Proposal That Would Have Banned Gassing of Rattlesnake Dens in Texas Killed

October 25, 2016

The gassing of rattlesnake dens in the state of Texas will continue as a proposal to ban the practice was removed from the November meeting agenda of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. 

The agency has refused to take up the issue several times in the last several years, thanks in part to several state lawmakers as well as communities that hold so-called rattlesnake roundups. Pouring gasoline into the dens makes it easier for so-called rattlesnake hunters to round these reptiles up for entertainment purposes. 

Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Clinton & Charles Robertson/wikipedia

Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox).

According to The Statesman, the commission “has decided that, at this time, there is insufficient support from legislative oversight or the potentially regulated community for the department to move forward with regulating the use of gasoline to collect rattlesnakes,” John Davis, wildlife diversity program director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, wrote in an email published in the paper.  

“TPWD staff still believe that there are better options for collecting snakes that do not adversely impact non-target species, and we will continue to work with the snake collecting community to develop and implement best practices that reduce potential impacts to these species.”

The decision to remove the issue from the commission’s November agenda was made by Dan Friedkin, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission chairman. 

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