Florida's semi-annual Python Challenge is set to kick off again January 16, and in
The Python Challenge, which carries on for four weeks, is one of the state's
Participants can either trap the reptiles alive or euthanize them onsite.
Indeed, the official Python Challenge website lists three approved methods of euthanizing snakes: using a captive bolt, using a firearm, or decapitating the snake. The first two methods destroy the snake's brain, killing the animal instantly.
The state does recognize that decapitation is "not the recommended method of euthanizing pythons" but claims that stunning the snake and then decapitating is "considered an acceptable method of euthanizing large snakes by the American Veterinary Medical Association."
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"Pythons who have had their heads hacked off remain alive and will writhe in agony for hours if their brains are not immediately destroyed," said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk in a statement. "PETA is calling on Florida officials to stop authorizing snake decapitation and make it clear that this egregiously inhumane killing method is unacceptable."
Unfortunately, we did just discover there are videos online of that sort of thing that we wouldn't recommend viewing if you've just had lunch. It's not a pretty sight.
PETA is wary of the whole
During the last Python Challenge in 2013, 68 snakes were captured or killed