Opinions On Hot Herp Keeping?

Hot means an animal that has venom potent enough to severely injure or kill a person. What are your opinions on keeping hot herps? Do you think they should be banned, regulated, or not regulated? Do you think a license should be required? What are your opinions on different kinds of animals: snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, etc.?

Do you think hot herps should be banned?
  • They should be banned.
  • They shouldn’t be banned.
  • I don’t have an interest in keeping them but they shouldn’t be banned.

0 voters

And of course if you have any hots feel free to share pictures.


If its a mildly venomous rear fanged snake or tarantula/scorpion I don’t think a license or permit should be required BUT just because they are mildly venomous does not mean care should not be taken as some might have an allergic reaction to the venom. When it comes to front fanged venomous snake and lizards such as the Gila or Beaded those I believe some kind of EASY TO GET permit or license should be required. Its to ensure the person purchasing is responsible enough to secure and handle these hot animals without injury to others or themselves. I think at least some kind of short training course Should be required.


Wow how do you create a poll. Didn’t know we could do that.

I don’t think any venomous should be banned. But there should be checks and balances.
I think the below checks and balances are reasonable.

In the UK (I think other than mildly venomous snakes like some rear fanged) any snake that can kill a human is regulated under the dangerous wild animals act. (if I remember rightly it includes non venomous snakes over 10 feet – but look it up yourself in the UK to be sure)
That doesn’t mean you cant keep it, but it does mean you have to prove it is kept securely. e.g suitable secure enclosure and double locking. (if Its still the same these days)
That sounds reasonable to me.

Edit, forgot to say here (UK) you do need a permit which is only provided if you can prove the above.
Again reasonable in my humble opinion.


I agree 100%, no permits for weak venom and easy & free or extremely cheap permits for venomous.

To create a poll you go to the gear to the right image and then click build poll.
That sounds fair too, as long as it’s easy to get permission and you don’t need expensive insurances for them I think that’s a good solution.


@erie-herps thanks for the poll tip.

Just a point tor those that dont think its ok to keep hot snakes with appropriate safety checks and balances.
Some dogs could several injure or even kill a human, but there is no requirement for them to have the same level of safety checks and balances in the UK. (I love dogs, just a point for contrast)

Edit: thought I should say for the record. I am not biast or have an agenda because I keep venomous snakes, I do not. Its just my opinion.


I think you nailed it on the first try. This is exactly the sort of regulation and permitting I think makes sense @ag2357

I don’t keep hots, for the record.


I think there should be some regulations for keeping legitimately dangerous species, such as permits. However, I would want people with actual reptile knowledge and experience to be the ones making the decisions about what species would be affected and how strict the requirements would be to keep them.

Personally, I have no interest in keeping hots myself! Some of them are really beautiful, but I don’t understand the desire to keep an animal that could kill or severely injure you (even accidentally!).


I agree, there should be some regulation for dangerous hots and it should be made by knowledgeable people rather than extremist animal rights groups.
The reason I’m attracted to hots (which I’ll hopefully get some in the far future) is because of their amazing colors, patterns, temperaments, and reputations. I think that morphs aside, hots are the most colorful snakes there are. Just look at squams, copperheads, rhino vipers, adders, mambas, king cobras, etc. They all are super colorful, bright, and usually iridescent.


I don’t have anything against people owning venomous animals, although I agree with everyone else that it should require some permits/training. Even a fairly simple training and permit process would hopefully weed out some people who want to get one on a whim, or have no previous reptile experience. Personally I have no interest in ever owning one, because I’m wildly clumsy and already have pretty severe reactions to most insect venoms, so it’s not a chance I’m willing to take. But I really enjoy looking at them, and can see how caring for one and providing husbandry to such a cool animal would be incredibly satisfying.


Oh, I didn’t even think about extremist animal rights groups! I was more just thinking average law maker/ congress person (who is probably afraid of snakes or thinks they’re gross). But yeah, definitely do not want decisions being made by any peta-type groups.


