Every year Sweetwater, Texas holds an event that has animal rights advocates picking their jaws up off the floor. This event is called the “Rattlesnake Roundup,” and it has been responsible for the celebratory massacre of countless rattlesnakes since 1958.

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A petition on Care2 states there is zero scientific backing for the mass-killing of these snakes, whose populations are naturally regulated in the wild. There are no limits on how many snakes hunters are allowed to kill, which Care2 cites as a reason why some rattlesnake species are in such harsh decline.

The method with which these hunters “round up” the rattlesnakes further worsens the problem. According to the petitiongasoline is poured down the snakes’ winter dens, which affects the surrounding earth, water, and around 350 local wildlife species. To add insult to injury, after these animals are “rounded up,” they are presented before loud crowds who cheer while the snakes are mercilessly beheaded with machetes. Hunters who bring in the most and biggest snakes are rewarded with cash prizes, giving incentive to greedy people to kill as many snakes as they can for a moment of pitiful glory.

If you are as appalled as we are by this inhumane practice, please take a moment to sign this petition addressed to Texas Governor Greg Abbott demanding an end to the “Rattlesnake Roundup.”  The senseless murder of innocent animals should never be considered entertainment, and it is up to the public to speak out for the voiceless and protect animals who are brutally targeted. Please be sure to share this story with your network — the power to end animal cruelty begins with public education and awareness.

Image Source: Care2 / Isaiah L.

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