Where can you buy a venomous snake?

21 Mar 2020

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At least half a dozen high street stockists of venomous snakes were identified this month through an online search by Vet Record. This is likely to be the tip of the iceberg since trading also takes place via internet forums and black market routes.

Rainforest Exotics in Ross-on-Wye advertised king cobras for sale earlier this year. In an online advertisement, the shop stipulated that the snakes were for ‘experienced’ Dangerous Wild Animals (DWA) licence holders only. Herefordshire Council confirmed that Rainforest Exotics is licensed to sell venomous snakes.

Another pet shop, Wight Vipers, on the Isle of Wight, advertised a Sri Lankan pit viper for sale last year – again, perfectly legally. The shop’s website also advertises a highly venomous species of rattlesnake. As with Rainforest Exotics, a post on the shop’s Facebook page noted that the pit viper was for ‘DWA licence holders only’. Isle of Wight Council...