In addition to points other have made, I feel there should be age restrictions. Minors can cope with not having deadly animals for a couple years.


Very good point…To some responsible adults letting a minor have a hot as a pet is a huge no no but every now and then I’m sure some bad (or crazy) parent will pop up trying to get their kid a Gaboon Viper lol.


In some areas of the USA, unless things have really changed, it’s legal for minors to purchase hots on their own, without telling their parents. That’s the major disaster that I think needs to be avoided.


I’m on the fence with this. There are so many anti reptile bills being pushed right now I feel like I don’t want more! But with that being said there is a large number of hugely irresponsible people out there. And one of these people having a hot snake can probably do just as much damage to our hobby as the bills being pushed in the house and senate. So in theory am I in favor of some sort of training slash regulation regarding hot herps??? Yes in theory I am but hate to give an agency which might not have my best interest more power. Owning a venomous or huge reptile is a huge responsibility and does carry a certain amount of risk. We as a group really need to impress this on people. Retics,cobras,burms, and vipers are all snakes 95 percent of people have no business owning. With that said don’t think 5 percent should be punished because of it.


That could also be important for safety. If a younger minor had an allergic reaction to a hognose bite it could be deadly where for an adult it could be an annoying rash and asthma for a few hours.


I am sorry but these are antithetical ideas.

If the permit is nothing more than a five-minute formality then the responsibility of the keeper is also potentially nothing more that a five-minute formality. Minimal effort in, minimal effort out.

We see this across the hobby. Buy a $200 snake and put it in the cheapest enclosure they can buy with a cheapo stick on “thermometer” and a cheapo dome light with a cheapo “heat lamp” and cheapo astroturf bedding and cheapo water bowls and cheapo hides. And if their animal ever gets sick, they ask everyone for the cheapest way to make it better without having to go to a vet.

Minimal effort in

Minimal effort out.

A cheap and easy permit is just going to perpetuate that wrong attitude to keeping and that is dangerous when it comes to hots

You do not just hand a set of keys to a kid when they turn sixteen and let them start driving. The barrier to keeping hots should, at the bare minimum, be close to what it takes to get a driver’s license: conceptual education followed by concept testing followed by practical education followed by practical testing.

Does this have to be regulated by an outside agency? Not necessarily. But let us be brutally honest, the reptile community absolutely sucks at self-policing so the likelihood of every hot seller out there demanding proof of the above is basically zero. So unless that changes, someone is going to have to force the issue.

It would be a hell of a lot better for us if the pressure came from within, but… :man_shrugging:t4:


This is a bold stance, @t_h_wyman, and I totally concur with most of your points. But, while what @ag2357 suggested may not be perfect, it’s not a bad first step from where we are now. It’s a good first step.

Anything is better than nothing. In those places where minors can buy hots legally with no oversight it seems smart to have some small barrier to entry, no matter how flimsy. These sorts of changes are usually incremental, historically. Any chance for sweeping reforms is statistically slim, but small improvements have a greater chance of success.

Other than that, everything you said rings (painfully) true to me. Bravo.


First of all kids should not and would not be getting a permit/license if it was up to me. When I said easy I meant without a ton of redtape (which is the norm these days for alot of things) that would make it almost impossible for the average working person to go out and get. I didn’t mean go online fill out a questionaire and u suddenly have a permit…I did mention a TRAINING COURSE.

I believe if a person needs a training course, they are not ready yet.
I would prefer the person was proactive and already did their research, and got the education or training themselves and then prove they know what they are doing. That shows commitment and self responsibility.

I agree, I think it should be age restricted to adults. A certain level of maturity is needed.

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I can see why people might want to safeguard irresponsible and impulsive people. However, I think people should take personal responsibility for their choices. If I am foolish enough to purchase a gaboon viper with no hot snake experience and he kills me, well that was my choice. The problem is after he kills me it’s on the 6 o clock news and the next thing you know they’re trying to ban garden snakes. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this issue.