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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought I'd start a thread to discuss what people's views are on the standard of reptile keeping in the UK.

For me personally, I find it extremely lacking. From my experiences it sadden's me to see the state that most people I have met keep their reptiles. I have talked and met various forum member's and a lot of non-forum member's too and found that a lot of what people preach is never practiced. Even the most basic of husbandry standards such as heat/lighting/cleaning are not met.

I have seen some seriously sick animal's and what shocks me the most is that the owners seem to think it's completely acceptable to keep reptiles in this way. They will show them off as if it's the norm and show no shame in the way they are kept. This I put down to either a lack of knowledge and common sense and just general ignorance toward's the level of care they are giving.

Don't get me wrong. We can all improve our care and I have met some brilliant keepers, but unfortunately, in my experience, these good keepers are a very very small minority. I also understand that it's all a matter of perspective. I'm sure some keepers would compare my husbandry to their own and find it lacking but it's a far cry from what I would consider sheer neglect of some peoples collection.

It sadden's me to say that the more involved I get in this hobby, the more it anger's me and the more I think that where the greater good is concerned, we should not be allowed to keep reptiles in the UK.

I'm keen to hear other peoples opinions on this but I ask that no reference to people or businesses are made please. I'd also like to hear of your good experiences too as after the things I've seen this past year or so, I find myself questioning my place in this hobby.

All the best

Tom
 

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Hi

IMO it's all about common sense.

Whether the education comes via the internet / word of mouth / fact sheet / supplier, there is always going to be a difference of understanding what you are told/read.

Sadly, there are people who make irrational decisions that they cannot cope with and this doesn't just include reptiles.

All the time the human race are surviving there will be disasters when tending to the things they are supposed to be responsible for.

Sad state of life that.
 

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iv seen and heard of people who dont even use a stat...
i understand some people have room temps that never flucuate apprently, but its a good fall back if something should happen to their heating or something...
 

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I agree with the stupidity of some people and there inability to take in advise of people but to say we shouldn't be allowed to keep reptiles is a bit extreme to me, if that was the case we shouldn't be allowed to keep dogs cats birds fish shouldn't be allowed to have baby's because there are people out there that neglect all of the above.
It would be nice if there where stricter rules to get animals I don't like the fact that you can just go to some shops a get a beardie or huge monitor lizards and the people selling don't even ask what your set up will be like or even explain the size of some of the lizards but dont get me wrong that's only some shops.
 

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I think a large problem Is peoples needs to breed and feel to be classed as someone special means they rush to get to breeding conditions and produce poor quality and also put their animals in danger.

23 years ago when I started out there was no Internet and information wasn't available as it is now but saying that the quality of shops selling stock was higher and the good shops only sold to people who showed they was ready, now it's a case of sell as much as you can as quick as you can. I made many mistakes back then but it was a learning curve for many people but now all the info is available and more scientific so it should be easy to get it right.

This forum and others are turning into a self promotion site for people to show off what they have more than a place to gain resources because everyone thinks they are experts.
 

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I know this is about reptiles but i used to find it with birds also. Anyone, myself included can repeat what as been read in a book. I wouldn't dream of giving advice because i have not got the experience with reptiles but many do and this is sad. As you say they can preach but never is practiced and it really does sadden me.
I am fairly new to reptiles but have experience with care of alot of animals especially foreign finches where i am competant to give advice, this comes from experience not what as been read in a book.
Alot is common sense but this does seem to be difficult for alot of keepers across the animal world. Just to make do with what you have is never enough and really is a disgrace. Not to give the best, I'm not talking about the best you can because of financial reasons. If you can not afford to give the very best conditions and care you shouldn't be keeping any animals FULL STOP.
 

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As a newbie to the hobby before i even though about getting a reptile the first place i went was the internet. and ended up here!

the next thing i did was read read read until i was sure i knew the basics of how our pet was to be set up and kept. once comfortable i posted up what i belived to be a correct shopping list to have people anaylise(sp?) it and advise what else i needed.

I did actually get suggestions and altered my list based on this from the experience people had for better equipment.

Lucky to say we have a happy healthy beardie who is thriving in his viv and growing well.

