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USARK on NPR's Diane Rehm Show Today!

Posted by USARK.Jonathan.Brady at 2/1/2012 7:34:12 AM

USARK on NPR's Diane Rehm Show Today!
USARK (United States Association of Reptile Keepers)
Join the Diane Rehm Show on NPR TODAY February 1, 2012 from 11am-12noon EST. Guests will include HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle, USARK CEO Andrew Wyatt, Zuzana Kukol from Rexano Exotics and Tim Harrison. It will be a live call in show. Please call in with good questions. You can also email or Tweet questions in. It is a discussion, not a debate.
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 Comments: View Oldest First  

Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:41:57 AM  

I'm going to call, I'm debating which question to ask, I want to ask what Wayne's IQ is, but I realize that wouldn't make in on the air, lol.

Sam Fredericks,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:11:39 AM  

^^^ hahaha 

Sylvias Serpentine,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:14:51 AM  

Ask him if he has any pets -.- anything he loves that is not human... or monetary....

Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:16:05 AM  

I'm listening to it now, Wayne's an idiot, but my phone keeps cutting it off, gah!

Sylvias Serpentine,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:17:02 AM  

I'm in class! D: There better be a link to the recorded show after it's over!!!

Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:37:32 AM  

The average person cannot care for an exotic?  I'm sorry if you can't care for a corn snake you probably can't care for a dog or cat.

Cindy ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:49:03 AM  

I was listening to it and lost the broadcast. Can't get it on my computer or the cell phone :(

Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:59:13 AM  

We need a better spokesperson, although it was one sided.  We need someone who can speak clearly, concisely, and with some balls....he got spanked.

Luke Snell: Morelia In Wonderland,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:59:29 AM  

well that was pretty much a disaster

Luke Snell: Morelia In Wonderland,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:03:33 PM  

And Wayne is obviously not an idiot; approaching the situation with that kind of attitude if part of our plight that we are dealing with and certainly does not help our cause.  Not that this was a debate, at least it was not intended to be, but Wayne spoke his case with clarity and with conviction...right or wrong he made Andrew's underwhelming case truly seem like the last leg it appears to be standing on.

Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:06:30 PM  

I agree with you 100%. 

Brett Nation,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:07:19 PM  

+1 Tiki.

I only caught the end of this, but that statement just floored me.

Then they went on to attack people keeping lizards, etc. Please... that is just total discrimination against the people of the Herpteculture Industry.

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:27:46 PM  


Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:31:16 PM  

Really sorry to hear this... this was a good opportunity to gain some "public understanding." :-(

Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:32:40 PM  

Ugh. Wayne was surgical. For all of the positive that Andrew brings to the fight, we really need a more polished front man when faced with such a well-trained, well-spoken opponent. That was just depressing. :/

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:45:10 PM  

It was fairly one-sided, calls that I heard that got taken were only from those with particular titles...

As far as "speaking abilities"... I can only imagine that the HSUS sought out and pays their spokesman a pretty penny every year... and the HSUS has been around much longer and knows more of what sort of communication - tone, accent, words, etc that are gonna draw the masses towards there agenda...

(Kind of like you don't have a person with a strong southern drawl or other "accents" leading the national news.)

Andrew Wyatt and USARK are fairly "new" and yes, perhaps aren't as versed... a smoother speaking spokesman would be nice, but remember, he has stepped up, been dedicated, and been instrumental in our plight to this point... 

Joe Bevington,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:45:52 PM  

This was terrible for anyone that keeps a pet other than cats and dogs....WOW.....

Posted At: 2/1/2012 12:55:54 PM  

Sonja, good points and for sure I'm not trying to discredit the good work Andrew has done, but that debate just begged for someone with more debate experience. Not an attack on Andrew at all, I have great respect for what he's done and I like the man, but when it comes to critiquing the event, one side completely overpowered the other and that was wholly due to the experience and skill level of one opponent. If there's a way to get a more-skilled person in place for future debates, I'd love to see it happen because IMO that PR opportunity probably caused more harm than good where public perception is concerned. Wayne makes 250k+ per year, which is entirely outside of the USARK budget, but there are PR weasels for hire at a fraction of the cost and that'd be a good place to spend resources IMO.

Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:01:48 PM  

+10 gfx!

Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:04:52 PM  

I'll be their PR weasel free of charge, I have a lot of experience with public speaking and I used to do horse judging which involved writing reason for why you placed the class the way you did and memorizing the reasons and then presenting to a judge in about 15 mins.  I became very articulate and I know about reptiles and the dangers of horses ;)

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:05:58 PM  

I agree, Julie, it would likely be money very well spent. 

It just bothers me when there's talk about keepers joining together in the fight, we need to be a united front, and then a person that is out there on the front lines fighting for us is allowed to be interrupted by the host, told he can't finish his thoughts, and then members of the reptile community post comments such as he got slammed or spanked, or similar rather than seeing posts like yours above here that are constructive and offer suggestions...

Aaron Florian,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:21:22 PM  

Aaron Florian,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:21:51 PM  

Wayne is an absolute professional. I was worried going in that he would be slick, calm, cool, and drop those undisputable feel-good comments.

He was about exactly as I'd expected. He's been doing this a lot longer, and he's that perfect TV personality. Debating him would be difficult for anyone.

Luke Snell: Morelia In Wonderland,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:24:25 PM  

I too agree with what you are saying, Sonja, and I wholeheartedly support Andrew and everything that he has built around USARK- I support them fully and will continue to do so.  Not trying to undermine the effort at all by any speak of discension, but I guess I am just disappointed.  And no, I do not blame the the paltform for the discussion- it's NPR for heaven's sake, what did we expect???  I guess I am a bit taken back that our cause seemed to show up rather unprepared, despite this issue being ongoing for quite sometime.  You think the public cares about two studies that show that the snakes cannot survive outside of the warmth of southern florida?  Small numbers like that from a referenced study have little to no effect.  It came off like we were flailing to grab onto anything.  I think we need to demonstrate as a whole that we ARE aware that there are indeed problems out there that need to be addressed and should have been addressed within house before the seeming problems attracted the attention of the outside world.  We need to demonstrate that we are responsible for policing and educating ourselves.  (was the only time I heard mention of captive bred animals from one of the callers??)Simply being contrary presents us as being nothing more than reactionaries.  I get what is at stake here; no one wants big brother saying what we can or cannot do, but we also need to be smartly productive and effective inside the confines of the known system.  Slippery slope or not, we are already sliding and need to change strategies.

Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:38:01 PM  

^ more good points.

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:48:36 PM  

I heard Wayne say more than once that officials can't police the adequacy of the habits provided in a person's home, etc. I would like to have heard how he thinks it is that these bans could actually be or are going to be policed... and thus how an outright ban would prove more beneficial than having specific criteria being met by responsible keepers...

I had a conversation with a friend recently, and pretty much the main points of our conversation were about how these sort of laws that are made that aren't focused on helping people, ultimately only take away from or hurt those that are responsible and do follow the law... that there will continue to still be people that are getting high, and criminals getting are still getting guns, and people will still be keeping snakes, etc. Per history, Prohibition didn't work, and will any of these bans really be instrumental in doing what they are aimed to do? 

Andrew Krueger,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 1:54:24 PM  

I see a lot of questions on this board that would have been nice to hear on the show.

Psycho Dragon,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:07:17 PM  

This whole interview has my blood boiling.

Andrew Krueger,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:07:55 PM  

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:09:01 PM  

I think another aspect that needed to receive more attention than it did is the number of CBB animals vs the number of Wild Caught animals and how the keepers and breeders today are working to cut down on the numbers that are being imported from the wild - I really wish Andrew would have been able to address that point following the call from that long time zoo keeper and how she had brought up that point of animals being imported, dying during transport and the effects on their native land... there has to be statistics to refute points like that... for instance how the numbers have dropped from ______ to ______ over the last decade or something... that the demand for CBB has increased by _______ %, etc. 

Andrew Krueger,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:11:25 PM  

ahh pasted text is getting deleted for some reason.  i am hearing too much bashing on this thread, andrew does a great job representing us and we are lucky someone stepped up to help us out.  If you want to criticize please be constructive, or i would accept it from a USARK donor.

Master Gator,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:20:56 PM  

Dammit I wanna hear the debate!!!!  I was in class!

Judging by the comments though, I'm not sure if I truly want to hear it though. 

Luke Snell: Morelia In Wonderland,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:23:34 PM  

Absolutely, Sonja.  I realize the issue at hand it not entirely about the importation of these animals, but I think it would have demonstrated some of the responsible efforts on behalf of the industry we are trying to protect.


I am not criticizing for the sake of bashing here.  Yes, this is a monumental effort by Andrew and USARK, thank God they are taking on the burden of this cause and fighting the good fight for us.  But you have to know that we are not going to get too many shots in the public limelight like today.  This is constructive in that we can learn from what was not addressed, or what could have been better addressed or how to better prepare should the opportunity come up again.  Sure, could have, should have, would have...I get that.  But I think it is beneficial to discuss such things, including failure which are often the greatest of teaching tools.  We will still need to defend ourselves and have to have a game plan on how to be impactful in supporting our industry and hobby.

Psycho Dragon,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:24:39 PM  

You won't hear a debate, you'll hear Wayne talking/walking all over everybody else in this discussion.

Posted At: 2/1/2012 2:41:28 PM  

I don't feel as though I am bashing anyone, Andrew, etc.  The fact of the matter is this.... It almost seemed like a "canned" show.  Wayne got more time to talk, every single screened caller that was allowed to talk was pro Lacey Act, and whether it hurts or not.....Wyatt did not sound prepared and stumbled alot, truth and we all know it.  If we want to get somewhere with the fight we have to get to the heart of the matter.  This doesn't mean that I am questioning Wyatt's committment to the cause or personal integrity, etc.  Truth be told, he has a part to play in this, but from that performance it is definitely not to argue our points.

Justyne Lobello (Jurassic Reptiles),
Posted At: 2/1/2012 3:00:50 PM  

I think Andrew did an excellent job. It was just obvious that NPR wasn't being as fair and "unbiased" as they said they would be. I should have called in stating I supported the ban and loved HSUS, and had a question for Andrew...then flipped it totally over when I went live.

I personally HATE speakers like Wayne. People who won't listen to reason or let the other speak just drive me crazy. Even if that person is the person I'm rooting for. Andrew was just stating the facts, and answered all questions to him very well. I don't think we could have gotten a much better speaker than Andrew.

Posted At: 2/1/2012 3:17:49 PM  

It's a game, it's politics (whether we like it or not) if you don't know how to play the game - u / we lose. 

Posted At: 2/1/2012 3:20:28 PM  

Please. Andrew was vivisected from the very beginning, starting with Wayne discrediting him by painting him as pet industry proponent, then throughout the interview by stepping on any attempt to bring out a solid point and leading the conversation away from the point through use of feel-good tangents. Andrew let it happen, he was too polite and when he did speak, his arguments were mediocre; plenty of times he had openings to step on Wayne's polished points, but he failed to charge in and grab hold. It was a textbook example of how to discredit your opponent and lead the debate both to your own point of view and away from any volatile direction. Solid debate at that level takes training, practice, experience and a certain type of personality. Wayne is polish, he's very skilled, he walked all over his opponents and he didn't even have to try. USARK needs access to someone who's going to be able to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Wayne or its going to be a short battle. If this is the kind of debate that goes on behind closed legislative doors, this is going to be a short battle. :/

Andrew Krueger,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 3:38:01 PM  

Andrew did treat it like a discussion and Pacelle was running for florida senate.  Lets not forget there was a third who was given an introduction than kicked off the show.  All while pacelle was reading the wizard of oz "lions, tigers, and bears" since "ball pythins, cresteds, and beardies" doesn't have the same ring.

