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Reptile welfare
Keeping snakes
  1. Clifford Warwick,
  2. Catrina Steedman and
  3. Phillip Arena
  1. Riverside House, River Lawn Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1EP
  2. School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Mandurah Campus, Mandurah, WA 6210, Australia
  1. e-mail: cliffordwarwick{at}

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In his letter, Tariq Abou-Zahr (VR, 2 February 2019, vol 184, pp 157-158) states that: ‘decisions in law regarding minimum acceptable standards for keeping animals should ideally be based on sound scientific evidence’.

Abou-Zahr and colleagues’ information to Defra was opinion, evidentially unsupported, and caused the deletion of a voluntary higher minimum standard of 1 x snake length enclosures from animal welfare guidance.

In contrast, information from a raft of published peer-reviewed materials, qualified herpetologists, specialist exotics veterinarians, and …

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