I think alot of it comes from amature breeders & certain shops ignorance and just thinking of the money in thier banks trying to get as many reptiles out the door as possible to get the next batch in and out in the same fasion.

This is not to say all breeders and shops are bad. i have seen examples of both good and bad shops & breeders.
 

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I have met a good proportion of keepers from foums and non, and to some extent i agree with you.

However, i feel the majority i have met do indeed preach what they say. Thoughi find these are mainly the longer term keepers. However, i have met people that have preached to me and upon seeing their collections have noticed major errors and often sick animals.

I think the majority do indeed preach what they say, but there is a growing number of keepers, know it alls, and general people who are are neglecting animals and making bad errors of judgment. I dont feel they are doin this dilibretly they have just been informed incorectly, dont understand it, or have a major lack in common sense.

However, i also feel that this exists in other relsm of pet keeping, such as cats, dogs, rabits, guinnea pigs and hamsters. The extend to which these animals are often mistreated, through lack of undertanding and knowledge is shocking. Often with owners parading them around with know idea they are ill, or poor examples. But like i said i think this is the minority rather then the majority. But as with the law i dont beleive ignorance of correct care is an excuse.

jay
 

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A lot of people get animals without thinking through costs, and i dont think that can be generalized to one area such as the UK. I have had cats and dog for many years and tropical fish,i have gone without to make sure my animals never have, for vets etc. My one year old cat cost me over £1,000 this year to have two toes amputated as didn't have insurance, many said i should have had her put down, but for what she was a healthy young cat that got hit by a car it was my fault at the time that i didn't have insurance. Now she is active and happy again minus a few toes and now insured so is the dog lol.
I am new to reptiles, and ended up looking after a friends bearded dragon when he split with his partner, while looking after him i did a lot of reading up and joined the forum, finding he was lacking a lot of basic care with his current set up, i talked to my friend who gave him to me. It has took over £300 to get him his 4ft viv, with correct heating lighting, supplements, diet etc but i dont regret spending a penny as i know he is a happy well loved dragon now. He has become part of the family. The saddest part with him is either through previous owners and lack of basic care or poor breeding he has deformed back feet. They cant be fixed, and he manages well, but needn't have happened to him with proper care. I have had him now for over two months and am still learning, but i know i have improved both his life and diet shame it took him two years to get the right home
 

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I work in differnt peoples home everyday and have come across alot of people who own reptiles. I generally work in these peoples houses from 1-5 days so i always mention there reptiles ive seen, and if there kept in the house i see them as i have to go in every room for my job.

I always mention ive kept certain reptiles and have bred certain reptiles ect and 8 times out of 10 the customer will ask if i think there keeping there reptiles properly (will usualy be the customers childs reptile) and the majority of the time there is at least a few things they could change and other times there fine. I explain what they could change or add ect and if its equipment related i give them surreys website and tell them theyll get it there for far cheaper then there petshops.

What i have found talking to these people is that the vast majority of them have been ill informed on how to keep there reptiles. I find that 95% of the people i come across take the petshop staff as knowing what there doing and trust them to give them correct information but i find this rarely to be the case. Theres a fair percentage of shops that shouldnt be allowed to even trade in reptiles never mind sell these animals on and give the new owners rubbish info and sell there customers as much as they possibly can. Then theres the bigger chained shops that from my experience some times employe complete morons who wouldnt no the differnce between a snake and some rope and are only there because they need the money untill they can move on some were else. Althought sometimes you really do get some great people working in these shops who really are addicted to reptiles and give very good information.

My main point is that alot of the time people are keeping reptiles badly or incorrectly but only because of the information they have been given. I find most people i have given information to have taken it on board and actually acted upon what ive said. Ofcourse theres still a small minority of idiots out there that dont really care about how there keeping there reptiles but this is also the same for any other pet owners as we often see on the news of horses and dogs ect that have been saved due to very bad conditions.

CrestieCrazy
 

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This is a rather sensitive topic, so I will pick my words carefully, but if someone takes offense to what I saw I apologise now.

I work in a role where I attend a lot of peoples homes, not my choice 90% of the time, in this role I've had the unpleasant business of removing animals from their owners to neglect or take further action as a result of worst case scenarios.

