Feeding of live mammals to snakes


Ratification Date: 15 Aug 2008


The feeding of live mammals to snakes is strongly opposed.


Although the feeding of live mammalian prey to snakes occurs in herpetoculture, the AVA considers that the welfare of both the prey and snake will be compromised by this practice.

Bite wounds on snakes are commonly seen as a consequence of this practice. The severity of the injury can be sufficiently serious as to warrant euthanasia of the snake.

Some snake keepers argue that such a practice mimics natural behaviour.

In a captive situation, rodents have no means of escape compared with those in the wild. Rats and mice used as prey will often exhibit frantic escape behaviour and bite snakes repeatedly.

It is recommended that only prey that has been humanely killed should be fed to snakes.

Date of ratification by AVA Board 15 August 2008