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Granting Cash Awards to Hunters Likely to Defeat Eradication Efforts, Says PETA and One of the Participating Government Agencies
For Immediate Release:January 7, 2013
Contact:Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Tallahassee, Fla. -- PETA has fired off a letter to the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urging it to remove
decapitation as an acceptable means of killing Burmese pythons in a contest
dubbed the 2013 Python Challenge, which runs from January 12 through February
10 and includes cash prizes. In the letter, PETA points out that, according to
Dr. Clifford Warwick, one of the world's foremost experts in reptilian biology,
decapitation—followed by an attempt to destroy the snake's brain, as the
challenge recommends—cannot be carried out humanely in the field, leading to
The group also points out that turning the
python-eradication effort into a bounty hunt—prizes range up to $1,500—defeats
its purpose. A report prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey—which is listed
among "participating organizations" on the challenge website—concluded
that "[b]ounties have never been used successfully with invasive
reptiles" and that "any feature that adds value to an invasive
species … creates economic pressure to assure the population's
"This bounty hunt is misguided in the first place, but
allowing hunters to decapitate pythons—who remain alive and in agony and who
will writhe for an hour even after their heads have been cut off—is despicably
cruel," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Many of these animals
were once someone's 'pets,' who have since been thrown out like garbage, and
the FWC has an obligation to ensure that they don't suffer any more than they
PETA is calling on the commission to limit the recommended
method of killing the pythons to immediate destruction of the brain by gunshot
or captive-bolt gun. PETA has also requested that the commission remove its
endorsement of unspecified "other methods" that will "result in
immediate loss of consciousness and destruction of the … brain," with no
further guidance provided. These methods as well as decapitation could result
in violations of Florida's cruelty-to-animals statute.
information, please visit PETA.org.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.