I have also been in to the keeping of reptiles now for almost a decade, I don't claim to be perfect owner or the most knowledgable, but I know how to care for the animals I want to own and will pour all my love and care in to them.
I have seen in my experience that people buy things on an impulse buy, whether be animals/ cars what ever the taste may be. There are other that buy after a long study and research, I my self spent the best part of 3 months before buying my old set up for my old leo, then again another month before I got the reptile. I know of others who don't do the studying and go straight for the creature, thinking that it can't be hard to look after.

In my view the reptile has become the new "hamster" pet for people, difference being that reptiles will most likely outlive any of their mammal counter parts. This is because they are now widely available, where in the past it was a lot harder to get hold of, or they were not as well known.

But I will add that reptiles are not alone, for example: people buy dogs for many reasons, some as a "status" others buy because they always wanted one and have never thought about the extra costs such as vet bills or insurance.

These are purely my own views and are not aimed at anyone in particular or anyone who may be on this site.
 

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I've spoken with a few reptile keepers/friends of reptile keepers who are not part of this forum, and it's very, very obvious that the overall standard of care is seriously lacking. It's forums like this that help rectify this in my opinion as it brings opinions together.

Someone's boyfriend was going to get a tortoise, and he was going to let her buy a bearded dragon to go in the viv with it. Someone's friend had a baby bearded dragon and was giving it 5 crickets a day. Someone had a trio a fat tails and didn't think they would breed - they ended up selling the male because he was doing as nature intended, and sold one of the females as well because 'she hid all the time and was boring'.

I put a lot of it down to ignorance. Not in a bad way, mind you, but keepers need to research, research, and research again before taking the plunge, else risk putting the lives of their charges at risk. They also need to be prepared to change their husbandry if it becomes apparent something's not working - the stubborn may well doom their pets.

I myself researched for months, and yet even after getting my first reptile, I became aware that my husbandry could be improved ever further, and adapted as such. The hobby is ever changing and people need to be ready for that.

Also, as mentioned, reptiles are becoming more and more the impulse buy - which in turn invites those who are not as well researched to just purchase one, stick it in a tank, and wonder why things go wrong.

The sheer number of people who now want to breed may also contribute to the problem. A lot of them don't know how to look after one animal rather than a large number. It gives good breeders and keepers a bad name... pushes them aside... I know I'd rather purchase an animal that has known good living conditions and subsequently a good life, from someone who knows what they are doing and cares for their pets - not someone who just 'felt like doing it'.

Please excuse any totally unintelligible babble... I'm not well and am very tired ;)
 

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as someone who took another person's impulse buy i agree people dont research but it is difficult to get good advice in some areas. We have been into all our local shops who sell reptiles and got conflicting advice from everyone. Some felt like they just wanted to make more sales! I eventually found a good place and now the leos are thriving. I do find sometimes on this forum people can be quite rude and intimitating which does mean i ask less questions than i may actually want to
 

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as someone who took another person's impulse buy i agree people dont research but it is difficult to get good advice in some areas. We have been into all our local shops who sell reptiles and got conflicting advice from everyone. Some felt like they just wanted to make more sales! I eventually found a good place and now the leos are thriving. I do find sometimes on this forum people can be quite rude and intimitating which does mean i ask less questions than i may actually want to
I agree, it's difficult to get advice in some places! Even the Internet shouldn't be taken as gospel. This is why people need to research as much as they can before getting an animal, with as many different resources as they can find. Common sense also prevails :2thumb:

And what do you mean RFUK people are rude and intimidating? Come and say that to my face! :Na_Na_Na_Na:
 

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Our hobbies biggest downfall is people who get into it with £ signs in their eyes, especially the ones opening shops with no clue what they're doing.
SOME Pet shops are a huge source of some seriously damaging information and people will not know any better, especially when they go into a shop and expect the right information to be given (and why shouldn't they?)
Some people don't have access to the internet or just don't come across sites like these because they think everything is going great so see no need to seek out things, after all to some people it's just a pet (maybe to show off to friends) and they don't want to know additional information.
I really think some people who are neglecting their animals are doing it unintentionally because of information they've received and if they were pointed in the right direction they would change their ways.
On the other hand some people are not willing to change despite what type of information they receive and how many people agree with it.