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 4:13:41 PM  

John "Blue" Francis,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 5:03:10 PM  

Sooo. If I have no more plans to donate money to NPR, something I have done for the past twenty or so years, I guess, since it has to stay in the charity pot, it swings to Andrew and USARK by default.

And Andrew, I retire in 3 years, if you need a pissed off Marine Corps Infantry Master Seargent (who has been through 4 public speaking/debate courses).

Posted At: 2/1/2012 7:00:25 PM  

John you and me can go toe to toe with them.  My Mom always said I should have done debate club, I am very pursuasive and fast on my feet.  I'm going to VA tomorrow to lobby, I'd love to go toe to toe with any HSUS lobbyist there.  I memorize facts and don't forget them, I studied logic in college and I am on the phones where I work and I have to sound professional and think of answers fast.  I'm still proving everyone wrong on the NPR page.  I actually got someone on HSUS's page to see my side of the debate.  He's always on there, but argued with me about some snakes being what I'd call domestic.  I don't think he wanted to conceed, but by the end of it he finally said that some animals such as fish it would be hard to say whether they are domestic or not simply from intelligence and maybe snakes were the same.  Considering he started out as a no no no no person that is ALWAYS on HSUS's page being their little police dog, I think it was amazing to get him to come off his soap box and agree that maybe they could be, but he wasn't sure one way or another.  I'm nice and friendly and HSUS I think hates me cause they've said stuff, like you're toeing on the line of personal attack.  Which I'm not, but they're just mad that I haven't broken any of their rules so I can say my points and people listen and they can't kick me off based on their posting rules.

The biggest issue is HSUS says that these animals are not pets, well they are not pets like a cat or dog is, but neither are horses, you can't keep a horse in the same manor that you keep a cat or dog.  People have said, you can't keep a tiger in your garage, yeah you can't, but you can't keep a horse their either.

Finally someone got on their and said that I needed to stop talking about cats, dogs and horses cause that's not what they're talking about, but I'm sorry you said that exotics are not cats and dogs, you started that point, I'm just pointing out that, no they aren't dogs, dogs kill more people.

Brett Nation,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:04:34 PM  

I didn't get to hear everything yet.... But, one thing to keep in mind the HSUS president's salary is probably in the multi-million dollar range and he has millions of dollars in public donations and who only knows how many dog and cat lovers think they are doing the right thing to support HSUS. There is NO way Andrew is gonna blast him on Public Radio and go toe to toe.

Frankly, the small portion I did catch on the air made the HSUS president sound like he was full of "his ego" and his self serving remarks made him sould anti-American. We were the first in outer space, yet the common American can't read a care sheet to give proper care to a Lizard? 

Someone needs to put him on ths spot and ask him why less than .05% of public donations to HSUS go to Animals shelters. 

Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:21:17 PM  

Brett, Wayne makes a little over $250,000 which is far too much IMO!

We've asked him he basically says it goes to lobbying and stopping puppy mills and dog fights.  They came out in the 70s and switched from Animal Welfare to Animal Rights because "the costs of running a local animal control operation [was] drawing off funds needed elsewhere"  That's from their own website.

HSUS will admit when asked they don't own or operate any shelters, but they'll never put that on an ad.  I'd be fine with them if their ads would say, "Your donations go to stopping puppy mills and dog fighting, but please keep in mind we're not your local shelter and we send money to local shelters."  But then Wayne couldn't keep giving himself a raise every year.

Andrew Krueger,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:26:14 PM  

Putting Wayne "on the spot" would be a bad idea, he is sure to have stared in the mirror practicing these questions.  Unless he performs a new major slip, "attacking" him would be a bad idea.  

Emily ,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:32:57 PM  

I'm glad I had to miss it. Sounds like it would have just made me sick. Just reading these comments is making me sick. NPR sure is muckluck to bias it as they did.

