Proponents of rattlesnake roundups defend the snake slaughter with many of the following myths.
 
Click on the myths to learn the facts about rattlesnake roundups.

 

FACT: 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 and levels of predation and disease.
FACT: There are no data or studies to support this claim; unlike traditional game hunting, there is no monitoring or reporting to regulate this slaughter of snakes. Anecdotally, many hunters assert they have to go farther every year to find snakes.
FACT: Most antivenom is produced from venom collected from captive colonies of rattlesnakes. Unsanitary conditions at roundups make their venom unsuitable for reputable medical companies.
FACT: The USDA’s Cattle Death Loss report has logged no deaths from snakes in more than two decades. Anecdotally, ranchers report that snakes are not a threat to livestock, who usually recover from snakebites, even without treatment.
FACT: Arizona has more rattlesnakes than any other state in the US and no rattlesnake roundups. The police spend very little of their time managing rattlesnakes.
FACT: Roundup presentations are laden with myth and demonstrate unsafe handling techniques and showmanship. The safest way to behave in rattlesnake habitat is to respect the snakes, keep your distance, and watch where you put your hands and feet – none of which is discussed or demonstrated at roundups.
FACT: Rattlesnakes are shy, gentle creatures that want nothing to do with us. There are fewer than five deaths in the US from snakebites annually, including people who refuse treatment. Most snake bites happen when people handle, approach, or try to kill the snake. Respect snakes, keep your distance, and watch where you put your hands and feet – this would prevent virtually ALL snakebites.
Melissa and Henry, a western diamondback rattlesnake