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]