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Petition:Stop Senseless Killing of Rattlesnakes December 31, 2007 8:50 PM

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 December 31, 2007 8:50 PM

Stop Senseless Killing of Rattlesnakes Dixie Gunworks, respected seller of fine antique firearms and supplies, is selling Rattlesnake vertebrae! To quote their website: "There is nothing to compare with the aura of having a necklace or bracelet made of rattlesnake vertebrae. These little pieces are symmetrically formed equal almost to the degree each snowflake is different. They range in size from inch to just over 1 inch in length. They have been cleaned and bleached." For every individual Rattlesnake vertebrae sold, Dixie Gunworks is directly contributing to the reduction of the remaining populations of one of our Earth's most unique and beautiful creatures. Rattlesnakes are a very important part of a healthy ecosystem. The removal of even one Rattlesnake has a huge impact on the local populations of predators and prey where it was taken from. Rattlesnakes have a very slow reproductive rate and if many snakes are removed from an area in a short period of time then those snakes that are left will have a very hard time finding mates and controlling prey items such as rodents and rabbits which may then overpopulate spreading disease and damaging crops. Also, the way that many snake hunters capture Rattlesnakes by often spraying gasoline or other toxic chemicals into holes, rock crevices and burrows is deadly for the other creatures that share the den with the Rattlesnake--the Gopher tortoise is almost extinct due in part to this practice. This ignorant practice also pollutes the ground water that we and our livestock eventually will drink. Selling Rattlesnake parts also serves to spread irrational fears of an animal that is actually very timid by nature. Countless times while conducting field research I have encountered a Rattlesnake in the wild only to have it crawl quickly away to hide--not rattle and strike as most people believe they do. They only become defensive and may bite when cornered, threatened or harmed--just as any animal will do. By selling products such as Rattlesnake vertebrae the fear of the animal is spread and the Rattlesnake as a species suffers. Dixie Gunworks, please reconsider your marketing of these items--it is an unsustainable and environmentally unethical practice. You may even consider becoming a supporter of the Rattlesnake and other wildlife and work with teaching environmental awareness through your website as I have done. Let's work together to end the irrational, ignorant and unsustainable trade in threatened and endangered wildlife parts such as Rattlesnake vertebra.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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