Stop Rattlesnake Roundups

It’s that time of the year again.

Timber rattlesnake – photo by Steve Atkins

This weekend, in Sweetwater, Texas – thousands of Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and other rattlesnake species will be ripped from their home habitats – often using gasoline pumped into their hiding places which causes the snake to vacate the safety of the hide allowing it to be captured. The dozens of other animals that share the hole with the snake are then overwhelmed by the fumes and die. The toxic nature of the gasoline then goes on to poison the environment – and possibly even the local groundwater supply – the captured snakes are then put on display/parade then publicly slaughtered and eaten without hesitation.

This is the largest wildlife massacre happening on any single day.

The weekend starts with a “Sweetwater” beauty pageant where the winner gets to kill the first snake of the season. Then it’s followed up with two days of non-stop torture and death as snakes have their mouths sewn shut for grotesque “selfies,” and are then decapitated by people and yes, even children – who are told the snakes are “overpopulated,” “evil,” “bad,” “demonic,” “the devil” etc. – then the snakes are skinned, chopped up, deep fried, and eaten for public dollars.

Something also tells me that this being Texas, and this being 2021 – I would also predict that many of those who visit the roundup will be mask-less, in close proximity, drinking, cheering, preaching, and unvaccinated – making this another COVID-19 super spreader event…

Please do not support these disturbingly sick, destructive, events in any way, they are the last vestiges of a brutal practice that needs to end immediately.

Evidence follows – some of it is very hard to watch if you are sensitive to blood and/or animals being slaughtered. Some of the videos are age restricted and viewable only on YouTube via the embedded links.

Visit the Sweetwater Jacyees Rattlesnake Roundup Homepage:

This last link has a map showing all the locations where rattlesnake roundups are held. Some of these events – such as the Whigham, GA Rattlesnake Roundup and the San Antonio, Florida Rattlesnake Festival – have stopped the collection and killing of wild snakes and instead, use their public platform to educate attendees on the unique biology, beauty, and environmental value of rattlesnakes. If those in Sweetwater and the others would just convert to this format…

I do not have any issues with hunting as long as it managed scientifically to support the health of the wildlife and the ecosystem, and it is carried out legally and ethically. The Sweetwater Texas rattlesnake roundup is none of these things. It is time we end this type of Rattlesnake Roundup as fast as possible. Just imagine if this were a roundup, slaughter, and feast of dogs, cats, dolphins, manatees, Bald eagles, horses, rabbits, goats, turtles, – whatever – the public outcry would be unbelievable and the perpetrators of those acts would be arrested and heavily fined under animal abuse/cruelty charges and obviously wildlife protection laws. However, because it is rattlesnakes and because it brings so much precious money into the community of Sweetwater – so many people just look away, sit on their hands, and stay quiet ignoring the heinous animal cruelty and abuse that happens in this horrible mass murder of wildlife. On top of all this madness the perpetrators of this insanity, the Sweetwater Jaycees and all others who support them with their support of this mass murder event or through their inaction to stop it, are using this horrible program to teach children that this is an accepted way to treat wildlife.

I was bitten by a wild rattlesnake and yes, I still support their conservation.

If you do not see a problem with this sickness then my friend, you have a serious problem.

This needs to stop now.

Do all in your power to fight this madness.

DO NOT support rattlesnake roundups, coordinated animal cruelty/poaching/ wildlife/ecosystem destruction, and trafficking in threatened and endangered wildlife.


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