• Check out the new Feedback and suggestions forum. This adds the ability to add ideas for the site and upvote/downvote them. It would be great to hear from you all in how we can boost site activity and who would like to assist with some exciting ideas from Rob and I.
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glebo

Not so new Member
Finally, I hope you have come this far and question five here puts things into perspective. Please have a say and PM me if you don't want a name next to your voice. I appreciate all you have done!

You have all read and many have answered the four questions I have posed to date, there were many good and well thought out answers that came from different perspectives – a really good debate and one that showed we are all passionate at an individual level about our hobby, being given a fair go, the environment and the laws that govern it. Here is the kicker – Government’s DO NOT deal with small, unaffiliated groups and individuals. They may listen but they only very rarely act on them. They don’t need to and can in many instances treat you with contempt because – what can you do to affect them being re-elected? Write a letter and vent your outrage – BIG DEAL! There is no more relevant testament to this statement about how they treat you than the debate on this site about the cage sizes in NSW (see: http://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/general-reptile-discussion-42/help-join-protest-new-oeh-205674/). However if this were taken up and addressed by a Representative Reptile Body that could boast many tens of thousands of members at both State or Federal levels you would have your say heard because as a voting collective you can influence outcomes.
Many years ago I was a member of AFANT (the Amateur Fisherman’s Association of the Northern Territory). This group represents the interests of fishermen in the NT and each state has a similar organization. It has a full time paid position that is funded by a grant from the NT Government each year along with yearly contributions from all fishermen that see their voice as important. There are many thousands of fishermen in each state that together ask for things to happen like new boat ramps, kids fishing clinics and a myriad of other ideas, and this group follows it up by addressing the Government. I was also a member of RecFish Australia, which as you can guess is the parent body that deals with recreational fishing in Australia and is based in Canberra and can access Federal Ministers for Fisheries among others almost on notice. With almost everything we addressed we made sure a favourable compromise was reached on behalf of ALL fishermen.
I know this is a tough concept to grasp and many times in the past we have come unstuck with poor or no outcome mostly because as passionate reptile enthusiasts we are fragmented, unorganized and above all just a heap of individuals who til now have remained that way. However many other passionate individuals with similar interests have put together a parent group to work for the wishes of the majority (ie: democratically) so why shouldn’t we? A simple example goes back to the fishing groups. Fishing varies from the mega rich that use million dollar boats to chase Marlin right down to the kid off the jetty with a hand-line catching garfish and everything in between. No doubt these diverse interest groups don’t talk to each other but they are prepared to fight for the others right to fish by being part of a larger group that supports this right. They are all passionate about their group as we would be, but they have the ability and means to effect change if they see inequity or poor allocation of resources or even bad laws. We do not even appear close to being able to do this – at this stage, but it is possible.
So question five is simple!
Can we put aside our many differences and fight for our right to keep and conserve reptiles?
We would need to put our hand in our pocket for, say, $10.00 each year, in order to put together a strong Australia wide group that can deal directly with ministers and Governments to address the many problems that we keep raising on forums like this. With all of you we can make a difference! Just look at the lengths politicians are going to right now prior to the September 7 election.

Kind Regards
Gavin Bedford
 

Hamalicious

Well-Known Member
I think this is good in theory but i'm worried how well it would work in practise. Like your example about NSW enclosure sizes. I read through the document and i was 100% in favour of the enclosure sizes, all of them were perfectly reasonable and i would be worried if people were keeping in anything smaller.

I feel like the human race has an amazing ability to convince ourselves that what is convenient is also right. We want to keep more reptiles than we can house, so we convince ourselves that they don't need much room. I saw one thread where a guy wanted to keep adult carpets in 30cm high tubs. This kind of practise is perfectly legal and i'm sure many keepers would see this as good enough.

So my point is, i worry that if we are able to make all the decisions, many keepers will push for laws that are convenient instead of whats right for our animals. I think there needs to be a group of knowledgeable people who give advice on appropriate laws and guidelines, but i wouldn't feel comfortable putting my faith into a lot of the people i hear about on a day to day basis.
 

Ramsayi

Very Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
Keepers are like you wrote very fragmented and also very apathetic with regards to this topic as well as a lot of others,take the mandatory NSW enclosure size as an example.The NRKA,despite the good intentions of those behind it never got off the ground,mores the pity.

Too many keepers with too many individual agendas not to mention egos seem to stand in the way.

Personally I would love to see a national body set up with representatives coming from each state perhaps elected by members of all the local herp societies from around the country.
 

