Dori Edwards, Global Animal
Regions in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas hold annual contests to see which insensitive hunter can collect and then kill the most rattlesnakes throughout the course of a year. These competitions—called “Rattlesnake Round-ups”—result in the slaughter and abuse of thousands of rattlesnakes.
The reptiles are often captured during hibernation season and are transported in cramped conditions and without basic necessities. If the animals survive the grueling journey, they are exploited in degrading spectacles or murdered for their skin and meat.
An editorial blogger from Sweetwater, Texas, which holds one of the largest rattlesnake roundups, stated that the roundup is an entertainment based carnival where approximately 3,ooo snakes are thrown into a pit amongst ferris wheels and arcade games.
The snakes in the arena are milked for their venom, then discarded an decapitated. Festival attendees can purchase snake body parts or rattlesnake meat and french fries for a mere three dollars and fifty cents.
This disgusting process is causing the gradual extinction of several snake species. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “A recent study analyzing 50 years of roundup data found eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in sharp decline due to roundup pressure.”
The cruel conquest is also endangering other species within the rattlesnake’s ecosystem. In order to capture the snakes, hunters spray gasoline into its burrow which is home to 350 other species. CBD states that in 2010, four men were apprehended for gassing over 50 burrows for the round-up.
The Center for Biological Diversity dedicated resources to persuading the state of Georgia to stop the inhumane practice. CBD saw success with the Evans County Wildlife Club in Claxton, Ga early in 2012 when they transformed the previous mass butchery into a celebratory festival in honor of snakes.
Although this alteration is great progress for animal rights in Georgia, the other remaining states still take part in this horrible exploitation. This disgusting conquest is a mass genocide of innocent animals and perpetuates the oppression of wild life. Help save the snakes and their ecosystem by signing the petition.