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 DWA's.

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Billy No Mates
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PostSubject: DWA's.   1/24/2011, 12:44 am

This isn't really a question, because I know what's on the list. It's more of a statement.

Does anyone else think that the DWA list for scorpions should be amended when it's comes to buthids? Not all are fatal, hell, not all of them will do much harm at all, yet they're all on the DWA list.

Slightly unfair much? Yes? No?

Am I just being a fool because I can't have a Centruroides Gracilis? Crying or Very sad
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H. laoticus
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/24/2011, 1:10 am

To start, yes, I believe it's very unfair for many hobbyists who can't get their hands on some very fantastic species of scorpions. I live in the states, so I can have my scorps, but I still feel for you guys who are restricted. I definitely feel it should be amended because all they really did was slap a label on the entire Buthidae family and close the door on it. In fact, they should look at the states as the other side of the coin to see how ridiculous banning scorpions is because nothing monumental to my knowledge has happened here that validates their fears. Hell, we've got several states in our country loaded with native bark scorpions that can pack a punch, but as you can see, nothing noteworthy has come of it. Does anyone know a good reason behind the ban? At least then I'd consider giving it a second look.
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/24/2011, 8:30 am

I believe its down to pure lazyness and lack of knowledge, they knew some from the buthidae was dangerous but didnt take the time to find out which were not,(probably as there are just so many) so just banned the lot!
I think it should deffinatley be ammended but guess its unlikely to happen Sad

I also find it strange that they have another odd lone species in the list - The species Hemiscorpius lepturus.

There are several other species in the genus Hemiscorpius yet There is no available information wether these species is as dangerous as H. lepturus.

so why wasnt the whole family banned in this case?

just been reading about this species and it says this -

Most scorpions have a neurotoxic venom.This scorpion has a highly cytotoxic venom, which can cause serious wounds and inflammations (somtimes the wounds will look like 3. degree burns with necrosis and blisters).No antivenom is available for this scorpion.
severe complications are known from the sting of H. lepturus. Severe and fatal haemolysis, secondary renal failure, deep and necrotic ulcers, ankylosis of the joints, psychological problems and death are reported complications. A clinical study from a region in Iran shows that H. lepturus is responsible for 12 % of the reported stings, but is responsible for 95 % of the mortalities (The other dangerous scorpion in the area is Androctonus crassicauda, which is buthidae)

its never heard of this species being kept in captivity, or have never seen it offered in the pet trade.

Now we have quite a bit of info on a lot of non lethal bithidae species so why is this info not being used? i wonder maybe because a lot of buthidae can be quite simular looking and they may find it hard to determin one species from another...again lazyiness? who knows

So who to we go to to request its ammended? is it even possible for anyone to question there decision?

Im gonna go on the defra site and see if there is some way of contacting someone just to see what there reason is for banning the whole lot? doubt ill get a response though!



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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/24/2011, 8:49 am

I'm not sure how it works over there in the UK, but here in the US I would start off by contacting a congressman. As H. laoticus has pointed out, there is nothing of major importance over here that has happened, which would be great points to touch on in a very detailed article, one that goes into detail about the toxicity of certain non-lethal species of buthids.

Getting bills, amended or passed, is a very lengthy process here...and unless you can show how something might be of interest, meaning how much money they can make off of getting a bill amended or passed, then it is pretty much futile to even try.

However, if it were me looking into some scientific aspects to write a paper about, I'd contact a few people from local universities...you never know, they might already be working on something.
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/24/2011, 1:01 pm

I posted a similar debate on the subject a couple of years ago, with a poll, if anyone wants to see what the thoughts were then.

http://scorpionforum.darkbb.com/t2009-dwa-poll-and-debate

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/24/2011, 1:27 pm

I'm going to look into this further, it's not fair on responsible owners. £100+ a year to keep something that will only hurt, not kill you, is outrageous. I think this really is a case of the government fearing what they don't understand, so it could be a long time before we get to keep them without a license. Crying or Very sad

Let me know if Defra reply to you Bex!

I'd love to keep some buthids in the near future.

Glad I'm not the only one who sees how unfair the DWAL system is. Very Happy

H. laoticus wrote:
Does anyone know a good reason behind the ban? At least then I'd consider giving it a second look.

All it takes for our government to ban something is a few reported fatalities. They don't even have to be in the UK. Fatalities reported from foreign countries can get things banned here.

Like Pit bulls. A few kept by irresponsible owners earned the entire species a ban. They never really have good reasons for banning things. It's just ignorance on their behalf.

