Stop Festival That Tortures and Kills Thousands of Snakes

Target: Jim McKenzie, Mayor of Sweetwater, Texas

Goal: End the annual rattlesnake slaughtering festival.

Every year, a snake slaughtering festival is held in Texas where thousands of rattlesnakes are brutally killed while adults and children watch. The event is utterly barbaric, and it is time to stop this cruelty.

The snakes are rounded up by pouring gasoline into their dens so that they are unable to breath. Once they are caught, they typically spend a couple weeks in boxes, with no food or water, until it is time for the festival. At the festival, the snakes are thrown into overcrowded pits, poked and prodded, forced to extract venom, decapitated and then skinned. The rattling noise, which snakes make when they are scared and fear death, is overwhelming during the festival.

The festival claims that this is done in order to control rattlesnake populations, but there is no science to back up whether or not rattlesnakes are overpopulated or if this is an effective method of population control. Sign this petition to demand that this barbaric tradition end.


Dear Mayor McKenzie,

Every year, your town of Sweetwater, Texas hosts a rattlesnake slaughtering festival. During this barbaric event, children watch and participate in killing and skinning the snakes. The festival claims that this is done to control the population, however there is no science to suggest that rattlesnakes are overpopulated or that this is an effective means of population control. It is time to stop this unnecessary cruelty.

During the festival, the sound of rattles is overwhelming. Rattlesnakes make this noise when they are scared and fear death. During the festival, the snakes are packed into overcrowded pits, are poked and prodded, forced to extract venom and decapitated. Since snakes have a slow metabolism, decapitation does not automatically kill them and they are often able to feel pain for some time after.

Please put an end to this cruel spectacle. There is no science backing the reasons for this slaughter, and it seems to be mostly about profit. No animal should be tortured and killed for human greed.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Hans

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  1. Judith Weber says:

    We live in “civilized, progressive” USA.. This is barbaric. We need not sanction disregard for suffering at any level or toward any living thing. This is USA not immpoverished parts of countries,such as China, India, North or South Korea, Phillipines. Please Let US open our eyes to all cruelty. Thank you.

  2. Carol Green says:

    I can understand not wanting rattlesnakes to be in over-abundance anywhere, but the cruel way they are “rounded up” and then held until “festival” time is unacceptable in a civilized country. The torture and killing of any animal should be against the law. The fact that this spectacle of celebrated torture and death is made into a family event is very disturbing.

    • I TOTALLY AGREE!!! The act itself is completely inhumane, but to make a party of it is simply psychotic, and immoral!! I can’t believe I keep thinking I keep thinking I’ve heard it all only to learn of another barbaric act that should not exist, but to make it worse it’s right here in our country, and they’re are continuing their tradition of no empathy by teaching children that is the norm, makes me SO sick!!!

  3. More fucking inbreds – what the fuck is wrong with these small dick people? Rounding up and putting fear of God into these creatures before you murder them? You fucking arsewipes, i hope you and all those that attend this shit die the most painful and horrifying deaths – ALL of you fuckers!!

    • Kae Blecha, OTR says:

      Agree. There’s something wrong with people who think this is okay. For heaven’s sake, Sweetwater, stop marrying your relatives.

  4. This mayor needs to resign immediately for allowing such a cruel festival. Children watching pure torture. Does anyone even have to wonder why our world has become so evil??? Killing God’s creatures for pleasure???
    This is absolutely disgusting and inhumane!!!!

  5. This is horrible on every level,but also it changes the nature of things,snakes eat the mice,rats and others,birds eat snakes when will people get it? DONT SCREW WITH MOTHER NATURE!

  6. How about INSTEAD we decapitate thousands of these low-life inbred backward hillbillies that do this? I know I’m in!!!

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