess so many people complain about it that he is told to put a "For Display Only" label on the deli cups and is allowed to keep them on his table. It is illegal in the city that the expos are held in to possess these animals. I personally cannot understand why anyone in their right mind would think it is okay to sell Nile Crocodiles to anyone with the $200 to buy one! Seems pretty crazy to me.
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">The only imports we will allow at our shows will be those that are not being bred in the U.S.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
Here is yet another one of the rules for this show that is not being followed. Green Tree Pythons, uromastyx, several chameleon species, blood pythons, emerald tree boas, fat tail geckos, the list goes on.. All are being reproduced here in the US in captivity.
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">VENDOR RESPONSIBILITY - Vendors must act responsibly in the sales of any animals that are questionable or unacceptable as pets,
especially to those under the age of 18. Vendor must disclose the temperament that any animal may have now, or as it grows.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
See above about Nile Crocs.
These are the main gripes I have about these shows. I am not against import animals (we have some in our own collection). I am against people selling sick animals. All I am doing is attempting to make people more aware of all this.
04-24-2002, 05:25 PM
CAVEAT EMPTOR two words from Roman times that are just as applicable today as they were thousands of years ago. Let the Buyer Beware!
Do not get me wrong, I do not advocate selling sick or parasitized snakes; but then again I am not for a ban on W/C either. I think W/C is ok with regulations and limits, and even that W/C are sometimes preferable to C/B, but that is another thread for another time.
The point that many (but not all) seem to be missing (although it is painfully obvious) is that the guy who bought the snakes was even more irresponsible than the seller. The seller according to the buyer told him straight out that they were W/C and that he did not know about their condition. Then the seller buys them and later has the nerve to complain that they were INFESTED (really badly) with mites. Did he even pick up the snake to look at it, and then diid he examine his own hands for mites. That is simply one of the rules about responsible snake buying. You check it out for OBVIOUS problems and if there are any - do not buy the snake! I can find no pity for a guy like this, and actually am rather miffed that he would bother anyone with such a post especially since he seems to be look for sympathy. You know he can find sympathy in the dictionary somewhere between Sh-- and syphillus, but he cannot find it in me. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':angry:'>
04-25-2002, 10:13 AM
I am not familiar with the show(s) or promoters you are refering to but if the rules you have posted are the rules as specified in the expo regulations (and I hve no reason to believe they are not) then I would stay as far away from this show and it promoters as I could. You are right in saying that it has evolved into a money making venture and nothing more. Not that there is anything wrong with making money on a show you are promoting, but if you are going to put rules in place simply as windowdressing that is terrible. I could see where breeders would get ticked of thinking they were going to a show highlighting CB and find diseased, parasitized, crap on the table next to you.
The only frequently held swap I am familiar with has both Healthy CB and WC crap (actually has some decent WC stuff on occasion and even some pretty poor CB stuff) but it happens twice a month and it is very busy. Very profitable for the promoter too I would think. Whenever there is a decent CB only show around, most of what I hear is people complaining that 1. The prices were too high. 2. There was nothing interesting there. 3. (from the vendors) there was no one there. Sometimes I agree with #1 but you have to compare apples to apples. As far as #2 if by interesting you mean some rare animal that no one ever sees but will certainly die within a couple of weeks,(read horned lizards and flying dragons among other things) then yes I agree with you. and #3, good shows take time to develope. Maybe the promoter didn't advertise like he should have but if you don't give them a second or third chance (with some suggestions) the show will never get off the ground.
04-25-2002, 10:59 AM
<img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'>
I AND MY PARTNER, SHANLYN DO THESE SHOWS PUT ON BY
TEXAS REPTILES (GENESIS). WE HAVE DONE THE TULSA AND
ARLINGTON SHOWS AND HAVE MORE ON SCHEDULE. THE REASON THIS THREAD WAS STARTED ON THE OTHER FORUM IN MY OPINION WAS DUE TO THE FAST THAT THE BUYER DIDNT GET ANY INFO IN REGUARDS TO CONTACTING THE VENDOR (CLAUDE) AFTER THE SHOW. IF THEY HAD, THEN CLAUDE COULD HAVE DONE WHAT EVER WAS NEEDED TO IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THE CUSTOMER WAS SATISFIED.
AS FAR AS THE SHOWS GO, BONNIE AND JAMES DO THEIR
BEST (IMO) TO KEEP WILD CAUGHT IS AT THE SHOWS TO A
MIN. AND OF GOOD QUALITY. THEY GO BY EACH TABLE AND
LOOK AT THE ANIMALS AND IF SOMETHING DOESNT LOOK
UP TO PAR THEY WILL TELL YOU TO REMOVE IT. I HAVE SEEN
THEM TELL PEOPLE "THOSE LOOK TO THIN" AND MAKE THEM
REMOVE THEM FROM THEIR TABLE. WE TOLD BONNIE THAT
WE HAD SOME LONG-TERM WC IN ADDITION TO ALL OUR C.B.B. AND SHE GRILLED US WHAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE,
HOW LONG WE HAD THEM, HEALTH, ETC....
NOW NOBODY CAN ALWAYS TELL IF SOMETHING HAS INTERNAL PARASITES BY LOOKING SO SOMETHING MIGHT GET
THROUGH THAT BONNIE AND JAMES CANT SEE WITH THE NAKED EYE. HOWEVER, IF THE BUYER DOESNT TAKE THE TIME
TO GET A CARD FROM THE VENDOR OR A CARESHEET (IT IS
MANDATORY AT THESE SHOWS TO HAVE BOTH BUSINESS CARDS AND CARESHEETS) THEN WHAT DOES HE EXPECT THE
VENDOR TO DO IF HE HAS A PROBLEM? PUT ON HIS TELEPATHIC HAT OR WHAT?? AND IF A VENDOR IS WARNED ONCE ABOUT THEIR WC, THE NEXT TIME THEY WILL BE BANNED FROM THE SHOW. I HAVE SEEN THIS HAPPEN TO.
