Reptile imports misrepresented

The article on reptiles (Farmer’s Weekly, 7 February, page 14) refers. You mention that these reptiles are couriered to SA.

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This is totally untrue as all shipments have to come through OR Tambo International Airport and are subjected to inspection by the Department of Nature Conservation, as well as a 30-day quarantine period. Courier companies may not ship animals. The puff adders and plated lizards found on websites are exported from Mozambique and Tanzania.

The snake pictured with the article is not an African Rock python, but a blood python from South East Asia. Only three institutions in SA milk snakes for venom and they supply vaccine producers that make antivenom.
Indigenous reptiles may be kept in captivity but only if they are legally acquired and have a permit that is issued per specimen.