Keepers’ Code of Ethics

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers strives to uphold the highest ethical standards in the keeping, care, breeding and sale of reptiles and amphibians.

USARK considers the health, well-being, and safety of reptiles and amphibians to be paramount.

USARK maintains that public safety, biological and environmental integrity, and the safety of keepers to be crucial regarding reptiles and amphibians kept under human care.

USARK endorses the use of only clean, well-constructed, and secure enclosures to house reptiles and amphibians.

USARK endorses the use of strict safety protocols in the housing and handling of reptiles and amphibians.

USARK objects to minors keeping venomous reptiles, crocodilians, or large constrictors.

USARK objects to reckless and irresponsible behavior in regards to the keeping, breeding, or transferring of reptiles and amphibians.

USARK objects to negligent shipping and transportation procedures which are not humane, safe, and secure.

USARK believes it is the personal responsibility of every keeper to educate themselves on the specific requirements of any animal they wish to keep as a prerequisite to ownership.

USARK considers access to quality medical care and veterinary care to be required for responsible ownership.

USARK endorses training and mentoring programs necessary to ensure the highest standards of proficiency in working with reptiles and amphibians.

USARK regards the intentional release of non-native reptiles and amphibians into the wild as highly irresponsible and believes there are NO circumstances that justify the act.

USARK is committed to conservation, education, and community outreach. Spreading factual information about reptiles is crucial to overcoming cultural bias, negative stereotypes, and unsubstantiated fears that threaten the private ownership of these magnificent creatures, as well as their continued survival in the wild.