I DONT HAVE ALOT OF SYMPATHY FOR THE GUY WHO STARTED THE THREAD ON THE OTHER FORUM AT ALL AND I
DONT PUT ALOT OF FAITH IN WHAT HIS VET OR WHOEVER TOLD HIM ABOUT THE SNAKE HE BOUGHT. THERE IS NO WAY
THAT THERE WAS A MITE INFESTED, MOUTH ROUTING SNAKE
AT THE SHOW ON A TABLE - NO WAY. MOST ALL VENDORS AT THESE SHOWS ARE VERY KNOWLEDGABLE AND HAPPY TO TALK FOR HOURS ON END WITH YOU ABOUT ANYTHING. AS FAR AS THERE BEING ALOT OF HALF-DEAD WC AT THESE SHOWS I THINK THATS JUST BUNK. BONNIE AND JAMES DO FOLLOW THE RULES THAT THEY HAVE SET FOR THE SHOWS AND DO ALL THEY CAN TO ENFORCE THEM. AND IF YOU EVER HAVE A COMPLAINT ABOUT A VENDOR JUST CALL OR EMAIL THE PROMOTOR AND THEY WILL GIVE YOU THE INFO YOU NEED OR HELP GET IT RESOLVED.
THIS IS ALL FROM WHAT I HAVE SEEN MYSELF AND ARE MY OPINIONS. HOPE IT DOESNT TICK ANYONE OFF BUT I THINK
THERES ALOT OF BULL FLYING AROUND HERE.
BUT HEY, THATS JUST IMO.
GOD BLESS TO ALL!
<img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'>
Rob Hill/Geckos Anonymous
04-25-2002, 11:16 AM
Well, I definitely agree with selling healthy animals and not purposefully pawning off really awful ones on an unknowing public.
But unfortunately, it is not all THAT easy to distinguish a CB from an import. I mean, unless you are told or you are just amazingly clairvoyant, how do you tell? I am not trying to knock anyone here, but kind of playing devil's advocate. If you are a show promoter, how exactly will you get proof that a particular vendor's animals CB or fresh imports? Require fecals done at the show? Require exact hatch dates, photos of the parents, photos of the animal hatching, feed charts from birth? All of these can be faked, and many people that are out there that DO legitimately breed quality animals, but may not keep perfect records, and there are some people that sell import animals that keep flawless records. I have seen some super nice WC and some major CRAP CB out there, and vice versa. It is all your perception on how you can provide 100% proof of the animal's origins.
I personally see NO problem in buying or selling imports. I have many imported animals in my collection of several species and I have sold imports before as well. BUT, I also have experience with getting the animals acclimated, medicated, and generally cleaned up. If you have NO experience and you just want to save a few bucks, then you don't need the animal, plain and simple. I think that imports should be given as much care possible before being sold to anyone, as in feeding, meds, quarantine, and what not. And I belive that you shouldn't sell them to the public right off the boat, BUT if the seller is perfectly honest about that with the buyer, and the buyer decides to take the risk anyway, you can blame the seller for selling a fresh import, but you cannot blame him/her for nondisclosure of the animal being what it is.
And my biggest gripe with this is the buyer not taking responsibility! Please, if you buy a living thing, at least learn what you are getting into! If you are unsure of the animal on the table, pass it by. But if you buy an animal and the seller tells he is not sure of it, take the responsibility for your own actions.
04-25-2002, 11:23 AM
If an animal's conditioin is fully disclosed it is up to the buyer to make the decision if they can handle this. If you are selling to a minor you should speak with the parent about any animal purchase (who wants to listen to a soccer mom yelling at you because you sold something she didn't want in the house. Legal/financial issues aside, that's the last thing I want to hear <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'> ).
I want to know who is supposed to issue these "licenses" that state you are an experienced collector (and at what level).
Education is the only real world solution. Educate yourself before you buy. Educate your customer with care sheets and full disclosure. This takes time but I have a list of breeders/dealers that have taken their time with me. If I am looking for an animal I contact them first. I give them their asking price (because I am paying for two things. The animal and the time they take with me) meaning no haggling. I recommend them to everyone I can. I figure they are receiving about $400 for every ten minutes they spend with me going over things because of the free advertising and return sales. $400 for ten minutes of work is good money (just an example).
My final comment. Vote with your wallet and ask your associates in the hobby to do the same (the main purpose of the BOI IMHO). Money is a motivator. If a vendor/promoter doesn't do things ethically, hit him where it hurts.
04-29-2002, 05:09 PM
As the promoter and director of the DFW 2002 captive bred reptile and amphibian expo I have really enjoyed reading all of the postings on this forum pertaining to WC herps, buyer responsibility, pros and cons of CB shows, etc. I did read someone's post regarding some valid comments about a promoter's ability to discern whether or not specimens were captive bred or wild caught. To that I can only say that promoters should know what countries are exporting and their tarrif quotas. I can find out this information from importers and USFW why don't other promoters do it? Probably because they never thought of it. I feel that I do have a bit of an advantage concerning this as my background involves working for an academic herpetological museum collection and zoos in the United States and Mexico. Through these avenues, I have met several prominent breeders, researchers, importers, and zoologist. I also provide all of the vendors with a simple set of clear and explicit rules for the event.
I do not have any problem with people purchasing or owning wild caught herps. However, acquiring many wild caught species is fairly easy for active herp enthusiast. My concern is that the general public (many of whom either fear or loathe herps and form a majority at most herp expos) are given the wrong impression or message when they attend these shows.
I do agree that the buyer should be aware of what he or she is getting into before money changes hands. I also feel that a vendor should have enough common sense and scrupples to know better than sell animals that are literally "just out of the box". It is alarming to me how many vendors are permitted to sell at events without any screening. I know of one group of "fly by nighters" selling wild caught Mali Uromastyx and instructing people to keep them really hot and on bird seed all of the time because "that is what they eat in the wild". Another purveyor of uromastyx was selling recently imported specimens who were unable to move their hind legs. Other vendors have been selling medically significant arachnids and centipedes to children! Unfortunately too many people feel that all tarantulas are just as calm and "safe" as Chilean rose hairs. (The list can go on and on Phrynosoma modestum, nile crocodiles, etc).
I am in full favor of capitalism and free enterprise, but I seriously must question someone's business ethics if they sell a green tree python to a beginner! Can you say "Cha-Ching"? Obviously that is all that the vendor was thinking as the snake was sold!
