Be Careful When Buying Rodents At Shows

I just wanted to share an experience I had with the community so that others can learn from it. A few months ago I was at a show in Maryland and shopping for feeder rodents. After comparing prices, I decided to try one vendor and asked him to show me his f/t adult mice. He showed me them, all oriented the same way, back side up. They looked clean and healthy, so I bought them. The seller bagged them for me and I was on my way.

When I got home and took them out, I discovered that every mouse had their throat cut open, which was very disturbing to me. I’m disappointed that I had not checked them closer and that I supported this vendor. I also don’t understand this practice when CO2 is affordable and there are more humane methods of euthanasia. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, moral and ethical standards and I’m not here to tell anyone who to support, but I know many of you are like me and would not support this. Make sure you inspect feeders closely and if you’re in the Mid-Atlantic especially.

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That’s super weird. I’ve never heard of that as a method of dispatching feeder rodents. Can’t imagine that’s more time-cost effective than CO² or even cervical dislocation.

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Unfortunately I think that an irresponsible or uneducated rodent breeder might do this. If you’re looking at the quickest and easiest method this only takes seconds, but it is irresponsible. With CO2 you usually have to buy CO2 canisters and regulators. Cervical dislocation would be better but maybe they didn’t know about this or didn’t know how to do it.

Exactly. I don’t like making assumptions, but some people derive pleasure from hurting animals. Given the number of more humane and effective methods, it would not surprise me if it was the case here. Or like erie-herps suggested, just uneducated.

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That’s wild, I’ve nevr heard of anyone doing that before. I’ll never forget when I bought rodents from a breeder in northern PA years ago and instead of handing me a bag from the freezer, he started reaching into a bin full of rats, whacking them on the counter, and tossing them into the bag. I got home only to find that at least half of them were still alive and I had to humanely euthanize them myself. It was horrifying

Wow, that’s sad. It’s one thing if was effective and did the job quickly, but the fact that half were still alive… sorry you had that experience.

That’s insane. In all my years of having to pre kill rodents I’ve never heard of slicing the necks. I wouldn’t support such practices either when there’s more humane ways like C02. In my opinion, ignorance isn’t even a good excuse for such practices from a rodent breeder.

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Bought from that same seller and had the exact same experience.
I can recommend the seller at the Hamburg Expo though, if you attend. The one in the middle of the show, not at the front. (Not sure if I can write names here)

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That’s probably the guy I buy from now. I go to Hamburg, but have been avoiding it lately because of the crowds. We got there 30 mins before opening last time and the line was already out the parking lot, it’s crazy but cool to see so many reptile lovers.

There’s the guy with the giant rotating rat and the one with the young son helping. Both have decent quality feeders. Learned my lesson!

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The only humane option viable for feeders is CO2. Cutting the throat or any form of blunt trauma is inhumane. The vendor in question should be banned by the show organizer. This type of nonesense threatens the hobby and shouldn’t be tolerated by the community at large.

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Yes we mostly buy from the guy with the son.
The seller you bought from at the Maryland show was actually the only one allowed to vend rodents at that particular show.

There was some sort of viral outbreak with certain vendors rodents and they were the only ones that tested negative for the virus. They took advantage and sold low quality rodents at ridiculous prices at that show

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I agree, it gives the hobby a terrible name and the company should be banned and others made aware so they don’t support such cruel behavior.

I sent a message to the show promoter. Hopefully they take some kind of action. I agree that this gives the community a very bad look. If I was someone just getting into reptiles and purchased my first set of feeders from this individual, I certainly would think twice about it and question the ethics of the community.

Perhaps if more than one person complains, they’ll be more likely to do something. This was at the All Maryland Reptile Show. I don’t know what other shows he vends at, but I have not seen him in PA.

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Update: According to the show promoter, the rodents are killed in a laboratory setting using gas and their blood is collected for research purposes. Whether this is truly the case or not, I’m going to avoid the vendor. Something about that explanation just doesn’t sound right to me, but everyone can form their own opinions.

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Blood is never collected by slicing throats. If you want to collect blood you use a needle and are accurate with collecting it. If they were killed in a lab according to lab procedures that would be something to be proud of and mention as advertising.

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Yes, I agree 100%. The tone of his email was borderline confrontational, so I didn’t want to inquire further.

You cannot collect a sterile sample from drawing blood that way. Also, wouldn’t it be more effective to draw blood at regular intervals so that the rodents can replenish their blood volume, not needing to kill as many? And why you would kill hundreds to thousands of rodents for a volume of blood when you could draw from a single larger mammal (and not have to kill it) is beyond me.

Like I said, it just didn’t sound right to me and unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get anywhere since this is the person organizing the show.

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Killed in a lab setting? As in, these animals are literally lab rats. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t feel great about feeding the leftovers of the pharmaceuticals industry to my snakes, not exactly something to advertise. Not even to mention the fact you’re getting less nutrition from blood drained rodents.

This isn’t the first I’ve heard of recycled feeders. There’s stories of people finding rats with tattoos on their ears, even mandarin characters which is pretty sus if you ask me.

Could be someone covering another’s butt. Rodent breeding is a very cutthroat (pun intended) business.

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Yes! Two more great points I didn’t mention. I have no idea what these rodents were being used for in the lab and would not want to risk my snakes potentially absorbing some unknown pharmaceuticals.

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As long as they were just used for breeding/experimental controls it’s not a big deal. I occasionally bring home some retired breeders just because I hate to see them go to waste. As long as they haven’t been treated with anything, it should be fine.

However I don’t know of anyone who collects blood by slicing their throats, that’s super suspect.

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I’ve never seen anything like that at the shows I’ve been to, but I’ll keep it in mind to inspect the rodents I buy at one :flushed:

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