My stance on reptile ownership
By Ed Sayres
I would like to personally share my stance on reptile ownership and ensure both owners of reptiles and the organizations that support them that as President and CEO of PIJAC I will work to protect reptiles as fiercely as any other pet type. There is no doubt that some view me as an unconventional choice to lead PIJAC and that you might have concerns.
In retrospect, given the nature of the ASPCA’s mission, I had a rather limited view during my tenure as the organization’s CEO, responding in the field to some of the worst reptile types and handlers who represent a small minority — not the majority. My view in light of those circumstances formed the basis for some statements I made during that period and campaigns that were developed under my leadership. I know now that I was misinformed about the majority of reptiles that do not pose a public risk and the breeders and suppliers who work diligently to provide healthy reptiles and safe handling information.
One of PIJAC’s functions is protecting the health and safety of pets and pet owners and that includes reptiles. I will continue PIJAC's mission to protect the entire pet community, including responsible reptile owners. I plan to work diligently on all issues related to reptiles, especially preventing unreasonable reptile pet bans and regulations at all levels of government. I strongly believe that responsible reptile owners, which are the vast majority, should be able to keep their pets and not be punished due to the actions of a few bad keepers. Over the coming weeks and months I look forward to listening carefully to many different perspectives and sharing an open dialogue with you and learning more about and working on behalf of both reptiles and their owners. I know that words alone are not enough and that my actions moving forward will determine my track record and how I am viewed by you and this industry as a whole.