Advocates Speak Against Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

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After months of searching and catching, rattlesnake hunters are turning in their collections for cash at the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.

“I enjoy doing it and it helps the ranchers and farmers  and the people around, a lot of the towns and they’ll sit there so we’ll go and pick them up and it keeps it safer,” said snake hunter Bubba Frizzell.

Bubba is one of many hunters who do the round up every year. The rattlesnake roundup pays hunters $10 a pound for snake, then displays them for the weekend before killing them and selling their meat and hide. While the event brings out spectators from all over

There are some people opposed to the round up.

“Events like the rattlesnake roundup in Sweetwater happening this weekend are a perfect example of how fear of snakes is used in a very bad way. In some ways the rattlesnake round up is a type of wildlife management. The round ups claim they are doing this to keep the snakes from being overpopulated, even though there is no science that says they are overpopulated, it’s just not the way science based wildlife management is done. And so that’s why we would like to see it stopped,” said Melissa Amarello, director of Advocates for Snake Protection.

There are groups raising awareness against the round up like advocates for snake preservation, as well as lobbyist trying to control the way snakes are hunted.

“There’s not much rule on hunting the rattlesnakes. There’s some legislation going on right now that they’re looking to try to prevent using the gasoline,” said game warden Roy Johnson.

Advocates are against the roundup to prevent animal cruelty and to protect the snake population.

And hunters believe what they are doing is in the best interest of the public.

“I think they’re wrong.They just need to be out there in the middle of it to know what’s going on,” said Frizell.

But protestors or not, the roundup will go rattling on this weekend.

(Information from BigCountryHomepage.com)

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