Master Gator,
Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:33:14 PM  

I'll take on Wayne mono-A-mono. 

Posted At: 2/1/2012 9:43:01 PM  

Andrew, I'm not planning to attack him, simply state all the reasons why he is wrong, in a very polite tone.  I've gotten very good at proving people wrong, you won't believe the crap I hear from people about their escrow accounts.  We've had people say they are accounts, math teachers, and mathematicians; they all had one thing in common, they were wrong, attacking them doesn't work, showing them why they are wrong, eventually does.

L & A Lopez =0),
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:45:40 PM  

Eh... I can't read anymore. This lady from Indiana in the comments is an idiot. If she's been in the 'pet industry' for so long, you'd think she'd have a better sense of reasoning.


Bacon, anyone?

L & A Lopez =0),
Posted At: 2/1/2012 11:52:15 PM  

...and for this douche canoe to generalize pythons being more aggressive than boas is bogus. What type of python was involved in 'her experience', and what type of 'boa' is she comparing it to? Some people need to jump, tuck, and roll off the bandwagon if they don't have valid arguments.

John "Blue" Francis,
Posted At: 2/2/2012 12:02:09 AM  
Please let me be the first to use the term "douche can... Crap.. Hehe.
@ tiki, only if you ride a horse there wielding laser cats! That would be sweet!

Sam Fredericks,
Posted At: 2/2/2012 1:23:13 AM  

I understand all the hard work Andrew has done, but to beat out the HSUS is to much. Their needs to be a bigger stronger organization than USARK to combat againist a large biased group that uneducated people will cling too. USARK is great dont get me wrong but to fight a power house requires slick talk, ruthlessness, support, education, and a bunch of money.

Posted At: 2/2/2012 8:32:16 PM  

Sam, the problem is USARK is all donation based, another group would be the same way, which is the problem, if more people could donate to USARK in theory it could be as big as HSUS, but we're not lying to people saying we're helping puppies and kittens.

Sam Fredericks,
Posted At: 2/2/2012 9:18:39 PM  

exactly we need to do something to get the money. Invest in something to reach people. We need a public figure to draw people to look at reptiles differently

Ed ,
Posted At: 2/2/2012 10:24:14 PM  

I've been trying to stay out of these USARK discussions, but I can't help myself.  This thread is another example of why I'm baffled by all the blind support for USARK and it's leadership.   Having to debate HSUS on NPR would be an extremely difficult situation for even the most polished debator, but for someone who is not even a good speaker/debator, well, that's like me arm wrestling my 12 year old son.  This was an obvious set-up by HSUS and maybe NPR, and USARK not only took the bait, but provided a poor speaker/debator to boot.  They (HSUS)  won again.  It's another example of poor leadership skills and strategy by "reptile nation", plain and simple.   We need to start looking at results, folks, not just hard work and intentions and "being nice."    You can call me and people like me divisive or stupid or mean or whatever, but if this NPR "debate" did nothing except maybe result in more HSUS supporters, then maybe you're criticizing the wrong people.     

Sam Fredericks,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 12:37:51 AM  

i agree ed

Bart Sharrah,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 7:02:43 AM  

I support USARK.  I don't consider it "blind" support.  Fact is they are the best representation for this hobby we have, or ever had.  Take it, leave it, or offer up something better.  Should Andrew have agreed to do the show, probably not, but let's not play Monday morning quarterback.  People make mistakes, we all do, and anyone in a leadership position has as well.  Please don't sit behind your computer and talk smack about how you would have done a better job because most of you would have choked the moment the "on air" light came on.  Please don't cry about how we need results, or better leadership, unless you intend to step up and lead by example.  You think we need better results, then bring results, not just more suggestions, the Internet is already full of those.

.......and PLEASE stop referring people to worthless online petitions thinking that is somehow "taking action".  25,000 signatures will not result in anything other than maybe 25,000 people patting themselves on the back and telling themselves "good job".  Save yourself the bandwidth, walk over to the mirror, and tell yourself " I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me".