Wild~Touch

Very Well-Known Member
"Can we put aside our many differences and fight for our right to keep and conserve reptiles?"

Oh how I sincerely wish it could be done.

Look at the Equine Industry which is huge and parts of it extremely wealthy, ie, Thoroughbred Racing Industry...even they cannot agree on the best interests of the animals.

You have Pony Clubs, Breed Societies, Studs & more all interested in horses and activities associated with them.

It's all about the almighty dollar and each one has their interests at heart. $$$$$$

How would one expect a Reptile orientated body to come together and fight for rights when even they can not agree on seemingly simple matters

I would gladly donate $100.00..........IF..... I trusted the governing body and the people behind it. PWF before that happens

The above is my opinion only and not intended to be disrespectful.

Cheers
Sandee :)
 

SteveNT

Very Well-Known Member
AFANT is still very effective although I don't necessarily always share their vision. When "I FISH and I VOTE" stickers appeared on 2/3 of the cars in Darwin the government certainly took notice. Suddenly boat registration was off the agenda and the parties started a bidding war on new or improved boat ramps. I don't think herpers are able to generate that sort of clout.

I would be happy to put in $10 of my hard earned even for a couple of small victories. So count me in.

Steve
 
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Stuart

Site Admin
Staff member
While there's arguments for and against having a national body and everyone has their own reasons why, I still believe there's a requirement for some to stand up for what they believe is right. If not, one day we are doomed to wake up and live by the rules of those who got them in place because it was easy and not because they were right.

Just my opinion of course.

Im in and all for it Gavin.
 
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borntobnude

Guest
From the replies so far I think it would need to be state bodies with a parent administration team to sort through the petty stuff and throw the biggies at the government . It would definitely be worth a try . As with my other passion there are a few state groups and an attempt at a national body .even an international body that sometimes gets people talking , but you have groups / individuals / business's and more and that's why it struggles .
 
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Snowman

Guest
Something I've always wanted. Especially since WA has some crazy laws like having to sell through a private dealer and pay at least $50 to move an animal. If you live in a remote area of WA and you dont have access to a private dealer you cant wven give a friend a reptile. Its just crazy!! Or the cost of $350 a year for a license to keep an olive python. The problem I see, is would a national body care about the problems we face in WA?
 

Pauls_Pythons

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
Employing a national body is the only way for herpers to have any possible say regarding the future of the hobby.
Without a NATIONAL body where do we all think the hobby will be in 5, 10 or 20 years time? Will we like where the hobby goes?
Whether representation will make the future any better is difficult to say but surely its better to front up and have a go rather than sitting in the background and whimpering about the changes made that effect every one of us.

I would be happy to put in Gav.
 

fishead

Well-Known Member
Gday Gavin, I think it's an excellent idea. As you mentioned the fat cat politicians that make the rules in our hypo.... sorry democracy care only for the vote. Numbers = power.
I vote Gavin Bedford for grand poobah of the Federal Australian Reptile Keepers Association.
ie. FARKA :)
 

Pilbarensis

Active Member
Only if the correct individuals are chose as consultants, truly experienced keepers and breeders that have have been around for a great deal longer than I have, or most other people on this forum for that matter. People I shall not name but those who have been in the hobby for a while will get the general idea of which individuals I am talking about. However the key issue I feel I must address is the differences between those who have a small collection of snakes, basic lizards and similar species compared to experienced people that keep and breed specific locales of pythons (NOT morphs), elapids, monitors, skinks and dragons.

I would say that people part of the first group are not consultants and although yes the could mention some ideas or put theories forwards they would not be in direct communications with departments. Truly experienced individuals with at least 20+ years in the hobby would be the only ones to have direct communication and be able to truly advise the government. The group in between however is a mixed bag, those who are experienced and know what they are talking about would have the ability to be in regular communication with those experienced individuals however there would have to be restrictions.

Too many inexperienced people, that think more changes are necessary. Honestly the only changes needed in the hobby at the moment are more species added to some states schedules, more collection permits for species or specific locales not yet in captivity and guidelines for what departments CANNOT do (for example the enclosure size restrictions in NSW).
 

Darlyn

Very Well-Known Member
I agree to a point. I'm unsure how keeping reptiles at home helps in conservation. I think differing laws and regulations in each state and territory would make a national body very difficult to maintain, but you have to start somewhere. Ignoring the problems won't make them go away. You have my $10.00. I am also a firm believer that it is up to us to push for better education in the protection of snakes and educating people on how to live with them. Without a united voice nationally this will probably never happen.
 
