DSE Demands Snake Man hand over $300K worth of snakes without compensation.

Media release 6 June 2012.

The latest turn in the war between the Department of Sustainability and Snake Man Raymond Hoser has been a demand today that he hand over to them $300,000.00 worth of snakes to them to use in their own reptile shows – and without any compensation.

In a bizarre situation where the regulator of the Snakeman Raymond Hoser also compete against him in wildlife displays, they first cancelled his permits to operate in August 2011 (currently being appealed) and now pre-empting that outcome, the DSE have served a demand that the Snakeman hand over all his devenomized snakes to “Zoos Victoria” and their controlling entity the DSE so that they can use them in their own “venomous” snake shows.

Recently Healesville Zoo employee Mike Taylor spent extended time in hospital with his second near fatal snakebite (among several serious bites there) and as a result Healesville Zoo want to take the Hoser devenomized snakes in order to make their own currently dangerous displays safe.

The snakes in question were all legally obtained by Hoser eight years ago and were surgically devenomized before the procedure was banned in Victoria in 2007. The world expert in devenomizing Snakes, Dr Richard Funk of then USA, cleared the Hoser snakes as risk free in 2011 and again in 2012.

Hoser and staff have been subject to an intense ongoing campaign of harassment by DSE officers, including several armed raids, including one without a warrant on one of his staff last week at a toxic chemical plant that put people’s lives at risk.  DSE staff were involved in the erection of anti-Hoser facebook pages, internet trolling of chat forums, crank calls in the middle of the night and more.

In terms of the devenomized snakes, Hoser points out, these snakes are legally acquired, legally owned, raised from egg over the last eight years and if the DSE want them for their own business, then they should pay for them at the appropriate rate!

Last year and in order to shatter false claims that the snakes had regenerated venom, one of Hoser’s daughters volunteered to be videotaped taking bites from a Taipan and a Death Adder to confirm they had no venom.  Since then Hoser’s family have been harassed by the DSE officers and want to leave the state.

Since DSE first cancelled Hoser’s licences to operate, there have been numerous near fatal snakebites and one fatal snakebite associated with rival companies, none of which have attacted any criminal sanctions from the regulators.

Snakebusters is alone in the venomous snake business with a perfect safety record and in the past eight years did more than 10,000 reptile displays across Victoria, all incident free and with a safety guarantee no one else could match and yet has been subjected to the most intense campaign by DSE, leading to several politicians formally complaining. If the DSE succeed in closing Snakebusters and their services, including Melbourne’s only 24/7 emergency snake removals, more lives will be at risk.

The DSE commenced their campaign against Hoser after he published a journal in 2010 that exposed DSE officers for committing a fraud when footage of a drinking koala (Sam the Koala) after the black Saturday bushfires was shown to have been set-up using a bottle-raised pet rather than a wild Koala as claimed and that the dead Koala lodged in the Museum of Victoria was not even the same animal.

Further inquiries and for what may be the last chance to film the devenomized snakes:
Phone: 0412 777211,  9812 3322

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