Rescuer needs rescue

New provincial rules combined with a Chilliwack bylaw may prove to be the final blow to an Abbotsford reptile rescuer’s operation.

Like all owners of exotic pets such as snakes, alligators or tigers in British Columbia, Mike Hopcraft–known as The Reptile Guy–faces fines, jail time and the seizure and destruction of his animals when new rules come into effect April 1.

Hopcraft runs a rescue operation out of his home, something he can afford to do only because he does outreach educational presentations at schools and birthday parties. Because of the new exotic pet regulations, Hopcraft says he can no longer do his presentations unless he is accredited by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).

Environment minister Barry Penner announced new rules regarding alien species at the Vancouver Acquarium on March 17, 2009. Penner is shown here holding onto a boa constrictor.

“I’ve been home-based for 10 years but you can’t be accredited in your home,” he told the Times Wednesday.

Read full story HERE.

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About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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