Ban Use of Toxic Substances to Hunt Snakes


Target: Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Carter Smith

Goal: Prohibit the use of gasoline and other toxic chemicals while hunting Texas wildlife

In the state of Texas, hunters are still legally allowed to gas animals. “Gassing” is the process of blowing gasoline fumes into the entrance of snake dens and then capturing any snakes that try to surface for air. Underground dens provide homes for a variety of animals, such as birds, foxes, and lizards, which can be hurt or even killed by the toxic gasoline fumes. Twenty different endangered species currently make their homes in underground dens throughout Texas, and permitting gassing is putting those animals at further risk of extinction.

Although gassing has already been banned in dozens of states—including every state bordering Texas—government officials have yet to outlaw the cruel hunting practice. Prohibiting the use of gassing to hunt snakes would also help put an end to the state’s “rattlesnake roundups,” a bloody, dangerous contest where hunters capture snakes to win prizes. Naturally, rattlesnake roundup participants and enthusiasts strongly oppose the effort to ban gassing, making it difficult to pass legislation prohibiting the wildlife-threatening practice.

By signing this petition, you are helping to protect the underground wildlife of Texas by telling government officials to ban the use of gasoline for hunting.


Dear Executive Director Smith,

I was shocked to learn that hunters in the state of Texas are still legally permitted to use gassing techniques to hunt snakes and other underground-living animals. Dozens of states have already banned this dangerous practice, including every state bordering Texas, as it poses an unacceptable and unnecessary risk to native wildlife.

As you know, underground dens provide homes for a variety of animals, such as birds, foxes, invertebrates and lizards. They also provide homes for 20 endangered species currently living in Texas. Allowing hunters to continue to use gassing techniques not only threatens snake populations, but it also puts Texas’ endangered species at risk of extinction. Gassing must be banned if we are to protect these essential underground wildlife habitats and help prevent the extinction of 20 fascinating animals.

As executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, I urge you to do whatever you can to prohibit the use of gasoline to hunt Texas wildlife and help put a stop to this cruel practice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Clinton & Charles Robertson via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. KatWrangler says:

    Whether you like them or not, snakes are VITAL to any ecosystem they inhabit. I’ve seen Rattlesnake Republic in AP and am saddened that AP would put such a violent, hateful program on air. Rattlesnake Round-ups, my foot. Just another excuse for people who enjoy killing things, and what’s better then a not cute and fluffy snake.

    Everything on this Earth is here for a reason, and not for some ignorant humans’ entertainment.

    And as far as disease-carrying rodents go, I’ll take snakes any day. Snakes = less vermin.

  2. A-holes hunters…. Always finding ways to exploit animals…. What a shame they were born… No one wants them here…

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