I cannot speak about other expos, but here in Texas I cannot say that the frequent "swap meat" events sport "the cream of the crop". Also it seems that too many public herp/commerce events involve exploitation. This exploitation may be in the form of rattlesnake round ups or the selling of wild caught/health compromised specimens or promoters serving as vendors at rattlesnake roundups while hosting lackluster shows. Another negative to the fly by night scene is the "race to the bottom" in regards to prices. I routinely see specimens priced slightly above their wholesale import price. This may be a profitable venture for someone with a large commercial operation, but it underscores and challenges the stability of herpetocultural economics as well.
I know that I have some opinions that might differ from some of those out there. That is why I had to put my money where my mouth is and host the only all captive bred herp show in Texas.
From the responses and postings I've seen on this forum it appears to be quite progressive. Feel free to fire away with any comments or questions. I definitely want herpetoculture to gain better acceptance in mainstream society and I cannot think of any better means to provide that than to host an event with some of the best in the industry.
04-29-2002, 08:08 PM
Let's hear some more about the show--is it on your website? kingsnake?
There was another thread on the KS chameleon forum recently that was similar to this one about the Hamburg PA show--along the lines of it used to be a quality show and this past weekend there was a lot of wc not so great looking animals. I also heard about the scrape bottom prices and stock at the ohio show last weekend. It is very difficult to be a breeder/dealer that puts a lot of time and $ into their animals' health and well being only to have to sell it for less than what you put into it due to the pricing of some of the importers and cheapie dealers.
Interestingly enough, it used to be some of the big name stores that were complained about--now they seem to have reasonable prices and it is a lot of the fly by nighters or one season wonders that are what is cutting us out. i am fearful of this direction that shows (and the market in general) are going, and i sincerely appreciate what it seems you are doing. i hope your show is very successful.
i hope people put pressure on promoters, educate the consumers, and up their breeder/dealer ethics.
boy, this is a hot topic for me lately!
04-30-2002, 02:11 AM
I decided to add my 2 cents here as well. Being a promoter of a WC included show, and now also hosting the ONLY venomous included CB only show in the US, I've seen the things that are being pointed out. I know good dealers and I know bad dealers in term of the quality of animals they sell. The WC included show I do is in association with the Herp Society I'm a board member of. We pride ouselves on providing the public with vendors that sell only QUALITY animals. We HAVE at times asked vendors to remove animals from the room due to their apparent poor condition.
One thing I HAVE noticed is that while we do police the area for sick animals, we NEVER have a customer complain about something THEY saw until AFTER the show. If they would've come to us DURING the show, something would've been done about it. We sometimes miss things, just taking a quick glance at the tables looking for illegal, sick, DEAD, infested, whatever animals, and have overlooked some things in the past. If people would've just alerted us t oa situation, then the proper steps would've been taken. We have things to do at our shows, once we take the onceover we tend to the other points of business like the educational displays, the programs, the raffles, the front table, etc.
As far as the hosting of the CB expo in 2 years, I plan on making it strictly CB and (extreme) LTC. By LTC, I don't mean over a year like other keepers accept, but basically I'm saying that if somebody has a pair of king cobras, by talking to the dealers beforehand, I can get a pretty good idea of the length of time they've been in captivity. The problems I'm going to face is the venomous market. There are some species that just aren't being captive born. Hopefully in 2 years, some people will have discovered the secrets of making it work. The other issue I plan on solving is the undercutting at the usual venomous included swaps. A western diamond back is a dime a dozen. Then again most are wild caught. They usually sell for around $35. The problem is, people have some BEAUTIFUL CB snakes that are worth TONS more than $35. This will give them a place to sell them without worrying about being undercut. There are lots of species in the same situation.
bottom line, I will be VERY strict about what is sold at our expo, but as for the show I'm currently doing for the TSHS, as long as the animal is not dying or dead, or infested with parasites, I leave ALL deals between the customer and the vendor. I CANNOT be responsible for problems on that level. If contact information is needed, I may be able to provide that. I trust my vendors and they trust me, that's all I need to be concerned with for right now.
04-30-2002, 09:58 AM
what? i thought LTC meant one week! lol!
maybe i'll have to make it back to pittsburgh for that one (lived there before moving to NM)--GO STEELERS!!!!. i think it's great that they are letting you put on a hot show.
good point about people pointing out stuff at the show--i think people feel to snitchy or something to do it then, especially other vendors. i tried to tell this little girl that bought a basically dead bearded dragon at the show to go tell the promoter on the sunday of the show and she shyed away. some people cant deal with confrontation.
i also have a feeling that vendors will put something under the table only to pull it out in the midst of a show.
Todd and everyone else, question for ya. What makes the cb western diamondback "worth Tons more than $35." And before someone tries to strangle me through their computer, I do understand that cb USUALLY means better temperment, better feeder, etc. But that's only usually. If the person with the money in their hand is happy w/ the wc animal for $35 why are they wrong for purchasing it?
I ask the question because I often sell imported animals that are common in the pet trade (amazon tree boas, ball pythons, etc.) I tell everyone up front they are imported and represent them honestly, so why is it wrong for me to sell them? I have been chastised by other vendors and promoters not because of the quality of my animals, but because of my prices (being to low). Why do I have to raise the price of my animals so others can compete? <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'>
Isn't competition what capitalism is all about? CB only expos are fine, but don't kid yourself into thinking that you can tell if every single animal there is truly cb. And you still haven't clarified what cb means. Is that captive bred/born or is just captive born alright. If captive born is alright does that mean in this country or is captive born on some crappy farm in SA or Africa ok?
I think somene above said it best, "vote w/ your wallet." If there was no market for wc and/or imported animals then no one would be selling them (when's the last time you saw a YUGO dealership). I think as a promoter you are limiting what your show can become, when you start trying to run your vendor's businesses for them. I've said it before and I'll say it again, nobody wants the porn store in town when it moves in, but damn, it sure is busy! <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'>
04-30-2002, 12:15 PM
It's not a question of the value of the CB babies, really. Currently in the venomous market, western dbacks are only worth $35, and I'll admit, the WC ones ARE of pretty good quality. The thing is, the vendors that sell the CB WDBs would like to charge more for them, but can't due to the market value of the WC ones. So, by providing people with a market for CB only stock, then they can attempt to set a CB market value for some venomous snakes. For insatance, a russels viper. I bought 3 CH (I know they're livebearers, but the babies were born from an imported mother soon after she entered the country) for $95 each. A captive born specimen would have all the qualities that you mentioned, and NOT have to be acclimated (the hardest aspect of russles vipers even CH ones) By having this expo, I plan on giving the FEW people that are breeding them a place to get what their worth, and provide the customers with an honest supply of the harder to find CB species. A puff adder will still only be worth $35 due to the high clutch numbers of CB babies.
I do realize that my job will be difficult in determining the CB from the CH babies, but just as the other gentlemen has the import specifics and quotas, it's pretty easy to know which species are being bred in captivity and by whomin the venomous market. If somebody tries to bring in some "CB" coral snakes, then I can pretty much KNOW that they are BSing me.....I mean, who REALLY wants to work with coral snakes, considering that they would be much easier to sell WC. Atheris Hispida is another example, people just do not breed them right now....maybe in 2 years someone will figure out how to make them survive in captivity.
The point is not for YOU to raise YOUR price to meet the standards of the CB market, but to allow the CB dealers the luxury of not having to lower their prices to compete with you.
Rob Hill/Geckos Anonymous
04-30-2002, 12:21 PM
Well, I think that the "race to the bottom" mentality is in part due to the crappy market situation right now, and also the fact that most sellers out there(mainly the fly by night types) don't seem to understand that they are only hurting the herp economy by trying to undercut everyone so bad. I agree that fresh imports should be cheaper than established or quality CB animals(you get what you pay for), BUT not to the point of being ridiculous. I don't feel I should have to drop my prices 50-75% on quality CB animals to compete with the guy a couple tables down who just put in an order with a wholesaler three days ago for fresh WC of the same species and is selling them a couple bucks over cost to make some quick numbers. There is no WORK involved in that and it sets a bad precedent in my opinion. The "quick-money" vendors are going to be the ruin of this hobby. Why SHOULD we who actually work hard to breed these animals and provide quality animals and service even bother to do so if we have to continually try to lower our prices(which in most cases reflect work put in and quality) to compete with someone who #1 undercuts the rest of us so much it makes US look greedy, and #2 floods the market and not only diminishes the monetary value, but the WORTH of the animals overall, making them the "crap animal that is everywhere," and #3 completely denegrates the work and hard effort put into producing and maintaining these animals? There is CAPITOLISM and then there is CRAPITOLISM. Flooding a market with cheap imports is not the way we create respect for what we love doing.
Again, I have no problem with selling imports, but at least do something to insure the animal has a chance before putting it on your table. I agree with bpc on the point that if you honestly represent the animal as a fresh import that is most likely not eating, mildly-severely dehydrated, and probably heavily parasitized, and the buyer insists on getting it anyway, hey, that is the buyer's fault for bad choosing. BUT what are you doing selling an animal in that condition in the first place?!
And I agree, if people would actually make complaints to not only the promoters, but the vendors as well while the show is STILL going on, it would help better than to complain about poor animals after the thing is over. What good does that do?
Anyway, enough ranting from me <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'>
04-30-2002, 12:40 PM
In regards to whether or not any promoter can determine what specimens are captive bred or not depends upon his/her competency regarding the topic as well as those that are selected as vendors. In regards to the event I am hosting, I know most of the vendors rather well and the others whom I am familiar with provide specimens that they've been working with for quite some time (designer colubrids, albino hognoses, Asian ratsnakes, etc). So in that fashion I feel rather fortunate.
Of course the previous posting is correct in the philosophy that competition and free enterprise go hand in hand. However, it is still troublesome if not disgusting to witness the sheer volume of imported herps that are not as "easy" to care for as Amazon tree boas and Ball pythons.
It is also bothersome to hear field researchers in Madagascar report that some study sites now hold a significant reduction in local herp/bio mass. Then to see a new arrival of Uroplatus at $25 each only to be "jobbed" out at $40-50 each (last fall and winter). Or to see Mantella aurantiaca (a species destined for CITES 1 recognition and for whom last year's export quota exceeded more than 1,000 specimens) sold wholesale at $6 and then sold again at expos (often to an eager child) for $12-18. I can tell you that the percentage of those individuals actually purchasing these frogs for continued maintenance and propagation vs. those who acquire them for commerce or novelty are pretty far and few in between.
This is only one example out of thousands that make establishing captive breeding paramount. Simply put, we are now able to acquire herp diversity that probably cannot be rivaled by any other time in recent history. Sadly I feel it is largely being taken for granted.
Consider another Malagasy example, the Masobe gecko. More of these rare lizards wound up into garbage bins than into museums. This was due to the notion that they are difficult or impossible to maintain combined with their high mortality rates. I have communicated with several individuals who acquired this species and experienced mortality due to improper husbandry. This could have been largely avoided had these individuals sought the reference of current literature. Sadly it was determined that this species is considered to be one of the top 5 most endangered reptiles in Madagascar.
I don't feel that market dynamics will really change unless the supply changes. That is an inevitable truth in many regards. Just consider common snappers and soft shelled turtles. For at least the past few years, we've fussed about the Chinese and the Asian appetite for turtles. Yet how many of us were aware that up to 1,000 pounds of freshwater turtle meat has been exported weekly from the US to Asia for at least the past "few" years? Now those once widely abundant animals are being relegated to CITES 2. Another example are ball pythons. When gravid females are collected they are held until the eggs are laid and released. During that time they are usually not provided with food or water. I have a "hunch" that many of these females are compromised beyond repair and wind up dead as a result. Then 1,000 or more babies are exported to the US for about $1 each. Look at Uromastyx. The entire genus is scheduled for CITES as well simply due to over exploitation.
No one can say what the future holds, but I feel that only intrepid individuals will succeed financially at herpetoculture and that captive breeding will go a long way towards securing that.
I sincerely hope that more captive bred shows will be hosted in the near future and that trends involving the herp pet trade change.
Carl J. Franklin
Carl, you make some very good points. I too feel there is far to much importation of several species, especially species that we know won't do well once they get here (adult balls, forest hingebacks, etc.) I would have to disagree w/ you about the care of amazon tree boas. It has been my experience that they are quite easy to care for, in fact they require less "work" than even a common burmese python. I think most people think they difficult because of their "skinny" apearance, which can be greatly exacerbated by a little dehydration (a condition most animals experience during the importation process). But of the hundred or so I have dealt w/ I have had only one death and right now I have one that is a bit of a picky feeder. Other than those two examples every single one have been great eaters and have adjusted to captivity quite well. They never really tame down but many people don't mind that about them.
