Kids reptile birthday parties.

Reptile parties are not abusing kids.
They are great for childrens education.
But here I do in fact pose the question, Are reptile parties child abuse?
It is not a thought that entered my head until recently, but on Facebook and an internet forum known as APS several newly licenced wildlife displayers in Australia have launched stinging attacks on myself, Raymond Hoser and our company, Australias best reptiles for letting children hold snakes, lizards, crocodiles, frogs and the like at reptile parties, school wildlife incursions, corporate events and other educational displays.
Now myself and many experienced school teachers and others agree that hands-on reptile education is the best way to teach kids about reptiles.
However not everyone else agrees with us.
In VCAT proceedings at end 2008 a head of compliance at DSE, Ron Waters said that he thought there was no educational benefit in letting kids hold reptiles at wildlife shows. He has maintained that view for several years since and to at least 2014. That is six years to be exact.
He said repeatedly in VCAT and on the internet that he preferred to teach kids about what reptiles felt like with aids such as a whiteboard!
The VCAT Judge, Anne Coghlan (a complete crook I might add) agreed with the equally corrupt and dishonest Ron Waters and described hands-on wildlife education as nothing more than a circus.
After the publication of her judgement, our business competitors almost unanimously agreed with her view.
More recently in a police interview at Eltham Police Station, DSE prosecution officer, Emily Gibson said the same thing.
She said that there was absolutely no educational value in letting kids hold reptiles at wildlife displays.
That is her published view and frankly, we think she is wrong.
Glenn Sharp, her boss at DSE said he agreed with her, and so we can assume that this is the prevailing view at this all-powerful government department which changes name more often than most people have sex. In the best selling books Smuggled, and Smuggled-2 published in 1993 and 1996, we tally many of the name changes of this bureaucracy. After killing 172 people in the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, the disgraced department went from Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), to the rebadged Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), with the associated costs to taxpayers of new signage, uniforms and the rest.
But more significantly and back on subject, in August 2011 and again this more recently a large number of our business competitors have generated a huge amount of publicity in tabloid newspapers and elsewhere accusing me, Raymond Hoser and the staff at our education business of child abuse for letting kids hold reptiles.
Now let us make it clear that we don not force anyone to do this.
The kids want to hold the animals and that is what we let them do.
In Australia there are thousands of school-age kids with pet Bluetongue lizards and non-venomous snakes who hold them daily and surely it can not be true that all their parents are guilty of child abuse for letting them do this?
My parents (me being Raymond Hoser, the snake man), were far from perfect, but I can say, that I never considered they were engaging in child abuse when they let me keep reptiles as pets.
They actually went further and tolerated me keeping Death Adders and other deadly snakes and yes, I remain alive today at the ripe old age of 52, and never having taken an ambulance ride to hospital for a venomous snake bite. Recently, the DSE (State Government of Victoria), now DEPI successfully prosecuted us, Snakebusters for the heinous crime of letting kids hold reptiles at our widllife shows.
They did not accuse us of child abuse.
The crime in this case was ostensibly putting the reptiles at risk of being stolen, the elements of the charge being letting people hold the animals.
Since then however, Simon Smith of DSE has put in writing that we have always been allowed to let people hold reptiles and so we are now in the process of getting the conviction overturned.
For people not involved in our dispute with newly licenced imitators who think that the public should not be allowed any contact with wildlife, there are only a few things worth noting.
We are the most experienced reptile displayers in Australia and in the last 40 years of letting people hold reptiles, Raymond Hoser and staff have a perfect safety record.
More importantly, We are the ONLY people doing reptile shows, kids reptile birthday parties in Melbourne, school shows Melbourne, corporate events and the like who do hands-on with reptiles and let people hold the animals.
Hands on reptiles means us and no one else.
Hold the animals means us and no one else.
And as a result of our superior educational outcomes the trademarks office gave us the legally enforceable exclusive right to advertise that we really are Australias BEST reptiles.
So in summary, it is a simple choice, the best with us, or second best or even worse with one of the many inexperienced imitators who will under no circumstances let your kids hold the animals at any kind of reptile birthday party.