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March 9, 2012

The HSUS Commends the Evans County Wildlife Club’s Decision to End Cruel Rattlesnake Roundup

The Humane Society of the United States praised the Evans County Wildlife Club for  its compassionate decision to transform its annual Claxton rattlesnake roundup into the Claxton Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival.

Organizers said snakes will no longer be caught in the wild or offered for sale at the event—a positive departure from past years where snakes and their habitats were grossly mistreated. Instead, the event will focus on celebrating, rather than destroying, rattlesnakes and promote stewardship of Georgia’s wildlife and ecosystems.

“The era of the rattlesnake roundup is over, thankfully,” said Jessica DuBois, Georgia state director for The HSUS. “We’re pleased that Claxton organizers, along with others in Fitzgerald, Ga., and San Antonio, Fla., are moving toward an event that promotes co-existence and wildlife stewardship. This shift reflects the fact that rattlesnakes are important species that deserve our respect.”

By all measures, the old-style rattlesnake roundups are bad for animals and for ecosystems. In the months prior to these events, gasoline and other toxins are used to flush rattlesnakes from burrows, injuring and killing many snakes and a variety of non-target species. Then, once captured, snakes are often subjected to acute suffering for weeks and months in captivity.

The last remaining rattlesnake roundup event in Georgia takes place in Whigham, and there are others operating in Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

For more information on The HSUS’ work to end rattlesnake roundups, please visit humanesociety.org/issues/rattlesnake_roundups/

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Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-248-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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