Now back to cb vs. wc. I think we can agree that there are certain species that SHOULD not be imported. But there is very little we can do to stop that. Until Cites stops the exportation, I feel it is better that the animals come here, where they have at least a shot at being reproduced in captivity, rather than somewhere else where they would simply be dinner.
You state that few of the imported animals would make it into captive breeding programs, and that may be true. However, w/o importation and wc allowed expos NONE of them will, and we will be left w/ the gene pool we have now. And we all know the problems a limited gene pool represents. One-eyed albino boas, one-eye black-head pythons, zoos putting down Komodo Dragons because they are already "represented" in the gene pool?!?!? In fact many of these animals are in as much if not more danger in their home country than they are here, (apparently turtle meat tastes pretty good), so why not bring them over here and at least give them a shot?
I'll give one more example then await your reply, even right here at home we see restrictions on collecting on certain species. Yet at the same time we see the absolute destruction of their habitat allowed everyday. Here in FL two great examples are the Eastern Indigo and the FL Pine snake. You can't touch an indigo w/o federal permits. You can own only one FL pine. In both cases the animals are restricted because of #'s in the wild. I own a male FL pine and my wife owns a female if we breed them the instant the eggs hatch we are in violation of the law. I asked them, "well can't I just breed them and give the babies to you (Fish and Game) for release?" Their answer no! We go for hands-off type protection while at the same time giving the animals no shot at making it in the wild because of habitat destruction. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'> How long do you think it would take the herp community to reproduce and raise, to breeding age 1000 indigos in capitvity? I think it would be a whole lot less time than what it takes in the wild, don't you?
05-01-2002, 10:32 AM
i strongly believe that more imported animals need to wind up in breeding programs, but of course more animals are imported to go straight into the hands of a kid, and wind up buried in the yard a week later...great service to the reptile world.
it is also difficult to reward the people that work very hard to captive breed some of the imported species when they have to sell their cb animals for dirt cheap due to the amount of cheap imports on the market that show up even at cb shows. i remember doing a cb only show with by cb mali uromastyx. two other tables had imported malis (even though it was a cb only show) and someone complained to me about why am i charging $60 when they can go over to the next table and get one for $25. i state that mine are cb, they say well, so is everything in this show. she went home with an import (thinking it was captive bred) and proceeded to tell other vendors how expensive my pricing was and how could i get away with charging that much. and to tell you the truth--i really dont even break even charging $60 for babies with a species that needs a lot of space, a ton of heat, and only lays one relatively small clutch a year.
as for your indigo issue, you cant breed and release without years and years of study. there can be a world of potential damage done to wild populations with your captive bred snakes being let loose. there are people working on similar studies with numerous endangered species all over the world, but it takes a lot of time. perhaps you could petition fish and game to allow you a breeders permit instead and these snakes could be donated to zoos or something. i'm pretty sure (not positive) people are able to do that out here in NM with protected species of horned lizards and grey bandeds--we are not allowed to release them of course.
great posts everyone.
Dana, great reply. However I think you made a point I was trying to earlier. The public, (the guy w/ the cash in hand), either doesn't know or doesn't care about the difference between cb and wc. All they care about is the $. Utopian idealism aside, money is what drives this industry. If you, the producer, can't make the public understand the difference between your product and the product at the booth next to you, then you won't last very long in the business.
It's like the difference between a Geo Metro and a BWM. Sure most of us would rather own the B'mer, but the fact of the matter is, the Geo will get you from point A to point B just as well for $25000 less. And that's the reason not everybody drives a BMW. There are those in this industry that do sell animals the same way that BWM sells cars, PRESTIGE. Serpenco, Bill Love, Bob Clark, etc. the animals on the table are just corn snakes, or whatever, but there are people willing to pay more for them because they are "Love stock," or "Clark stock." These companies have convinced their buyers that their product is worth 50-<img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'>% more than the "same animal" two booths down. So I think it's your job, the exhibitor, to convince the public about your Mali. It's not the promoters job to ban other vendors, so you can sell them, and it's not the other vendors job to raise their prices or do their own breeding just so you can compete.
I raise corns just like Bill Love. I do shows just like Bill Love, sometimes I even do the same shows as Bill Love. I charge about $15 for a snow corn, Bill charges about $25. To some customers buying from "BILL LOVE" is worth the extra $10, they spend their money w/ him. To others, those who just want "a nice snake for their kid or their classroom" at the best price possible, it is ok to save $10 and buy it from me. And to still others who just want any cheap snake, the wc corn on my table for $10 will do just fine. So why block that snake at the door? So Bill can sell more?
