February 18, 2009, - 1:17 pm

Big Government, Animal Rights Great for Deadly Snakes

By Debbie Schlussel
India’s snake charmers have felt the weight of big government regulations and animal rights overkill for almost two decades. It’s taken away their livelihood, and they’re not happy. But they’ve been put to the side in the name of defending against that pandemic of . . . “snake abuse”?!:

Nearly 1,000 snake charmers held a protest in eastern India Tuesday, playing their flutes as they marched through the streets demanding the right to perform with live snakes.
Shows featuring cobras and other live snakes have been banned in India since 1991 though they are still a common sight, especially in tourist areas and in small villages.

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There are about 800,000 snake charmers still in India, according to the Snake Charmers Federation of India.
The technique – playing a flute to charm the animal out of a basket – is often handed down from father to son and charmers say their traditional way of life is threatened by the Wildlife Protection Act passed eight years ago.
Raktim Das, general secretary of the charmers federation, told reporters on the sidelines of the protest in Calcutta that the government should make the traditional performances legal again.
And it should set up serum farms where charmers could use their expertise in handling snakes to extract venom for medical use, he added.
Animal rights activists say that snake charming is a cruel practice because the animals sometimes have their mouths sewn shut, fangs removed or venom glands pierced to protect their handlers.
Snakes are deaf and their “dancing” movement is a self-defense response to vibrations they perceive as threatening.
Shakti Banerjee, director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, said the ban should be upheld because it has been effective in curbing abuse of snakes.

Well, maybe, instead, they can start charming Sean Vannity, Aaron Klein, Joseph Farah, and the Democrats in Congress. No one will ever know the difference.

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2 Responses

Animal rights people=people with too much time on their hands

mindy1 on February 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I actually love snakes because they kill rats and mice.

Ripper on February 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

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