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Section A: General News


Snake lovers ask county to reconsider recent ban


Snake lovers ask county to reconsider recent ban
Dave Barker


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Wilson County News
February 13, 2013
3,859 views
16 comments

A group including herpetological experts and snake breeders is asking the Wilson County Commissioners Court to reconsider the provisions of its Nov. 28 vote to enact restrictions on certain non-indigenous snakes being kept as pets in unincorporated regions of the county. This was a dominant topic of discussion during the commissioners’ Feb. 11 meeting.

The ordinance, which became effective Jan. 1, defines a “controlled exotic snake” as a venomous snake not indigenous to Texas. These are banned from ownership, along with other exotic snakes, such as pythons and anacondas (and hybrids).

Jason Royer, owner of Royer Reptiles located outside La Vernia, also works in Iraq as a civilian contractor. The Wilson County native and his wife breed boa constrictors and ball pythons -- both outlawed by the commissioners’ action --which forced him to make arrangements for friends in other counties to house his snakes.

David Barker, a professional herpetologist from Kendall County, explained to the commissioners that boa constrictors and pythons have gotten a bad rap from TV shows and movies, and that Wilson County’s climate is not conducive to these animals being able to survive if introduced. A cold snap in the Florida Everglades, which is purported to be home to scores of these creatures, killed 90 percent of the pythons during the winter of 2010-11.

“There’s no way they’ll live past the first cold snap,” he said.

Pete Minicos, vice president of the South Texas Herpetological Society, said that captive snakes must be kept in climate-controlled environments, or they will not survive.

Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney suggested that the group meet with veterinarian George Hill, who helped the county author the ban, to see if a middle ground can be reached.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Gave conditional approval, pending review by its insurance agent, to allow paranormal groups to give tours of the Wilson County Jailhouse Museum in downtown Floresville.

•Approved spending an estimated $8,500 for a structural X-ray technician to take X-rays of the floors of both the Wilson County and the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III, ahead of proposed renovations of both buildings.

In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., interim County Auditor Verna Gorzell, County Clerk Eva Martinez, County Treasurer Jan Hartl, Library Director Nicki Stohr, Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Jim Burdette, and Emergency Management Coordinator LeAnn Hosek.

Video A:


Video B:
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Jason Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
February 18, 2013 6:38pm
 
And I can't help but comment on this.....let's talk about a REAL problem animal when it comes to our wild Texas populations of animals. We are all talking about taking away a responsible person's ability to keep certain species ... More ›

 
Jason Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
February 18, 2013 6:28pm
 
For us snakes represent so many other things other than just a cool pet. Ever since I was a kid I always imagined working someday with snakes, and I've been fortunate enough to live in a time when having a legitimate snake ... More ›

 
Alvin Charmaine  
February 18, 2013 6:19pm
 
Boots and belts.

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
February 18, 2013 5:50pm
 
Don't know about at the Dylla's but if you took them to our place, there would just be a bunch of dead snakes.

 
Its Me  
Over Here  
February 18, 2013 3:32pm
 
I say if us law abiding snake owners must surrender our snakes we take them to Dyllas place and turn them loose.

 
Laura Dylla  
Adkins, TX  
February 18, 2013 2:15pm
 
For me the only good snake is one that doesn't come in contact with me or my family. Snakes in Texas are there for a reason and I respect that when going out in the wild areas of my place or other areas, I may come in contact ... More ›

 
Jason Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
February 17, 2013 10:45am
 
I would love to comment a bit on this as well. Laura, you must understand that Kassandra or myself are not attacking you in any way. We too are extremely upset that someone's burmese python was allowed to roam free and caused ... More ›

 
Kassandra Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
February 17, 2013 12:27am
 
I apologize if you felt I was Attacking you in any way, I was merely discussing the issue. We have put considerable effort into providing the commissioners with factual information so that they have what they need to make a ... More ›

 
Laura Dylla  
Adkins, TX  
February 16, 2013 8:02pm
 
I don't know why Dr Hill decided to bring this before the commissioners court which then voted to support his proposal on his advice. I just posted why I was for enactment of the ordinance. He is a well known veterinarian ... More ›

 
Kassandra Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
February 16, 2013 7:21am
 
Your choice not to own a dog that could kill some else's animals does not equate to banning all other people from owning dogs that might kill livestock. It will never be right to punish an entire group of people for the irresponsible ... More ›

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