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Keeping snakes
  1. Martin Whitehead
  1. Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, Banbury Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5SY
  1. email: martincnvets{at}

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Tariq Abou-Zahr (VR, 10 November 2018, vol 183, pp 572-573; 2 February 2019, vol 184, pp 157-158; 20 April 2019, vol 184, pp 505-506) believes keeping snakes in enclosures shorter than they are does not prevent their welfare needs from being met, as required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (AWA). Yet he acknowledges that doing so prevents snakes from performing normal behaviours – including being able to stretch to full length, perform rectilinear locomotion, and being able to travel further than their own body length – and states ‘clearly …

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