Posted At: 2/3/2012 7:56:41 AM  

Bart, I agree, there is someone I don't know very well, but he was on facebook saying how no one was going to take his snakes, so I asked if he'd even signed the petitions yet.  He said he didn't know where to find them (how????  I don't know).  I told him, but said if he wanted to make any kind of impact he should at least try writing hand written letters to the senators.  I also told him about the lobbying in VA since he lives in MD, he said ok and I thought "oh good!"  Well he never showed up, I asked him on facebook where he was, he said he didn't wake up, but he did sign a petition.  At this point I was a little agitated cause it's not like he couldn't have come down, I took off work and I probably won't be able to really have much of a vacation this summer because of this and now because I put myself out there in VA, MD is coming after me asking to search my collection.

It's just frustrating that people don't want to lose their pets, yet they don't really do anything!

I may not have done a better job, but I would LOVE to have the opportunity to go toe to toe with Wayne.

Psycho Dragon,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 9:23:17 AM  

Tiki: if MD is coming after your collection tell them that they need a warrant to gain entrance to your property. They have no cause to search your property without your consent.

Posted At: 2/3/2012 9:27:29 AM  

My concern is them pulling my license if I refuse.

Psycho Dragon,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 10:36:49 AM  

You are constitutionally protected against illegal search & seizure of property. If they really want to search your collection, make them go about it the legal way, and I would advise having multiple witnesses on hand if they do come with a warrant.

Posted At: 2/3/2012 10:44:27 AM  

You are correct, but they can just pull my license and then I can't sell or breed native species.  I have nothing to hide, but I really don't like people coming in and looking at my stuff.  First of all the house is a mess, but if I tell him I need time it'll look suspicous and refusing does too.

I have a right to refuse, but not a right to breed and sell native species, they can and will pull my permit if I refuse.

Psycho Dragon,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 10:49:55 AM  

I don't live in MD, just work in it, but can't you petition the courts if the permit is revoked without proper reasoning?

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 11:02:14 AM  

"Tiki", you don't have to answer, but I don't like to make assumptions, so I wanted to ask... how exactly did it go that caused MA to start asking questions about your personal collection? 

Bart Sharrah,
Posted At: 2/3/2012 12:31:55 PM  

This went a different direction but if MD is like PA, and I am guessing it is, then you consented to having your breeding facility, regardless if that is also your residence, inspected at any time when you obtained your license(s).  It isn't an illegal search, the courts won't help you, and you should be more than willingly to comply, or you should not have accepted the license.  MD, in granting you the license, has every right to inspect you.  Failure to comply is proper reason to revoke the license.

I have read many posts on many sites, after the ban was passed, from people crying how banning is not the answer and the government could just regulate.  Guess what?  Site inspections, permits, licenses, and microchipping are all forms of regulating, and reasonable ones in my opinion, especially when compared to an all out ban.  Yet how many of these same people have cried foul when such laws are introduced or enforced?  You will not have it both ways and you soon may not have a choice.  We either welcome regulation or we risk having our hobby taken away.

This hobby needs to wake up.  We are not going to have our cake and eat it too.  We are not going to be able to do whatever we want and answer to no one.  What happened with the 4 is done.  It isn't going to be reversed.  Personally, I think it is the wake up call many needed.  Time to compromise people.  If your states have regulations in place, comply.  If they don't, instead of sitting back thinking you are one of the lucky ones, ask your senator to introduce them.  The states that have regulations in place, and feel they are getting compliance, are the least at risk of contemplating outright bans. 

You can go on believing these ban Bills are coming to every state if you like, but I can tell you in PA we pay $150 for the privilege (notice I did not call it a right) to breed and sell reptiles.  We report what species we are working with and in accepting the license, we consent to inspection, and the last time I spoke to the regulating agency, they were satisfied with the level of compliance they found when doing spot checks at the shows.  I can tell you that an outright ban Bill being introduced at the state level is pretty low on my list of concerns.

