Parents: Put the Brakes on Snakes, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – With the holiday shopping season just around the corner—and because the captive-reptile industry continues to market snakes inaccurately as “starter pets”—PETA is alerting parents to the dangers of buying these complex animals as presents with the following information:

  • Snakes have highly specialized needs—they require precise spectrum lighting, heat, humidity, and food as well as complex, enriching enclosures that are longer than their bodies in which they can bask, burrow, and explore.
  • Snakes naturally shun human contact, and being handled and kept in barren glass enclosures can leave them prone to illness and injury.
  • At least 75% of pet reptiles, including snakes, die within one year—the majority from stress related to captivity.
  • Most reptiles are captured and taken out of their native wild habitats and then sold by breeders en masse. A PETA investigation of California dealer Global Captive Breeders revealed small drawers filled with maggots, starving and dying snakes, and snakes’ rotting carcasses.

“In the wild, snakes warm themselves in the sun, burrow underground, swim and climb trees, and travel long distances—and they suffer immensely when they’re relegated to cramped glass tanks,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging people to keep snakes off their wish lists.”

More information about PETA’s lawsuit is available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind