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Position of the CHS regarding Commercial Trade of Reptiles and Amphibians in IL

The mission of the Chicago Herpetological Society (CHS) is to educate its members and the general public; to promote the conservation of all wildlife in general and of herpetofauna in particular; and to achieve a closer cooperation and understanding between amateur and professional herpetologists. Based on this mission statement and applicable Illinois and federal laws, the CHS has developed this document to outline our position regarding the commercial trade of reptiles and amphibians. We hope that this document will act as a guideline for all people involved in the trade of reptiles and amphibians in Illinois.

The CHS supports responsible, ethical, and lawful conduct in the trade of reptiles and amphibians. Irresponsible, unethical, or illegal trade in reptiles and amphibians reflects poorly on the entire herpetological community and may also lead to the passage of laws restricting the ownership of reptiles and amphibians.

We support the legal sale, trade, and captive maintenance of reptiles and amphibians and endorse the concept of reptile shows and expos, animal vendors, breeders, and pet stores. However, the CHS only participates in such venues through booths and displays that have been formally approved by the Board of Directors. CHS members only officially represent the CHS when working at these displays.

We encourage knowledgeable people to educate the public about the needs of reptiles and amphibians and to help prospective owners choose animals that are appropriate to their circumstances and abilities. We expect those involved with reptiles and amphibians to deal with them responsibly and ethically: namely, animals must be housed in a proper environment, transported securely and as comfortably as possible, given a proper diet and appropriate medical care, and provided protection from other animals and untrained people.

We recommend that animals intended to be pets be from captive bred stock.

Captive bred animals acclimate better to captivity, are readily available, and their use puts no pressure on wild populations. We urge all animal vendors, event organizers, store proprietors, breeders, and consumers to know and abide by federal, state, and local laws, including the Illinois Dangerous Animals Act, state and federal Endangered Species Acts, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

We encourage event organizers to contractually bind vendors to abide by the above recommendations and we encourage all CHS members and affiliates to follow these guidelines in the name of legal, ethical, and humane trade in reptiles and amphibians in the state of Illinois.

Adopted by the Board of Directors December 13, 2002