Devenomized snakes in Melbourne Australia.
OK, we at Snakebusters are world leaders with these things.
Here’s a quick rundown on the situation.
The first operations were done here in 2003 and by mid 2004 pretty much all our venomous snakes had been surgically devenomized.
The operation is effectively painless for the snakes and leaves them scar free and non-venomous for life.
Snakes that were an ever-present safety risk were suddenly risk free.
The benefit to the snakes of course was that they never had to endure the ongoing trauma of being stick or tong handled ever again.
The result is easily seen by their superior health and condition and that they are no longer stressed out of their brains every time they see a human approach them, as they know now they are not going to be thumped with a metal stick.
These snakes were used for our educational reptile shows in Melbourne Victoria Australia as well as kids parties, birthday party Melbourne entertainment, school displays, wild,life incursions and snake courses.
Due to their obvious advantages over the un-devenomized snakes, we at Snakebusters were inundated with requests by others to supply them with surgically devenomized snakes.
This was because, I, Raymond Hoser was the only person in Australia with the expertise to be able to perform what is in effect a very quick and simple surgical procedure I had devised.
Anyway, among the hundreds of people who approached me to supply them with surgically devenomized snakes (now known as venomoid snakes or venomoids) were no less than three reptile keepers at “Zoos Victoria”, the head of DSE’s enforcement branch, Ron Waters and many others well-known in the Australian reptile scene, as well as almost every other licenced reptile displayer and demonstrator in Australia.
For several reasons, we opted to decline all the requests and while it was from our position the better option, it caused a number of those refused these devenomized snakes to commence campaigning against them.
Most of this venomoid hatred was commercially motivated as our snakes gave us an unrivalled safety advantage over all other licenced snake displayers.
We could turn up at a shopping mall with the world’s deadliest snakes and guarantee no risk!
No one else could.
Our main business competitor in Victoria is the government owned and controlled “Zoos Victoria” who run three zoos around Melbourne, including the Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary.
They are run within the Department of Sustainability AND Environment (DSE) umbrella, who also happen to be the government department who regulate us.
In other words those who compete against us, regulate us and as an almost inevitable result, being unable to match our safety and expertise standards they have sought to undermine us at Snakebusters by various dishonest means, including through the imposition of rules and regulations on us, that no one else has!
In 2006, a newly licenced vet surgeon “Dr” Franciscus Schillings decided to make a name for himself and he decided to wage a print and online hate campaign against myself (Raymond Hoser) and venomoid snakes.
He posted globally on internet chat forums and the like and many of his comments were totally false and irrelevant, but all part of his campaign web of lies and deceit.
Of more relevance was that he is also employed by Zoos Victoria at Healesville Sanctuary.
In a comment typical of the anti-venomoid camp, he first published in print in an article in the journal “Crocodilian” the following comment:
“This author also has a moral objection as to the reason why this procedure is being performed. In reality venomous snakes are dangerous animals and if they cannot be handled safely without harm to either the animal or the handler then they should not be kept.”
Of course since that piece was published and in the relevant time, no less than four fellow Healesville Sanctuary employees have been carted to hospital for emergency venomous snakebite treatment and all needed anti-venom to survive.
Now using Schillings own argument, his own fellow staff at Zoos Victoria should now be banned from keeping venomous snakes.
You can also add to this list the other snake handlers and displayers who reposted “Dr Schillings” quotes and also bitten by their own venomous snakes and carted off to hospital, including two of our fiercest critics who were killed by their own venomous snakes in 2011, although as they are now dead, we won’t be arguing with them anymore!
It’s worth now noting the total hypocricy in terms of the fact that Zoos Victoria continue to keep venomous snakes and in spite of the fact that they have no guarantees that their staff won’t be bitten again, or for that matter a member of the public at one of their venues either.
Of note also is that quite sneakily, and aware of the hypocricy, Schillings and Zoos Victoria, or people acting for them, have successfully trawled the web and as far as we are now aware, removed all copies of the 2006 Schillings article that had been widely posted at the time as the “qualified” rebuttal of the need to have venomoid snakes.
After all, they didn’t want their totally hypocritical views on venomoids and the right to keep venomous snakes with venom to be widely known or exposed.
So I will now raise the obvious question, based on what the Zoos Victoria vet surgeon himself said:
Recall he said:
“In reality venomous snakes are dangerous animals and if they cannot be handled safely without harm to either the animal or the handler then they should not be kept.”
Now surely based on this, it’s time for Zoos Victoria to get rid of all their venomous reptiles before yet another serious accident occurs!
Snakeman Raymond Hoser.