Another part of our hobby that is seriously lacking is variety of species, especially compared to Europe making it a pain in the bum to get some more interesting species without traveling to the Hamm shows
 

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hmmmmmm interesting subject!

i also travel for work and this summer have seen more pet reptiles than i can remember in previous years. some of these have been kept in excellent conditions with very knowledgeable and diligent owners. unfortunately i've also seen some disgusting vivs kept by complete trolls:devil:.

The exact thing can be said for dogs aswell, maybe its just that we notice reptiles more because thats our niche interest.

with regards to "practice what you preach" - its easy to say the right things over the internet to make yourself appear to be no.1 rep keeper when the reality is very different!!

personally i would like to see tighter controls over the sale of reptiles maybe only through specialist exotic shops??? i dont know how this could be implemented but i'm sure it would be a start to eradicate those who buy reptile as a passing fad.
 

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I think that there is a problem(if i can say it that way) on here. When tombo said they dont do as they have preached i can imagine this is right.
I hear many people talking about correct care but sometimes these people are also being advised to take their reps to vets and not ask for medical advise on a forum.
Now i would like to touch on the positive side of things as i feel this is important.

I hope salazare doesnt mind me mentioning him.from his threads he shows great determination to a species which often ends up being rehomed due to a lack of care. He exibits great care for his iggy and is an brilliant example of reptile care in the uk at its best.

I am sure there are many people on here that have examplary care such as Mal,BRO,Tombo etc. But there is also the people who have shown rather sub-standard care.

I do not class myself in any category with regards to care. I offer my reps the best that i can and im my doing this hopefully giving them a spacious and comfortable life. I hope that i can achieve this through their hopefully long lives.

I always listen to other peoples opinions on care. I try to offer advise to the best of my limited knowlege.

Regards

Marius
 

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in a couple of words "better then the US" they keep reptiles in fish tanks and think that an adult beardie cna live in a 3foot fishtanks its whole life and most of thme are little 13years olds that put breeding there reptile st be4 the basic care of the reptile
 

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The first time i ever saw a reptile was in my friends uni dorm, it was an adult bearded dragon being kept in a cardboard box and a desktop lamp for heat. The owner said it was happy, me having no idea of reptiles in the slightest thought this the norm and that the cardboard box was suitable and that the dragon was happy as it was well fed and had its own space. The said person who then became my flatmate bought the dragon a vivarium a few weeks later once we had moved into our new house, it was a 3 foot with a uv and a heatmat, he has since bought it a female, attempted to mate the female, she laid eggs 3 times all of which didnt hatch (thank god), then he sold the female after a few failed mating attempts... Looking back now the care is lacking.... I also purchased my first bearded dragon a few weeks after moving into a houseshare with him, kept it in a vivarium and put a juvie in there, I then thought another dragon would be good to keep it company as this was advice I had been given, my original dragon died a few weeks later due to stress.. the places I had bought my equipment and the reptiles from had given me no advice on how to keep the reptile... This is where I found a few care sheets.. the first i had ever heard of these, and now provide the best care I know how to for all of my reptiles... the biggest problem is of people seeing how one person keeps their pet.. and copying as they think that is the right way to do it.. forums like these are the best way to ensure that people who type 'bearded dragon' or 'leopard gecko' into google find experienced owners with good advice.. most of the time
 

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You are right in that there are many reptile keepers in the uk who are not giving the correct standard of care their pets, but there are still many who do. For example the amazing people on this forum who give out valuable advice (whether it gets listened to or not is a different story).

I am currently in a situation where my feelings are similar to yours. I am a riding insructor and am so sick and tired of coming across horse owners who do not have the correct knowledge of care and as a result the animal suffers. :censor: If I were to turn around and say that people should not be allowed to keep a horse in the uk then people like myself would not be able to either. So I am currently campaigning to bring out a horse owners license. This way it would be illegal to keep a horse without a license which would only be issued once the correct level on knowledge had been proven. I am fully aware that this is a complete pipe dream but I think the theory behind it is good and I know this would improve horse welfare greatly in the long run......something similar for reptiles cound be an idea:2thumb:
 
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