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zulu

Very Well-Known Member
Something I've always wanted. Especially since WA has some crazy laws like having to sell through a private dealer and pay at least $50 to move an animal. If you live in a remote area of WA and you dont have access to a private dealer you cant wven give a friend a reptile. Its just crazy!! Or the cost of $350 a year for a license to keep an olive python. The problem I see, is would a national body care about the problems we face in WA?

Problem in WA is that you have a system that is built primarily on wild taking for government royalties,you and reptile keepers in general need to focus on captive bred.
Limited taking of rare species and those not held in captive collections is what the average herpetoculturalist needs ,not more stimsons ,bhps,womas etc
 
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Snowman

Guest
Problem in WA is that you have a system that is built primarily on wild taking for government royalties,you and reptile keepers in general need to focus on captive bred.
Limited taking of rare species and those not held in captive collections is what the average herpetoculturalist needs ,not more stimsons ,bhps,womas etc
Not sure you know what you are talking about.... Or most likely I don't understand what you are saying...
Wild taking seems to be self limiting. There are so many captive bred animals now that it's not worth taking from the wild due to the royalty that you have to pay. There are no royalties attached to captive bred and every man and his dog is breeding over here at the moment it seems.... Nothing rare was and is added to our keepers list due to the wild taking to establish the pet trade. I'm not sure I would support wild taking of rare animals anyway, unless it was done properly for release programs back into the wild... Peoples pets will never be suitable for wild release.
Perhaps that is why we cant keep rough scaled pythons?
Though we cant even keep wheeleri, perthensis and other fairly common animals endemic to WA that the east coast keeps.
The only reason they allowed the taking of stimi's, bhps, woma's etc is because they didnt want any east coast pythons coming in. There is a strong belief that all your snakes carry sunshine virus, IBD etc etc... So without the wild taking we could not establish a WA pet colony of animals that are common over east in the pet herpetofauna hobby... Interesting that we haven't had any cases of disease in private collections since keeping began in 2003. Though I'd like to see the import ban lifted, I can't argue that perhaps it actually working... I do note that other animals are coming in that can carry some of the said diseases, but in far fewer quantities perhaps.
 
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Darlyn

Very Well-Known Member
"There is a strong belief that all your snakes carry sunshine virus, IBD etc etc..." That is a bit far fetched. I would hope it is not true that people believe this. Maybe you should start a different thread on this topic?
 
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Snowman

Guest
"There is a strong belief that all your snakes carry sunshine virus, IBD etc etc..." That is a bit far fetched. I would hope it is not true that people believe this. Maybe you should start a different thread on this topic?
It's just one of the reasons DEC give us for not letting in pythons from other states. Far fetched? Yes, I think they could quarantine animals anyway. But at present there is a python import ban on ALL species. Even Perth Zoo cant get a GTP in. It's on topic, as I'd like to know if a national group could tackle such things and look at ways for things like GTP to be brought in, even if strict quarantine had to be adhered too. There are many things in WA that could be looked at, but it's a waste of time without a strong organisation that can tackle the government departments.
 

Darlyn

Very Well-Known Member
It's just one of the reasons DEC give us for not letting in pythons from other states. Far fetched? Yes, I think they could quarantine animals anyway. But at present there is a python import ban on ALL species. Even Perth Zoo cant get a GTP in. It's on topic, as I'd like to know if a national group could tackle such things and look at ways for things like GTP to be brought in, even if strict quarantine had to be adhered too. There are many things in WA that could be looked at, but it's a waste of time without a strong organisation that can tackle the government departments.
A strong organisation has to start somewhere and this is a good place to start. Having goals that the wider herp community can agree on that are inclusive of all borders would probably be the first hurdle of many.
 

congo_python

Very Well-Known Member
Gday Gavin, I think it's an excellent idea. As you mentioned the fat cat politicians that make the rules in our hypo.... sorry democracy care only for the vote. Numbers = power.
I vote Gavin Bedford for grand poobah of the Federal Australian Reptile Keepers Association.
ie. FARKA :)

Love it ....
I am for a State/National association to be formed as long as the members are voted in by the licenesed keepers of each state and then possibly those members can vote in the national associates party members. I'd donate $10.00 a year if our voice gets more recognition amongst all the regulatory party's who at the moment set license laws.
 

Rogue5861

Very Well-Known Member
Love it ....
I am for a State/National association to be formed as long as the members are voted in by the licenesed keepers of each state and then possibly those members can vote in the national associates party members. I'd donate $10.00 a year if our voice gets more recognition amongst all the regulatory party's who at the moment set license laws.

Ditto. Exactly how i would of written it.
 
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