05-01-2002, 11:32 AM
I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS. TAKE THE MALAGASY
EXAMPLES GIVEN, AT THE RATE OF FOREST DESTRUCTION
IN MADAGASCAR (CURRENTLY 80% HAS BEEN DESTROYED) THE NATIVE HERP/MAMMAL POPULATION WILL BE DESIMATED
IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS. IN THE LAST 10 YEARS ROUGHLY 10
LEMUR SPECIES ALONE HAVE GONE EXTINCT-FOREVER. THE
ONLY CHANCE MANY OF THESE ANIMALS HAVE IS BEING BRED IN CAPTIVITY TO ENSURE SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES. YES
ITS VERY SAD , BUT AFTER A SPECIES REACHES THE BREAKING POINT THEY MOST LIKELY WILL NOT RECOVER THEIR NUMBERS ON THEIR OWN. NOW ALBIET THERE ARE WAYS THAT MANY OF THESE CAN BE SAVED WITHOUT CAPTIVE BREEDING, BUT GETTING THE NATIVE VILAGES TO SEE THAT HAS THUS FAR BEEN FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. I DO
AGREE THAT IMPORTING THESE DEMINISHING POPULATIONS
ONLY TO END UP IN THE BEDROOM OF A 10 YEAR OLD IS NOT
THE WAY TO GO;HOWEVER, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT MOST THAT ARE THAT RARE (IE.-MALAGASY AND AUSTRALIAN SPECIES) USUALLY ARE OUT OF THE PRICE RANGE THAT PARENTS, KIDS, AND NOVICE ARE WILLING TO PAY - EVEN BEING OFF THE BOAT IMPORTS. (AFRICAN IS A CHEAP EXCEPTIN TO THIS)
THERES REALLY ONLY TO WAY TO INSURE THE SURVIVAL OF
A SPECIES, CAPTIVE PROPOGATION AND IN THE WILD CONSERVATION. ONE SIDE OF ME SAYS - LEAVE THEM ALONE
AND DO ALL YA CAN TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY IN THE WILD!!!,
AND THE OTHER SIDE OF ME SAYS - ITS TOO LATE FOR CONSERVATION, THEY WILL BE EXTINCT IN 10 YEARS, PULL THEM ALL OUT OF THE WILD NOW WHILE THERES A GOOD DIVERSIFIED GENE POOL SO WE CAN MAKE SURE THEY WILL
FLURISH IN CAPTIVITY LONG AFTER THEIR NATURAL HABITAT
WHICH WAY IS THE BEST WAY FOR THESE DWENDELING SPECIES?? WHO KNOWS FOR SURE. ONE THING I DO KNOW IS
THAT CAPTIVE BREEDING WITH A GOOD GENE POOL WILL ENSURE THE SPECIES IS WITH US AFTER THEIR HABITAT IS GONE. ON THE OTHER HAND IT BRINGS TEARS TO MY EYES
TO SEE THE EMPTY TREES AND FOREST FLOORS OF THESE
SMALL NATURAL HABITATS THAT ARE LEFT.
I SUSPECT THAT THIS ISSUE CAN BE DEBATED TILL THE NEXT MELINIUM. I DO THINK THOUGH THAT IF YOU THINK THESE SPECIES SHOULDNT BE PULLED FROM THE WILD-THEN
YOU HAD BETTER BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT TO HELP
CONSERVE THEM IN THE WILD. IF YOU THINK ITS OKAY FOR THEM TO BE PULLED FROM THE WILD THEN BREED BREED BREED!! EITHER WAY TO ME MAKES SINCE. AND WHICHEVER SIDE YOUR ON - DONT YOU DARE THINK YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN UNLESS YOUR DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
ONE THING THAT BUGS ME TO KNOW END ARE THOSE PEOPLE
THAT CAN SIT ON THE COUCH ALL DAY LONG AND COMPLAIN
ABOUT EVERYTHING. THEN WHEN YOU ASK THEM WHAT THEY
ARE DOING ABOUT IT , THEY SAY "HUH?".
THERES A SAYING:
EVERYDAY DAY IN AFRICA A LION WAKES UP. HE KNOW THAT
HE MUST RUN FASTER THAN THE SLOWEST ANTELOPE OR HE WILL STARVE TO DEATH.
EVERYDAY THE ANTELOPE WAKES AND KNOW HE MUST BE
ABLE TO RUN FASTER THAN THE FASTEST LION.
EITHER WAY, NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, WHEN YOU WAKE UP-YOU BETTER BE RUNNING!!!
GOD BLESS TO ALL!
C.R.C. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'>
05-01-2002, 12:26 PM
my point with the mali example was that the show was advertised as cb only, so the customer believed that everything in the show was cb. i was selling cb malis for $60, two other tables were selling wc for $25-35. because of the promotion of the show, the customer did not believe that wc animals would be allowed in and just thought i was overpricing for the same quality animal. i could not convince her without badmouthing the promoter and other vendors (saying they were misrepresenting their animals and breaking the rules of the show), which i didnt feel right about doing.
of course, not being a big name means you have to charge less...i could never charge dragons den prices for my beardeds even if they have the same coloration, just because of their name. i have no problem with that. but the import vs cb situation is different.
all i meant is that when promoters call a show "cb only" and then i have to go in with cb animals to compete against wc prices, without the public understanding, it is very difficult. i think this was a point Kelli was making as well. i have no problem with people selling wc quality animals at shows, i just wish that the advertising was honest so i have some sort of backing or credibility for my prices--that way i could be a lot more convincing about why i am charging more.
i will admit that the public needs to open their eyes a bit. i would think it would be pretty easy to tell the difference between a fat cb baby uro compared to a dehydrated import. anyways, it was just meant to be one example. i'm sure the ball python example is a better one (wc balls at cb only shows).
Rob Hill/Geckos Anonymous
05-01-2002, 12:39 PM
Okay, good points are kinda made on both sides. I have to agree with Dana on this, and this is part of the point I tried to make earlier. By selling your cheap imports for so much less than those who WORK to keep a CB population going, you make the ones that are truly committed to the animal look like greedy pigs for charging more than you. And ESPECIALLY when you do this at what is supposed to be a CB show. In other words, the vendor that does that is flat out lying to the customer, but since capitolism promotes competition(or is it the other way around;) ), it is okay to lie to the customer to make the sale.
We will use your car analogy...
The person WANTS a Geo. They go look at brand new ones at a dealership, but the used Geo at Lou's Used Cars is cheaper. So they buy the Geo from Lou, but Lou is dishonest in representing the car and the engine completely dies in a week and the car is useless. That is okay because it promoted capitolistic competition, am I right? The buyer got completely screwed and lied to, but that is okay according to your thinking, am I right?
Please don't think I am trying to bash you or anything, I am just trying to get a handle if that is the way you are thinking or not, because it seems that way to ME at least.
And as I have stated before, there is NO problem with selling healthy established WC animals, but selling fresh crappy imports super cheap doesn't do ANYONE any good. And also as I stated, if the seller honestly represents the animal as fresh WC, that is one thing and it is buyer beware, but then again, why are you selling FRESH imports to somebody(especially when it is a kid who doesn't know better)?
Also, there are reasons why wildlife officials don't just want you breeding animals and turning them loose. The biggest of which is disease. That is part of why Gopher Tortoises are in alot of trouble. Back when it was legal to keep them, people would catch one and throw it out back in the pen with their sulcattas/leopards/whatever and the Gopher picks up some funky disease. Well, for whatever reason, the gopher tortoise or its offspring are released back into the wild, and whammo(a scientific term mind you <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'> ) gophers start dropping like flies from some previously unkown respiratory disease. Also, what if you attempt to repatriate the snakes to an area where they do not naturally occur? Why do you think red-eared sliders are being pulled from lakes in the extreme northern US? They don't belong there, but they were put there unnaturally and are surviving and outcompeting other native species.
