Propaganda!

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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Hey y'all,

The educational spider thread has just taken a turn that I feel might benefit me. Since it has meandered off-thread, though, I thought I'd start a new one.

I'm about to take on city council and their silly exotics bylaws. I have the reptile thing pretty well wrapped up, but I need a good way to convince them that T's should be legal. Unfortunately "I keep lots of very dangerous scorpions and you want to outlaw my G.rosea!?!" doesn't seem the best appraoch. ;) If I could amass some good arguments and stats etc., it would make things a lot easier.

Anyone have any experience along these lines? Anyone have any good data sources?

Cheers,
Dave
 

Immortal_sin

Arachnotemptress
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IMHO...citing authoratative quotes, or publications, or personal communications always seems to add more 'weight' to an arguement, especially with the bureaucratic type folks that you'll usually find in any political office :)
To acheive that, I might suggest contacting sources, such as Dr. Breene, etc. and get some quotes and written material from him and others to present.
I don't know, I've never done anything like this either, but's it what first came to my mind!
Good luck!
Holley
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
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Power to the people!!

Good luck SHD!! Let us know how that turns out. Just don't "mark" yourself for an investigation. If you do though, watch what you throw in your trash... that's how they (we) know what you're doing in your house.

Botar
 

Mister Internet

Big Meanie Doo Doo Head :)
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The biggest obstacle in getting people to understand "creepy" animals, or at least appreciate that there are people who do, is simply misinformation. Most people who grow up in the country or on farms deal with bugs and such on a daily basis, and as such usually aren't too fazed by them (like me). Most of the population, however, grows up in urban or urbanite areas where there is limited if any contact with Mother Nature, and they therefore learn to be afraid of that which they don't know (like my wife)... most of the time, it's not that they actually hate spiders and other such animals (I'm talking true, medical phobias here), it's just that when humans know very little about something, wive's tales, heresay, and conjecture immediately are granted legitimate status.

All this to say, be very careful of making anyone feel stupid, unreasonable, or uneducated because of their views on these animals (even though they ARE :p ). That will only serve to drive their predjudices deeper. Instead, try to draw comparison and similarities with things they actually may have encountered and feel comfortable with. For example, it's a known fact that domestic dogs kill around 15 people a year in this country (United States of America), and 80,000 people a year receive medically significant injuiries or injuries requiring medical attention from dog bites alone. Why not outlaw dogs? The Center for Disease Control here in the US has IMPRESSIVE statistics (the website is www.cdc.gov) on causes of death and all that rot... you might start there.

I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the U.S., it seems they would have to prove that there exists a public threat or preponderance of evidence (at least it's usually preponderance in administrative proceedings, reasonable doubt only applies to criminal proceedings) to the effect that Tarantulas, et. al. are in fact dangerous species.

I'm not a lawyer, please take everything I say with a shaker of salt.

Also, are they ALREADY ILLEGAL? If so, you might also want to avoid mentioned that you currently have a few in your care... you've basically just admitted on the record that you're in violation... not good. :) If they aren't illegal yet, you might want to bring along a nice calm, handleable T and give a short demonstration. :)

Hope this goes well for you...
 

Paul Day

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"I keep lots of very dangerous scorpions and you want to outlaw my G.rosea!?!"

Why would they want to outlaw that species, just curious? They should have a reason (weather correct or incorrect).

Pauly
 

krucz36

Chelcirator
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good points by all.
you may want to write brent hendrixson, stan schultz, dr. breene, sam marshall, and w few people of that ilk. i don't believe rick west is interested in propgating the hobby anymore, but it might be worth a try for some scientific details, if you need any.
all of the people mentioned are generally available via email.
good luck.

g
 

skinheaddave

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Good ideas all around. I'll have to get into contact with some of these reputable sorts. ;-)

As to its current illegality, there is a standing bylaw against all "venomous spiders." I was going to try pointing out that that technicaly makes house spiders illegal.

Paul,

They aren't specificaly trying to outlaw G.rosea. I was just pointing out the silliness of there being a bylaw against T's when there is no equivelent bylaw against scorpions.

And no, I am not going to mention what I have.

Cheers,
Dave
 

The_Phantom

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WHO WANTS TO BAN TARANTULAS ??????????????? NOOOOO !! Wait....I dont own any .......;)
 

Chris

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I am in the same boat

I hear ya man!

I am scrapping with local government as well over proposed new bylaws for the new city of Ottawa.

As it is drafted right now... about all a person would be able to keep as a pet is a dog or a cat.

I am planning to visit a city council meeting and make a presentation. With me... I will have my corn snake... a couple of tarantulas and some scorps to show them. I plan to handle all of these in front of them and show them that they arent evil creatures.

I am tempted to bring along a nastier spider that will surely bite me... just to prove that the venom is harmless. I dont mind taking a bite if it will do some good.

My suggestion to you Dave is to get the word out on the street. Get petitions with lots of names to back you up. Governments listen to large numbers of people better than one or 2.

I will help you out in any way I can... you know the email addy and the number if you need me.

Chris
 

Vayu Son

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><

They may just mean keeping widows and recluses and those that are medically significant, the same policy applies to airborne express, they ship nothing but 'non-venemous insects', which technically does not mean theraphosids, but they do it anyway.

Id start out by inquiring to the exact details of the law or ordinance before campaigning against it.
 

Case

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One point I would be sure to beat on is what is their definition of "venomous"?
I think most people associate that word with dangerous animals: rattlesnake, black widow, brown recluse, etc. It may well be that when they passed the law, their intent was actually only to ban critters with medically significant venom, and they aren't aware that many, many creatures which are harmless to people are technically venomous.
So, the whole thing may be simply a misunderstanding due to incorrect wording on their part. I would hit that point first, because hopefully if you can get them to clarify their wording, it may make further debate unnecessary.

Just a thought.

Scott
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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As it stands now, I have a meeting scheduled in mid October with the person who drafted the first bylaws. It is my hopes that convincing her to submit a modified version should be enough. After all, I got her name as being the person who would be asked to defend the old bylaws if I challenged. Unfortunately, what I have gotten from her so far has been very hard to decipher. You never know when you're going to run into an arachnophobe or the likes.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Gail

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Ah, Botar is so right - the things that one can learn from trash are amazing AND as long as they pick it up once you've taken it to the curb it's all legal too - they just can't come onto your property to take it. At least I think that's how it is, I'm sure Botar could confirm for sure.

I agree with the others on getting good scientific proof - politics tends to ignore things like the difference between venomous and posionous. Good luck.

Gail
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
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That is a gray area in the law. Since they cannot actually give a definite measurement on how far from the house/close to the curb is legal, it is decided on a case by case basis. Basically, when the trash is far enough away from the house for the courts to deem it "abandoned property", then it's fair game. In other words, yes, they can come onto your property to retrieve it. It just has to be ruled by the courts as "trash".

Botar
 
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