These three subspecies of reptiles are torture strains

Whether they are dogs, cats, rabbits, or reptiles: there is what is called breeding torture for every type of animal that humans breed specifically with regard to performance or aesthetic ideals. In the field of reptiles, breeding that changes an animal’s appearance is called “morph breeding”. The emphasis here is on unusual graphics and colors, sometimes even on the lack of gradation of reptiles.

The altered appearance usually occurs by chance, that is, through mutations. Breeders select precisely those animals with which they want to breed, creating new colors and shapes. However, not many people realize that these mutations are caused by genetic defects and that affected animals are prone to disease and suffer throughout their lives.

In nature, “Morph strains”, which often show abnormalities, cannot survive. Therefore, when breeding exotic animals such as reptiles, there can be no question of species protection. With different breeds, differing in shape and color, only the aesthetic desires of people and the greed of breeders for profit are fulfilled. For animals of unusual appearance, breeders can often order multiples of the usual price – the welfare and health of animals is not relevant. The illegal trade in reptiles is thriving and fueling the “production” of new, brightly colored and eye-catching animals in the industry.

Foreign merchants stock with animal chests

Reptiles and other exotic animals can never be kept in a species-appropriate manner in living room terrariums. Many owners do not have the expertise to maintain demanding animals, which often get sick and die as a result. It is often abandoned simply because the unexpectedly high costs of animal husbandry confuse people. In the reptile exchange or in the pet trade, several hundred so-called morph breeds are sometimes offered for each “breed” of animal species, which differ in shape, color and scales. This often leads to spontaneous, unplanned purchases of sensitive animals by people who have no prior knowledge of reptile keeping.

To date, there is no law prohibiting the torture of reptiles and protecting animals from avoidable suffering and the greed of breeders.

What “morph subspecies” of reptiles are there?

The most well-known “morph subspecies” of reptiles exhibit variable colors, markings, sizes, and scales. In reptiles in particular, these forms have important functions in their natural form, such as communication, thermoregulation, camouflage, mechanical and UV protection. Through the so-called morph breeding, these vital functions are disrupted.

The following “Morph strains” are torture strains that cause enormous suffering to injured reptiles. [1]


As with many other animal species, albinism is perhaps the most well-known color of reptiles. This mutation leads to a lightening of the skin, which means that animals are more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight. Tumor formations are not uncommon. This expression is especially important for diurnal reptiles, which like to stay in the sun to warm themselves and can get life-threatening sunburns. In general, color mutations in reptiles can lead to behavioral changes, neurological disorders, and morphological mutations. [2]

Typical effects of discoloration of the culture medium:

  • tiger gecko (Color form “Enigma”): motor abnormalities, tilted head and the so-called death roll. If the responsible gene is inherited from both parents, the offspring will not survive.
  • python ball (Super butter color shape): Abnormalities of the skull, spine, and eyes. Early fetal death is also possible.
  • corn snake (Sunkissed color form): Nervousness including lying on your back, confusion, turning your head and looking up.

change graphic

If the graphic is changed, the current color spectrum of the original, natural shape remains virtually unchanged. However, the pattern is changing dramatically. Other problems associated with DR variants, for example, poor wound healing, increased risk of infection, increased aggressiveness, and decreased immune competence. [3]

Example and effects of changing the implanted drawing:

  • python ball (character variant “Bumblebee”): mainly neurological abnormalities

Cultivated non-harassment

This type of cultivation is also referred to as “no scaling” among experts. Animals either do not have any scales at all or only occasionally on the back or abdomen. Breeding is very popular because the animals look exceptional and are softer to the touch.

Unfortunately, not many people know that this is a cruel form of torture. The scales on the abdomen are very important for snakes, as they are the small spines with which animals move when crawling. As a result of the lack of scales, snakes are now not only more susceptible to infection, but also no longer have any UV protection. In addition, thermoregulation and the fall of animals are negatively affected. Many scaleless snakes are no longer able to shed their skin and rely on human help for this. Reptiles are no longer able to behave and move in a species-specific way, which means a life full of suffering. [4]

Examples and Effects of Implant Scaling:

  • Silkback Bearded Dragon (complete absence of scales): the loss of scales is accompanied by a loss of ß-keratin, which ensures the resistance of the skin. Female bearded dragons in particular are at increased risk of infection when a male animal bites the neck during mating. Water loss through the skin is twice what it would normally be.
  • Corn snake without husks (Scales on the abdomen only): It assumes an increased susceptibility to infection with skin infections and external parasites. Due to the difficulty of molting, animals often have to be reared, which makes keeping them suitable for species on sand or ground almost impossible.

The animal species, breeds, diseases, and symptoms presented here do not claim to be complete. Rather, they are examples of the suffering of our “pets”. Most breeds have many comorbidities, and not all of them can be mentioned here.

Help end the torment breeding

  • Never buy reptiles from pet breeders or pet stores – it is not about the welfare of the animals, it is only about the profit that can be made from the “goods” animal. Animals are “produced” en masse and without regard to their well-being under the worst conditions.
  • If, after careful consideration and with the necessary experience, you decide to adopt a reptile, please contact your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization. There are many animals waiting for a loving new home.
  • Please sign our Pet Protection Act, which calls for a ban on “tortured breeding.” This is the only way to end animal suffering.

Please sign our petition with the Pet Protection Act request which, among other things, clearly and legally articulates the characteristics that constitute breeding torture. This is the only way to end animal suffering.

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