Aaah, ranting again.
05-01-2002, 03:40 PM
AS YOU ALL HAVE SUMMIZED I THINK EVERYONES IN AGREEMENT THAT:
C.B. SHOWS SHOULD BE EXACTLY THAT-CAPTIVE BORN AND
PREFFERABLY BRED, AND DEFINELTY IN THE US. BREEDERS CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO COMPETE WITH
"IMPORT QUALITY" ANIMALS.
IF A SHOW IS C.B. / W.C. THEN ALL VENDORS SHOULD REPRESENT THEIR ANIMALS HONESTLY AND IF YOU SEE SOMEONE WHO OBVIOUSLY IS NOT REPRESENTING HIS/HER
ANIMALS HONESTLY OR CORRECTLY - GO TO THE PROMOTERS
AND REPORT. IF YOU DONT HAVE THE BRASS TO DO THAT THEN (IN MY OPIONION) YOU SHOULDNT COME WHINING HERE. LIKE GRANDMA SAYS-IF YA CANT TAKE THE HEAT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN.
WHAT ORIGINALLY STARTED THIS THREAD WAS A MAN WHO
BOUGHT A GTP FROM A VENDOR AT ONE OF THE TEXAS SHOWS. THE VENDOR TOLD THE MAN STRAIGHT OUT THAT IT
WAS A WILD CAUGHT SNAKE. THE BUYER DIDNT GET THE VENDORS NAME, BUSINESS CARD, CARE SHEET ETC.... AND
THEN STARTED COMPLAINING ON A FORUM ABOUT HOW THE VENDOR SHOULDNT HAVE SOLD THE SNAKE TO HIM. I HAVE A FEELING THAT THE BUYER IS A GROWN MAN AND CAN MAKE GROWN UP DECISIONS ALL BY HIMSELF. AND IF HE WOULD HAVE SIMPLY CONTACTED THE VENDOR, THE VENDOR WOULD HAVE GONE OUT OF HIS WAY TO MAKE SURE HE WAS SATISFIED.
BOTTOM LINE TO ME IS, WE ARE ALL GROWN ADULTS WHO DO THESE SHOWS. IF YOU DONT HAVE THE BRASS TO GO TO
THE VENDOR OR PROMOTER WITH YOUR CONCERNS THEN YOU
SHOULDNT BE SELLING. IF YOU WERE WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND SAW A HALF DEAD DOG LAYING THERE, OR A LADY IN DISTRESS, WOULD YOU JUST KEEP ON WALKING HOME SO YOU COULD TELL YOUR SPOUSE ABOUT IT? OR WOULD YOU STOP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? I THINK EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE PROACTIVE AT THESE SHOWS. WE
HAVE TO BE THE EYES AND EARS WHEN THE PROMOTERS CANT BE.
I'M THE SAME AS MOST, I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH ANYONE
SELLING WC, CH, CB, CBB AS LONG AS ITS REPRESENTED THAT WAY. AND PROMOTERS DO NEED TO TRY TO KEEP AS CLOSE AN EYE ON THE VENDORS AS THEY CAN - ESPECIALLY
WELP, THATS MY RAMBLINGS FOR TODAY.
GOD BLESS TO ONE AND ALL
Rob, you're almost on my wave-length, but here's what I'm talking about. Lou honestly represents the car (used, or in the case of an animal wc) and it is sold as is. The buyer saves himself money and knows going in the car is used and sold as is. Maybe the car makes it, maybe it doesn't. If the engine blows, (or the animal has a problem), the customer can then use some of the money they saved to fix the problem. It's the customer's job to know the difference and make the decision. Not the town council in Lou's city of business.
Dishonesty blows the whole equation, that's not what I'm talking about. I don't agree with the idea of cb. only shows. Or cities where you can't buy a used car. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':p'>
Dana, don't take this the wrong way, but if the customers couldn't tell the difference, was there really $35 worth of difference there? Most of the Malis I work w/ (wc only) do absolutely great in captivity). And I also agree w/ Ben that if you didn't complain then, you don't get to now. You paid for tables at a "captive born only" show, and the promoter failed to delivery those conditions, so you HAD a legitimate complaint. But if the customer goes to Lou's and buys what Lou tells him was a new car and then finds out otherwise. It's the customers job to give Lou a chance to or make Lou fix that situation. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'>
Very well stated Mr Sparks, I agree 100%
05-01-2002, 09:24 PM
i did mention concern to people "in charge" in this particular situation--(though probably not in the ballsy way you guys would approve of), i just didnt feel right about doing it to a customer--i felt it would make me look bad to badmouth other vendors to a potential customer.
of course, sometimes the promoters dont care and scoff at you for even mentioning anything--thinking you are being petty. caring more about the $ from the vendors than the animals being sold (isnt it usually the ones that have paid for 6 tables that are selling the crap). wasnt there a discussion about vendors actually being threatened that if they do the DFW show--in protest or not, they would no longer be allowed to do other shows? unless you live in florida, as a vendor you are really limitted to the number of shows that you can do...you try not to burn too many bridges and be a polite businessperson. you need the venues. technically, it is probably better for the consumer to voice complaints to promoters--they might listen more.
and as for having no business "whining" here about it, well, isnt this a discussion (a rather good one too in my opinion)--and if we can come to certain agreements within groups as breeders/dealers, arent we more likely to get somewhere? i have certainly been made more aware of certain issues by following this thread. perhaps the fact that the quality of shows seems to be diminishing is in part due to the fact that breeders/dealers do not discuss these issues publicly. i know for me, this discussion has made me more willing to make issue at shows--less for my personal gain and more for the market and public (sounds cheesy but true). personally, it has never really bothered me that much to compete against imports at a cb only show--as i said before, dont we know as vendors know that cb only doesnt really mean cb only--i just took it as the way things are (until i got involved with this thread, lol). the only animals that i breed that i run into this problem are not major money makers anyways so i'm not as hurt as others may be in a business sense. not too much for me to complain about on a personal level--but now that i'm fired up about it... this is really more about the ethics of shows for the consumers, education, and for other breeders who deal with a lot of geckos and snakes that are also imported. people working to breed animals that are heavily imported should be applauded, they are certainly not profitable. just represent them honestly--dont call your darn show cb only if it's not.