The states that have little or no regulations in place, and that see no direct income from our hobby, are naturally going to see what we work with as a liability in light of all the recent publicity.

Sorry.  I realize I just took this in a whole other direction.

Posted At: 2/3/2012 12:34:10 PM  

Well it was MD that is asking questions and someone brought up a good point, I've been saying a lot on NPR's site about how all those people are wrong and I guess I've pissed them off they they probably googled Tiki108 and apparently when you do that my website, Top Class Reptilia pulls up, so they probably called DNR.  I could try, but really it's all a lot more work then just letting the guy look at my happy healthy corn snakes.  There's no permit required to own corn snakes, only to breed and sell them, so I won't get in trouble or anything.  I just called to make sure the guy was legit and I don't think that's unreasonable and they said they'd look into it and call me later today.  They can probably come out today, I just hate that the house is a mess, but they aren't worried about that I know.

I think the lobbying went really well, I never actually said I kept snakes to anyone just handed out my card that said I breed corns and ball pythons (it says carpets, but I no longer keep them, I just don't want to pay for replacement cards).  Aside from that I mostly just said the reasons why I opposed the bills and they seemed interested and listened.

I have no venomous or anything dangerous, but all those HSUS people think I'm keeping them in inhumane conditions by just keeping them at all.  I'm going to post on NPR's site that, "nice try guys, I passed the inspection with flying colors and still have my license, now kindly go get a life."

Posted At: 2/3/2012 2:12:34 PM  

Bart, I completely agree with you, I'm upset about the inspection itself, I'm upset about why it's being done.  DNR is completely valid with doing an inspection cause someone called.  My issue is that at first I thought it was from lobbying in another state, which seemed like a stupid reason for an inspection, but I wasn't saying they couldn't inspect my place randomly, it just seemed like a stupid trigger.

Now that I realize it was much more likely that it was one of those stupid HSUS lovers from NPR.  As far as I'm concerned they can go pudding themselves, I have nothing to hide and I'm going to ask the guy to call whoever reported me and tell them that my collection is in perfect condition.

MD has pretty strict rules about exotics, you can't have venomous without an educational permit, if you just have a collection, no way.  But you can have as many corn snakes as you want, but if you breed and sell you need a license, so like I said no problem with the inspection, I just think it's a waste of his time and mine since it's coming from radicals with HSUS.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 5:39:31 PM  

This is a post from Andrew from another forum.  It's pretty informative...

You can criticize me all you like.... I get criticized by Wayne Pacelle, Gordon Rodda, Mike Dorcas, Peter Jenkins and others who hate our industry. I have thick skin... I can take it. And I will always suit up and show up. I am never afraid to walk into the Lions Den... even when the deck is stacked against me; and it usually will be. If I gave up just because some naysayer said I wasn't up to the task, we would have lost about a dozen states and 47 species of python would have been listed as injurious wildlife in summer 2009. The reality is we will always face a David and Goliath scenario... actually David and 4 Goliath's (USARK vs DOI, HSUS, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy) all funded at hundreds of millions of $$$. Most who listened to the Diane Rehm Show probably realized that something was afoot. Susan Day and Uncle Wayne are personal friends. It was impressed upon me by the show's producer that this would not be a debate, but a discussion. Yet over and over again Wayne was allowed to interrupt me and debate my points. I was not allowed the same latitude. In fact I was warned NOT to interrupt Wayne, NOT to discuss his org and I was silenced by the host numerous times. The rules applied to me were not applied to Wayne. He was given carte blanche to speak as he wished; and when you are not bound by the truth you don't have to worry about maintaining integrity and keeping your facts straight. Additionally, the call screener only allowed calls from antis. The VP of S. FL Herp Society was first caller and screener would not allow him through. Numerous others were not allowed either. It appears that you were just as taken and manipulated by Susan Day and WP as the general public was??? My goals in doing the show was two fold. 1) Tell the truth and behave with dignity and integrity 2) establish the fact that this is a $1.4billion industry, and just because WP doesn't like us doesn't mean we shouldn't exist. WP in many ways came across shrill, condescending and rude. This has given USARK recognition and exposure at a higher level than our small industry has ever received. They will ask us back for more shows. Could I have been better... YES! Would I have still done the show knowing what I know now about how I would be treated... YES! Will I be better next time... YES! I represented the industry with honor and dignity, to the best of my ability, under very difficult circumstances. I don't apologize for that.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 5:54:47 PM  

