Originally posted by Seamus Haley
There are people who consider hybridization to be an even worse offense than creating voided snakes.
I've given a lot of thought to the matter, and come to my own ethical decisions regarding "custom breeding" including hybridization, breeding for color and pattern, etc.
My feeling is that *all* captive bred snakes are genetically different to some degree from the animals that would have survived in the wild. Natural selection doesn't happen when you have a litter of babies that you separate and feed individually instead of letting them fend for themselves in the outdoors or wrestle with each other to see who gets to eat their siblings. Also it's a good bet that the parents of these snakes were selected deliberately by the hobbyist for things other than fitness to survive in the wild.
Any captive bred snake released into the wild is very bad news, for more reasons than just genetics. It's irresponsible to do this. If you plan to do any breeding for wild release, the parents should be wild caught and very strictly quarantined from any other captive snakes.
Funny genetics floating around in the captive gene pool is a potential threat to the long term survival of a species in captivity, especially if this animal becomes rare or extinct in the wild and can no longer be wild caught. If you are irresponsible with your captive bred animals, if you sell randomly to the highest bidder, you can make quite a mess.
While I see venomoids as being nothing but negative, the only animal affected is the one who actually undergoes the procedure.
Hybrids are a potential danger to every single captive animal of either parent species.
The venomoid procedure involves causing a snake pain and damage. No animal suffering is involved in simply existing as a hybrid.
Irresponsibly distributed hybrids are a danger to the captive gene pool. But I think you know my policies well enough to figure out that nothing I breed is likely to end up on the open market, even if it's just an ordinary copperhead.
In particular if I ever produced any hybrids, their distribution would be *extremely* limited, and I would be keeping close tabs on them. They would not be entering the common gene pool and their offspring would certainly not be presented to the general public as belonging to either species.