I would like to think that our animals speak for themselves, but unfortunately, a lot of the general public who are buying their first reptiles or like to stay in the under $100 range, cant tell the difference between a cb fat baby uro and an adult wc dehydrated, parasite ridden one (especially if they are both represented as cb)--they just see that one is a baby one is an adult, gee shouldnt the baby cost less??? (i'll take pics for you next time, lol--and come on, your uros may be nice, but you know what the majority out there look like). not to mention, what they look like up front in a deli cup, doesnt necessarily represent what kind of a pet they will be in terms of acclimation and adjusting, temperement, vet attention, deworming, etc.
how about the 12 year old girl buying a half dead 3 inch dragon? or the skinny wc ball python that isnt eating? we all know that the general public is quite uneducated when it comes to reptiles and health issues, and when it comes to cheap animals, the public seems to be blind. just look at pet stores like petco--and those animals sell like hotcakes! the 3 inch dragon, non-feeding ball, etc shouldnt have even made it through the door of a show. and no wc animal should make it into a cb only show. i think we all agree with that.
dont we need to be part of the education effort as well--not see it as live-and-learn if you buy an animal and have a hard time with it--who cares, we got the money already. if not us, who? if you are selling an animal for $30 you should know you will likely sell to a kid, and please know enough about that species to help that kid out with the animal's care.
i know i give caresheets out to anyone who buys from me and do my best to help them with whatever they need to give their animal a happy and healthy life. to me it matters what happens to the animal after it leaves my hands, my customers' happiness with the animal also matters. maybe i'm overzealous.
i think we are all mostly in agreement--honesty, no sick animals, etc etc... less drastic importing--more going to the breeders than the trash...
i still think a lot of interesting issues have been brought up in this thread.
maybe i'm going overboard on certain things, i dont know.
more ramblings from me
05-02-2002, 10:39 AM
WELL SAID DANA,
I KNOW IT CAN BE HARD FOR ALOT OF PEOPLE TO CONFRONT
OTHERS. THE WAY I LOOK AT PEOPLE DOING THE SHOWS IS
YOU ARE IN IT MAINLY FOR THE MONEY
YOU ARE IN IT MAINLY FOR THE ANIMALS.
ONE OR THE OTHER WILL COME OUT IN FRONT WHERE PEOPLES MOTIVES ARE CONCERNED.
IF I AM IN IT FOR THE MONEY, THEN THIS IS MY LIVELY-HOOD. I WILL NOT STAND BY AND LET A COMPETITOR TAKE
MONEY OUT OF MY POCKET BY KNOWINGLY DECIEVING THE
PUBLIC. I WILL STAND UP TO HIM OR ANYONE ELSE BECAUSE
HE'S KEEPING FOOD OFF MY 3Y/O'S PLATE!! I WILL NOT LET
IF I AM IN IT FOR THE ANIMALS, THEN I AM GOING TO STAND
UP FOR THE ANIMALS. IF A VENDOR SELLS A HALF DEAD 3"
DRAGON TO A 10 Y/O , I AM GOING TO SAY "HEY MAN, WHAT
ARE YOU DOING GIVING THAT DRAGON A DEATH SENTENCE??"
EITHER WAY TRY TO STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS AND THE
RIGHTS OF THE ANIMALS. DONT LET THE WORRY OF BURNING
BRIDGES COMPREMISE YOUR MORALS. IF I DECIDED TO DO
THE NEW DFW ALL C.B. SHOW AND A PROMOTER OF ANOTHER
SHOW TRIED TO BLACKLIST ME, THEY WOULD BE MORE THAN
WELCOME. HOW MUCH GOOD WILL IT DO THEM WHEN PEOPLE
COME OUT AND SAY WHAT THEY DID?? (ALBIET I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT BONNIE AND JAMES WHO RUN THE TEXAS SHOWS WOULD NOT "BLACKLIST ANYONE".)
ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED AND CAN SAY WITH 100% CONFIDENCE IS THIS :
STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS MORALLY RIGHT, NO MATTER WHAT THE CONSEQUENCE MAY BE. AND EACH TIME
YOU DO, PRAY ABOUT IT, ASK GOD TO BLESS YOU IN THE RIGHT THINGS YOU ARE TRYING TO DO. IT HAS NEVER FAILED
ME, ACTUALLY, GOD HAS NEVER FAILED ME. EVERYTIME I
(OR YOU) DO MY BEST TO DO WHATS RIGHT, GOD ALWAYS HAS MY BACK, AND WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE FOR ME. ALWAYS
HAS AND ALWAYS WILL. (BTW, IF ANYONE WOULD EVER LIKE
TO HEAR ABOUT WHAT GOD AND JESUS HAVE DONE FOR ME AND MY LIFE, AND WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOU , PLEASE
NEVER HESITATE TO EMAIL OR CALL ME - THATS SOMETHING I CAN TALK ABOUT ALLLLLLL DAY LONG.)
WELP, I BETTER GO GET SOME MORE COFFEE. THAT FIRST
GALLON JUST WORE OFF.
GOD BLESS AND GOD BE WITH ALL OF YOU
C.R.C. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'> <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'>
05-02-2002, 10:57 AM
I am sure that you were not the only CB dealer there who was upset. Get a group of you together (nothing formal just grab a few) and go to the promoter. Make sure he understands your problem (expressed in a non-emotional, logical manner like you've done here) and that all of you will look for other shows if he won't address them. Make sure he knows that you are an active member of boards like this and will spread the facts about his show. Once he sees that you won't just get mad and rollover and that there is more than one dealer upset common business sense will make sure that he follows through on fixing the issues. The promoter gets his paycheck from you so you have power seat.
Marketing Tip: POD = Points of Difference. Broadcast "loudly" the reasons your animals are better. Consumers are not "bright" enough to pick out the differences in reptiles (compared to someone that has raised them from day one and deals with reptiles on a daily basis). Explain to them the signs of dehydration when they come to your table. That way when they go down the aisle they will notice the difference between yours and the WC ones that are poorly taken care of.
Thanks for relaying your experiences though. I am getting a sign made up ... "Benefits of CB over WC" for our next show. <img src="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'>
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