I want Andrew to know that when I went to lobby on Thursday in VA everyone there commented how that show was a set up and how we are behind Andrew 110%.  Wayne won't acknowledge a lot of things and everyone who has been asking about cats being more harmful to the environment, dogs and horses being more dangerous has received the same answer: We're not talking about cats, dogs, and horses.  That's all they can say and honestly that just shows how weak their arguments are.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 5:58:48 PM  

I think I would have liked to have seen Andrew drop by and respond to this thread himself. I'm sorry he felt attacked, but I think iHerp is more likely to produce constructive criticism than most places and I think this thread certainly was within that realm. I hope he is able to separate the frustrated tones from the gist of the feedback from all sources, and if he insists on being the front man for the fight, get the proper training in the art of debate. USARK is an organization funded almost entirely on donations. With that structure, people are going to want to have their say in how things are done and when something doesn't go right, suggestions are going to be made. My suggestion is to take the transcript and audio from that not-debate to an organization who can dissect it and give non-biased, constructive criticism from start to finish. No man is an island and no man can be 100% effective at all things, Andrew could have been a lot better had he had more training in debate ahead of time...and you can't tell me that USARK was unaware that the Diane Rehm show was not going to be a friendly venue, that was totally a setup from the word Go.

There's nothing to apologize for, nor do I think people are asking for an apology. I do think that plenty of people in our industry recognize the aspects of debate and that includes win, lose and draw. I'm sorry to say, USARK lost that "discussion" and needs to learn and grow from the experience.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 8:27:26 PM  

I just want to also say I have lost all respect for NPR for that, I don't care if they disagree with our side, but if you say to everyone it's a discussion not a debate, then at least hear what both sides have to say.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 8:48:51 PM  

Ok, just so everyone knows the guy came over, was super nice and said they all look great.  I asked him if someone called and he said no that around this time of year they look to see who they have never done inspections for, since I got my permit last year after this time is why I didn't have one last year.  I thought about saying, well I guess I owe HSUS an apology, then I realized just how stupid that sounded, lol

Posted At: 2/4/2012 11:07:25 PM  

gfx - Andrew would love to address every question/concern that is posed to him directly.  Unfortunately, he's one person.  He gets over 300 emails per day (last I heard which was about 2 years ago, I'm sure that number hasn't gone down and may have as much as doubled), is on the phone much of the day, and has all of his regular duties to attend to each day.  On top of that, Andrew is on the road a LOT.  He spends a lot of time meeting with State and Federal elected officials as well as lobbyists, scientists, and the news media.

Now, throw on top of that the fact that there are a couple of dozen forums that feel that they deserve individual attention from Andrew and each sees itself as unique and worthy of having its concerns addressed.  I would never suggest that each is not unique and worthy of individualized attention, but no one person could possibly spread themselves THAT thin.

I've said this on another forum... if folks want more individualized attention, then we need to grow USARK to the point that it can afford to employ additional people to provide that attention.  At this point, USARK is bringing in only $300,000 per year.  That sounds like a lot but it PALES in comparison to what an organization like HSUS brings in (and try getting Wayne's personal attention).  That amount of money is not enough to cover more than one persons salary plus the various expenditures of the organization.

Posted At: 2/4/2012 11:08:06 PM  

Oh... having said all of that... try calling Andrew.  Like I said, his day is VERY busy, so you may have to call a few times.  But his phone number is on the website.

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