01/16/2014 6:13 PM
01/16/2014 6:15 PM
While supporters of Sweetwater’s “rattlesnake roundup” want you to believe that hunters using gas to capture snakes perform some kind of public service, flooding essential wildlife habitats with toxic fumes is a cruel and outdated practice that should be banned. (See: Proposal to ban ‘gassing’ of rattlesnakes in Texas ignites backlash in Sweetwater,” Saturday)
“Gassing” is already banned in dozens of states, including all the states bordering Texas, for good reason: underground dens provide important shelter for hundreds of species, including foxes, lizards, birds and invertebrates. In Texas, 20 endangered animals live underground and could be harmed by gassing.
The western diamondback rattlesnake that hunters target poses little public safety risk. Although venomous, more people are killed every year by lightning strikes and bee stings. Nearly all diamondback bites happen when people attempt to capture or kill the snakes. Roundups probably increase the risk of snake bites by encouraging people to handle rattlesnakes.
Sweetwater can raise money for charity without killing snakes. In Georgia and Alabama, rattlesnake roundups have been replaced with wildlife festivals where snakes and other wildlife are celebrated, not killed.
— Collette Adkins Giese,
Center for Biological Diversity,
Submit a Letter or Cheer/Jeer
Verification: Letters must include author's full name, address and day and home phone numbers for verification purposes only.
Frequency: Writers are limited to one letter every 30 days.
Content: Suggested letter length is 200 words or less. Please limit your Cheer or Jeer to 50 words or less.
Items may be edited. All submissions to the Star-Telegram will become the property of the Star-Telegram.
Questions: Call 817-390-7830 or contact Mike Norman, Editorial Page Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Discussion
Fort Worth Star-Telegram is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.