Mr. Mordax wrote:
I posted a similar debate on the subject a couple of years ago, with a poll, if anyone wants to see what the thoughts were then.

http://scorpionforum.darkbb.com/t2009-dwa-poll-and-debate

Just read through some of those and my feelings are they should look into the species a little more thoroughly and just slap the license on the ones that WILL land you six feet under.
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/25/2011, 9:19 am

Oh no don't get me started on this subject! Smile

I agree with what everyone else has said so far. This law was passed 35 years ago, surely its time for a re-think. I find it annoying that it's just scorpions that have the bad deal here, the rest of the dwal is fine but why restrict scorpions so much to the point we can only keep a handful of species. To answer you question, in my eye's yes it's very unfair. It's enough to kill anyone's interest in the hobby to be honest.

I'd love to hear the reasoning behind their decision but where does one look for such a thing? Or like Bex said is it even possible to question their decision. I too see it as pure laziness.

Then on the other hand I feel us UK people should make the most of what we can have and don't let it get us down. I know I still love the hobby even with the restriction. I'd like to see a thread listing ALL the species not in Buthidae.

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/25/2011, 2:31 pm

JamieLawrence wrote:
I'd like to see a thread listing ALL the species not in Buthidae.

I have compiled a list but am unsure of where to post it lol,
but amazingly from what ive seen today there are about 919 species in the buthidae family, and in all the other familys outside the buthidae family put together there are 1068 species!!!! so Buthidae really does account for nearly half of all scorpions!!!

still awating a reply from defra but got one from my local council with the forms you need to complete to apply to keep DWA animals, this is the email i got...

Dear Ms Maxwell,

Further to your enquiry of yesterday regarding the keeping of scorpions.

I have attached an application form for you to complete should you wish to go ahead with your plan to keep the type of scorpion which is considered to be dangerous. I have checked the Defra website and they have listed Buthid and Middle-Eastern thin tailed scorpions as requiring a licence to be kept privately. It would be wise to check with Defra again when you have decided upon the kind of scorpion that you would like to keep to be sure that a registration is required.

The application fee under the heading of Dangerous Wild Animals is currently £210.00, this is likely to rise in April this year. In addition to this fee there will be a further fee to cover an inspection by a Vet. I am not too sure at this time what that fee would consist of as it is based on actual cost. We will of course be able to ask the vet for a quote.

Well there are some stupid qusetions on there like

Are you the holder of a current insurance policy which insures you against
liability for any damage which may be caused by the animal(s) listed above? YES/NO
If YES , please enclose a copy of your policy (minimum £5,000,000) with the
application; if NO state what steps you are taking to obtain such insurance

What damge can a scorpion do lolz, surely keeping a scorpion cant be judged the same as say keeping a tiger?

Also the fee of £210 is going to increase in april!

heres a link to my council page click on the "appropriate form" link writen in blue to view the full form yourself

http://www.dover.gov.uk/licensing/other_licences/dangerous_wild_animals.aspx

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Last edited by 231bex on 1/25/2011, 5:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/25/2011, 3:10 pm

Hmm not sure where but definitely post up the list. I didn't realise there were so many outside buthidae. 1065 is alot, how come we can only get hold of a few.

Interesting read from your council, does seem like they just try to fob people off with impossible questions like the insurance one.

Just had a look on my council website, it's £238 minus the current 20% VAT.

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/25/2011, 5:04 pm

I've posted the list in Scorpions in general, there may be mistakes I'm quite tired lol

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/25/2011, 5:35 pm

Species list:

http://www.ntnu.no/ub/scorpion-files/buthidae.php

The reason the DWA is so comprehensive (in terms of fees, vet inspections, huge insurance policies, etc.), as I believe I mentioned in the thread I linked above, is because it started out back when big cats were considered fashionable "pets" in the '60s and '70s.

As for why they think owning Centruroides hentzi requires the same level of responsibility as a freakin' Siberian tiger, I can only chalk that up to bureaucratic laziness.

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   1/25/2011, 9:27 pm

Just checked Manchester City Council's website and a license would cost £194 + Vet fees.

So I'm going to round that off at about £250.

I'm starting to wonder why in the 34 years the DWAA has been in force, no one with a little bit of power has questioned it and tried to have it amended... Or have they?
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/7/2011, 12:30 pm

well i just got a response to the email i wrote to defra lol...im quite amazed i got one, will copy it in, in a minute...

this is the email i sent...

Hi, my name is Miss R Maxwell, and i own a few species of non Dwaa
listed scorpions, i have recently been looking into requirements of
obtaining a licence to own species on the list.

I know a lot of
people in the hobby including myself are a little confused about how
you decide which species are put in the list,
and wondered if you could clear up a few questions for us or put me in contact with someone who can please?

Before i start i understand fully the resons behind having the DWA list, i
know its purpose is to protect the public from risks arising
from the keeping of dangerous wild animals and is intended to protect
the public at large and i
agree the idea is a very good one and i am glad we have it.

