Venomous snake handling

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Bl69aze, Oct 21, 2017.

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  1. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    hey guys,

    Where is the preferred veno handling course?
    I figured if I i want a job in herpetofauna it’d be a big bonus to put down that I am comfortable holding venomous snakes and being qualified as I find them really fascinating and I would LOVE to work with them in the future!

    Thanks :)


    (Nsw West Sydney)


    Edit: put this in discussion as maybe people can give positive/negative comments on places they have seen

    And if you want you can tell me off for wanting to handle venomous :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
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  2. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm pretty sure Neville Burns does a ven handling course,He's up the hill from you.
    I can't see anyone abusing you for wanting to learn more,the more the better !
     
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  3. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    So you want to handle vens huh. Well to tell you the truth it's not something that you're going to learn in a couple of days by doing a handling course but it's probably the best place to start if you've got no experience at all. Personally I'm not in favour of all these handling courses available these days and have very little confidence in a hell of a lot of those that provide said courses but if you're in Western Sydney go to the best - either Nev Burns or John Mostyn. They're both very experienced, excellent in handling vens and won't lead you around the bush or tell you bulls**t.

    You'll find that some places, in fact I think you'll find all areas, of employment will specify the use of snake tongs in regard to handling vens, especially highly dangerous ones however; personally and speaking from many years experience, I don't care what people think or say about the alleged benefit of using tongs as a snake catching tool because (for far too many reasons to list here) as far as I'm concerned there will always be a situation arise where it's not practical to use one or they may not be available and that, if a person is genuinely concerned for the welfare of the snake there's only one way to handle vens..and that's to learn to tail them and handle them with the assistance of a snake hook. I've heard all the excuses and arguements regarding WH&S and alike and I'm yet to be convinced of the benefit of tongs. I'm strongly of the belief that if one doesn't have the experience or confidence to handle a venomous snake without using tongs then they shouldn't be handling them at all. Just my opinion but I'll stand by it.

    If you want to be proficient you're also going to have to know how to positively and quickly identify venomous snakes (especially in the field) and again, either John or Nev are the guys to point you in the right direction there.

    If you're not a member yet, it wouldn't hurt to join a herp society such as the Australian Herpetological Society or the Hawksberry Herpetological Society where you get the opportunity to go on field trips and meet people who keep vens. It's the only real way to get the opportunity for possible hands on experience and you'll need plenty of that if you really want to get to know about the ecology of vens how to handle the different species and they way they react, especially the highly dangerous species (because they all dispaly specific behaviours to be aware of during the capture process and on going handling).

    All the best with your endeavour.

    Cheers,

    George.
     
  4. Sleazy.P.Martini

    Sleazy.P.Martini Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend Sean Mcarthy at snakehandler. I can't speak highly enough of his course
     
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  5. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    I’ve seen snake tongs and even I think there’s times and places where they should be used and The person who told me said, he will only use it as an extension of his arm where a hook isn’t suitable, such as in a tunnel where you wouldn’t want to stick ur hand in (without the tongs)

    They are 100% for the tail and hook method though and never even use the tongs :)

    Thanks for the recommendation :D I highly believe that if the trainer is confident in what they are doing, it will make all the difference in the people they train!

    I don’t know why but I read “hen handling course” and thought everything after that was sarcasm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Thanks for recommendations
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2017
  6. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    hey if it's chickens you want to know about,I'm your man;but if your serious about venomous snakes then talk to Neville Burns.He really is the guy to talk to.
     
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  7. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    As far as I'm aware, Nev doesn't run a lot of courses any more, or if he does, it's not advertised. I was lucky enough to do my courses when both he and John were running them together and they're both fantastic teachers. I don't know the rules these days about links on here but if you Google "Johns Reptile Awareness Displays" you'll get the info you need.

    I don't really know who requires you to use tongs (or why it was brought up here) but no self respecting keeper would recommend them in any situation. The only good use for them is for long feeding tongs.
     
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  8. SpottedPythons

    SpottedPythons Well-Known Member

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    Tongs apparently break the snake's ribs because of the structure of the bones and the way the tongs apply pressure.
     
  9. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Nev still does them but to what extent I'm not sure. John's still the best option if Nev isn't available.

    I brought up the topic of snake tongs (grab sticks for handling/capture not feeding tongs) because I was recently informed that they are a requirement under WH&S policies when dealing with vens as an employee of a government body who has to deal with vens (eg NPWS, Zoos) or educational institute (eg: universities) or on site fauna handlers (eg: mines building or business sites).
     
  10. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Depends on how you word the SWMS George- I never use tongs on mines etc
     
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