Ban Cruel Annual Rattlesnake Roundups in Texas

Target: Rick Perry, Texas Governor

Goal: Stop the abusive annual rattlesnake roundups in Texas

The largest rattlesnake roundups in the world occur in the city of Sweetwater, TX, where an average of 12,000 pounds of Western Diamondback snakes are caught per year. This annual event, which takes place every second weekend in March, first started in 1958 as a means of protecting livestock from rattlesnakes. Hunters venture into the countryside, aiming to capture as many rattlesnakes as possible and many hunters capture these snakes and leave then in horrid conditions while waiting for the weekend festivities to start. The methods used to hunt these snakes are detrimental to our environment and the conditions these snakes have to endure in captivity are barbarous.

Hunters use harsh materials, such as gasoline and other toxins, to lure the rattlesnakes from their homes. The gasoline and other toxins are placed into the dens and burrows throughout the countryside and these toxins often seep into the soil, ruining the environment. Roughly 25 other species may live in these dens and burrows and after the hunters’ attack, they must find new homes. The cruelty unfortunately does not stop at the rattlesnakes’ homes.

Once captured, rattlesnakes are forced to endure some of the most disgusting conditions. The rattlesnakes are brought to the Nolan County Coliseum, where hundreds of them are skinned and decapitated. However, before they are brutally murdered, hunters take drastic precautions to make sure the rattlesnakes will not retaliate. Some of these precautions include freezing the snakes for up to two hours to prevent mobility, pulling the fangs out to prevent unwanted bites, sedating them with liquor, and sewing their mouths shut. Some of the rattlesnakes are even used as a form of entertainment before they have to meet their deaths. Rattlesnakes are pitted against one another while the hunters use sticks and objects to anger them.

The rattlesnakes that are captured way before the festival are left in small cages usually without food or water. The hunters use a method called ‘pancaking’ in which the snakes are coiled up and squeezed into small cages. Many snakes that are held in confinement end up dying due to the conditions.

The Sweetwater community must acknowledge the cruelty they inflict on these innocent animals and stop this tradition of rattlesnake roundups.


Dear Governor Rick Perry,

The annual rattlesnake roundups in Sweetwater, TX must be banned. This tradition started back in 1958, when hunters did not know how to protect their livestock effectively from rattlesnakes. With improved farming technology, the rattlesnakes do not pose as huge of a threat to the livestock as they did before. The roundups are merely forms of entertainment at the expense of the rattlesnakes.

Hundreds of rattlesnakes are captured and tormented before they are brutally killed. The rattlesnakes are forced into small confines that do not allow them to uncoil and they often die before the March festivities even begin. Other forms of cruelty include freezing them to prevent mobility, sedating them with alcohol, ripping their fangs out, and sewing their mouths shut.

These actions are extremely cruel and horrific and you must stop the rattlesnake roundups permanently.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Snakes are living , feeling beings too, like the rest of us. They are an integral part of the ecology. Nobody has the right to torture anybody.

  2. Who cares? This benefits everyone from getting bitten and decreases rattlesnake population.

  3. Venom is being studied for medicinal purposes and shows to be beneficial to stopping tumor growth among other things. All snakes help keep rodent population under control. Without snakes we would be over run by disease carrying rodents. Snakes have an important roll in the environment.

  4. For all you ignorant people out their,snake venom may help cure cancer& other diseases!& if milked properly they are not harmed! So if you think it’s cool to wear snake skin boots & carry stupid handbags made out of snake your sadly mistaken!

  5. wendy townsend says:

    Thankfully, the humane and rational comments outweigh the dispassionate and inaccurate one.

  6. Not sure where I stand on this exactly. The cruelty and sport of it seems unnecessary. But I live in this area and it’s not entirely for sport it’s also pest control. These snakes aren’t just nearby, they’re in peoples backyards, barns and cellars. I don’t know anyone in that country side who hasn’t had a near-miss with one. A few that have been bit and plenty of dead livestock and family pets. I’d been dangerously close to one several times before I was ten. We have to clear the cellar and barn next to my grandparents house occasionally for safety. I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t a safety issue and get no joy from it (scares me pretty bad actually) Well do it in the winter when their hybernating so their house is safer that summer. that’s the same reason for the timing of the roundup. To illustrate their population It’s not unusual to kill about forty in one cellar. That being said many of these rural communities are an hour plus away from a hospital. I don’t condone excessive cruelty to them and I know it’s often the case. I just wanted to voice that it is born out of neccesity not just boredom and inhumanity. They are lethal pests that people have to worry about every day in the summer. If you really want to get involved I’m sure they’d let you come pick some up this fall to raise in your backyard and then we wouldn’t have to deal with it.

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