As we embark on the first edition of The Reptile Times, I am eager to introduce you to an exciting change that is occurring in our reptile hobby. Reptiles have gained popularity at an unprecedented pace over the last 20 years, and are now making their way into the lives of mainstream America. Reptiles and amphibians of all shapes and sizes have moved from the back room of the house to the prominent area of the living room, where they have become a major part of our everyday lives.
This rapid increase in reptile ownership has unfortunately not come without its bad points. Issues such as the widely publicized Burmese python situation in Florida have drawn great attention to our hobby, and to the need for reptilekeepers of all levels to unite and work together to keep our rights intact. State and city laws nationwide are being proposed and enacted as a means of placing restrictions on reptile ownership, as well as many other regulations that threaten our hobby and industry greatly.
In each issue of The Reptile Times I hope to provide a sneak peak inside our hobby and give our readers timely updates on the state of our reptile industry, what is happening within it, and the many directions we are going. Doing so will hopefully keep us all up to speed on current events industry-wide. Additionally I hope to provide insight into how we can all work together in the molding of realistic solutions while at same time helping the fight against those who do not want us to have our beloved pets at all.
A close friend of mine once told me that laws are won and changed by people just showing up. My hope is that through this column I can help to better your understanding of the facts, encourage involvement, and enlist your help as part of the active reptile nation.
So, for this month, I encourage you to learn about The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) by visiting their website (www.USARK.com). Even better yet, become a member, get involved, and help us in the fight!
USARK Board member