ACTION ALERT: Stop rattlesnake gassing in Texas

A bill to support! Texas House Bill 3559 would ban the destructive practice of "gassing." Gassing is the dumping or spraying of toxic chemicals into wildlife burrows and dens to force out wildlife. Often, gassing is used to collect rattlesnakes for roundup events where the snakes are then kicked, killed, and even have their mouths sewn shut to be handled for selfies. The reasoning to end gassing and these traditional roundups is tremendous.

HB3559 also prohibits people from knowingly possessing animals which have been collected utilizing gassing.

HB3559 was introduced by Representative Farrar. It was referred to the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism on March 18.

Bill text: www.capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB03559I.pdf#navpanes=0

Sample Messaging

Voice your support and educate legislators now!
TAKE ACTION by doing one or, preferably, all of the below.
Remember to be civil and professional at all times.

  1. Fax letters to Representatives’ offices;
  2. Mail letters to Representatives’ offices;
  3. Send emails to Representatives’ offices;
  4. Make phone calls to Representatives’ offices.

You can find your Representatives and contact info here (just enter your zip code): www.texastribune.org/directory/#txhouse

Committee member full contact details at www.capitol.texas.gov/Committees/MembershipCmte.aspx?LegSess=86R&CmteCode=C430.

Email list: jessica.farrar@house.texas.gov, john.cyrier@house.texas.gov, mando.martinez@house.texas.gov,
justin.holland@house.texas.gov, jarvis.johnson@house.texas.gov,
kyle.Kacal@house.texas.gov, geanie.Morrison@house.texas.gov, steve.Toth@house.texas.gov

Sample subject lines:

  1. Support for HB3559
  2. YES to HB3559
  3. Texas needs HB3559
  4. HB3559 is good for Texas

Sample letter:

Dear House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism Member,

Please support House Bill 3559! As a conservationist who understands the important roles which rattlesnakes serve in our environment, the practice of "gassing" must be stopped in Texas. Not only is this good for rattlesnakes, but it benefits dozens of other animals including Texas tortoises, burrowing owls, several endangered species, agricultural animals, and even humans. Gassing pollutes our fragile ecosystem and contaminates groundwater, among having many other harmful effects, even risk of fires and explosions.

Science, data, ethics, and common sense overwhelmingly support this bill. The practice of "gassing," which is the use of noxious or toxic substances such as gasoline, kerosene, and harmful volatile chemicals to disturb and collect wildlife is damaging to both the target animal and all other animals using the dens or even just nearby. These noxious substances are damaging to the surrounding environment, potentially making it unsafe for wildlife for years.

Concern that this ban would negatively impact rattlesnake roundups and the economy is unfounded. Nearly all rattlesnake roundups across the country have converted to educational festivals where rattlesnakes are not killed, and they certainly do not gas the local environment to collect animals. Rather than instilling an irrational fear of these glorious animals, people learn about them and gain respect.

The new festivals, which celebrate rattlesnakes rather than abominate them, are just as successful as they were previously, and some of them more successful. Any traditional roundups remaining in Texas need to follow that trend and stop their cruel ways. This bill is a step in that direction. It will not only help to improve rattlesnake roundups, but also the unwarranted gassing for any other wildlife collection purposes.

Please support HB 3559! It is good for Texas. It is good for our wildlife and environment. And it is good for Texans and our future. This practice of gassing should not be taught to our children and they should learn to respect and understand snakes, not fear them. Thank you and have a good day.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME (include city and state if in Texas)

Article written by USARK