Require Licenses/Permits to Own Venomous Reptiles

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Many people in the state of North Carolina own a reptile of some sort, whether it be a lizard, gecko, or snake. However, some of these reptiles are venomous and can pose a threat to the person keeping them. I have seen multiple posts in reptile sale groups on Facebook advertising copperheads, sometimes even rattlesnakes. The people trying to sell these animals will usually say that the buyer of said reptile must have experience workin with venomous reptiles. How can you be certain that an interested party actually does have experience? Most of these cases can end up one of two ways. Either the buyer of the reptile figures out how to handle the animal, or they get a bite and need emergency care. I propose that all owners of venomous reptiles obtain a certification, stating that they are fit to own a venomous animal. If people have to get a permit/license to own a rifle or a handgun, why not need the same certification to own a venomous animal? They are both more than capable of killing someone. This certification will cover the most common, and even more exotic, venomous reptiles. For example, Gila monsters, cobras of any type (ex. King, monocled, spitting), gaboon vipers, rattlesnakes, bush vipers, copperheads. A man in Orange County was bitten by one of his King Cobras last year, and the anti-venom had to be delivered from a zoo. If people are going to own venomous snakes, they should have some form of training so that incidents such as this don't happen. I have attached the link for the news story for convenience: http://www.wral.com/orange-county-man-in-hospital-after-king-cobra-bite-snakes-pose-no-threat-to-public/15679398/

In conclusion, it is for the benefit and safety of all members of the population that venomous snake owners be put through training to obtain certification stating they are allowed and have the ability to own venomous reptiles. Incidents where people are bitten have the potential to put the reptile-keeping hobby in a bad light. My family personally has multiple geckos, some skinks, and ball pythons. None of these animals are harmful to people, but people are afraid of snakes because of stories on the news. Thank you for your time.



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