Each year, tens of thousands of rattlesnakes are taken from the wild to be displayed and slaughtered for entertainment and profit at rattlesnake roundups. Professional hunters, not bound by ‘bag’ or ‘take’ limits, remove snakes from their native habitats and are awarded with cash prizes for bringing in the most and biggest snakes. Most snakes are caught by pouring gasoline into their winter dens, which pollutes surrounding land and water and may impact up to 350 other wildlife species.

Science does not support claims that roundups are required to prevent rattlesnake overpopulation. Like other wild animals with natural predators, snake populations are maintained by prey abundance (rodents) and levels of predation and disease. Unlike traditional game hunting, there is no monitoring or reporting to regulate this slaughter of snakes, which has likely contributed to the decline in some rattlesnake species. Learn more.


Rattlesnakes are kicked around,
bruised and bleeding from rough handling and restraint,
unsafely displayed for entertainment,
shot in the head with a bolt gun, and decapitated by machete.
Their disembodied heads continue gasping, hearts beating,
and skinless bodies writhing long after decapitation.

See more photos.


Share A Rattlesnake’s Story: the story of a young snake who discovers the sad truth about Rattlesnake Roundups.

“The festive atmosphere at these events conceals obvious and heinous animal cruelty, and emphasizes the peculiar ways we humans accept it as part of our culture.”
Jo-Anne McArthur, photojournalist, We Animals
"Every rattlesnake that is killed has an impact on the ecosystem, and future generations of humans will look back at history, stunned that such environmental abuse was allowed to continue unabated."
Phillip Arena, PhD
“Removing many tons of helpful predators from nature annually is unscientific, unjustified and unsustainable."
Clifford Warwick, Consultant Biologist and Medical Scientist
“Rattlesnakes rattle when they are terrified, not angry or preparing to attack as many think. The sound of rattling at these roundups is in fact a thousand snakes screaming.”
Melissa Amarello, MS Biology, co-founder ASP

Read more statements from experts about rattlesnake roundups.


Rattlesnakes have friends.
Even fights are non-violent and rarely result in injury.
Male rattlesnakes may court females for days or weeks.
Rattlesnakes give birth to live babies and take care of their kids.

See more on our YouTube channel.


You can make a difference for snakes by joining Advocates for Snake Preservation today.