Ball pythons: misunderstood and suffering in silence

25/03/2020

Our ground-breaking report into the Ball python trade sounds the alarm over the animal welfare crisis faced by Africa’s most legally traded live animal.

Right now, an estimated 28,000 Ball pythons are kept as exotic pets across Canada, and we’re considered one of the main importers globally.

Over 45 years, more than 3 million Ball pythons have been exported from Benin, Ghana and Togo –and many face a lifetime of suffering as exotic pets. Our report reveals:

  • Cruel wild capture methods cause stress and can result in disease, infection and premature death.
  • Ball pythons are farmed in West Africa in dirty conditions that can create a lethal hotbed of disease.
  • Wild caught Ball pythons are still being imported in Europe and North America, likely to boost the captive breeding industry.
  • Reptile trade expos in Europe and North America fail to provide minimum care to meet even the most basic needs of ball pythons.
  • So-called designer ‘morphs’ Ball pythons, selectively bred for unique colour and scale patterns can face genetic disorders and deformities because of intensive selective breeding processes. 

These findings are featured in our new documentary that exposes the severe animal welfare concerns at every step of the global trade.