The first question i have is you list the whole Family Buthidae: All
species.Buthid scorpions. Now we know that not all the species in the
buthidae family are dangerous,
and some are less dangerous than some
other species outside of the DWA list, can you explain why the whole
family was banned? Is it just lack of
knowledge on the species or ease of inforcing the act due to the large number of species in the family?
Also would there be any chance of the list being seriously looked at and re-evaluated if enough people petitioned?

Also another confusing thing i find is the other species you list the species Hemiscorpius lepturus.
There are several other
species in the genus Hemiscorpius yet there is no available information
wether these species is as dangerous as H. lepturus.
So why wasnt the whole family banned in this case?

The other 'grey' area of this act is the fact that there is no written
document that can be used in deciding if somebody has the suitable
knowledge or facilities to keep animals covered under the act, with the
Local Authority having the final decision on if you will be granted a
license or not. In fact some local authorities refuse to issue DWA licenses POINT BLANK
and when challenged will go to court or if they do back down, introduce
conditions and fees that make it almost out of reach for most people,
this is of course totally unlawful and not what the DWAA was introduced
for. Each local authority is free to decide how much to charge for the license,
figures I gathered some years ago ranged from £44 up to £1600 per
year! (Fire arms license costs less than £50 for 5 years!). You are
also required to have Public Liability insurance for £1,000,000 (not
needed if you own a shot gun or fire arm!).

I understand that a few changes have been made fairly recently, for example
ch
anges which came into force on 18 March 2010, including extended the
period of validity of a licence from a maximum of one year to
two years. In addition to these changes i read that the Department will soon be publishing
comprehensive guidance for local authorities and potential keepers on the
provisions of the Act,

My question is this, has this comprehensive guide been published yet and if so where can we view it?

I look forward from hearing from you,



omg ive had to edit this so many times!!!every time i posted it random bits of code kept appearing stupid thing!!!

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/7/2011, 12:50 pm

CCU 4th Floor Ergon House
Horseferry Road
London SW1P 2AL
Email: helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.defra.gov.uk
Miss R Maxwell CCU Ref: DWOE214959
7 February 2011

Dear Miss Maxwell,

Dangerous Wild Animals Act and scorpions

Thank you for your email of 24 January about scorpions and the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (DWAA).
As you may be aware Defra has policy responsibility for the DWAA, dealing
with amendments to it and to the Schedule (the list of species requiring
a licence), but the day to day administration and enforcement of the
DWAA is devolved to the local authorities in England and Wales.

The DWAA allows the Secretary of State to extend its scope to include
animals not currently listed in the Schedule, or to remove animals which
are and which currently need to be licensed.
The family Buthidae was added to the Schedule by Modification Order SI 1984/1111, a decision
made by a committee of invited experts, including representatives from
the Department of Environment, zoo and veterinary professions,
herpetology societies and the pet trade, and the RSPCA. An outline list
of species for consideration was presented by the Department and the
committee discussed the relative “dangerousness” of each.

One of the criteria developed for determining whether a species should be included
in the Schedule was if: “the animal’s sting was worse than that of two
wasp stings”. I do not have further information than this on why the
family Buthidae was subsequently listed.

The species Hemiscorpius lepturus was added when the Schedule was last amended via
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No.2) Order 2007.
The criteria for listing species appears to have been more thorough this
time around but again the Department took the advice of a selected
group of experts in formulating proposals on which species should be
removed or added to the Schedule. The factors that the experts took
into account were the likelihood and capacity of the animal producing
serious injury. They looked particularly at:

* the animal’s armoury – its tools and its size;
* the animal’s ferocity – its temperament and inclination to use its armoury;
*the harm the animal could do to a child (we believe a threshold of
serious injury to a child is consistent with the original intentions of
the Act and is a credible threshold);
* the animal’s likely behaviour when unrestrained or cornered outside of the keeper’s premises;
* recorded incident of deaths or serious injury;
* what legislation already exists for regulating the acquisition or keeping of animals.

An extract from the report of the meeting states:

“Hemiscorpius lepturus (the Middle Eastern thin-tailed scorpion) Listed
by major reference on scorpions of medical importance as having caused
human fatalities in the wild, and as having some subspecies which may be
more venomous than others. They would be capable of prolonged survival
in the UK in mild weather. Addition of this species proposed by the
original review and supported by the Panel of Experts.”

It is not clear why the listing was not expanded to include the whole
family but the revisions had been developed through a long process over
five years, including two public consultations. Determining a species’
“dangerousness” is often ultimately subjective and there are still
widely varying views on some of the species, depending on the
stakeholders’ perspective. However, we believe we reached a reasonable
consensus view where it was possible to do so.

There are no plans to amend the Schedule in the near future but if you do have
views on what you think should be added or removed from the list then we
would be happy to receive them. Alternatively you can respond to any
future consultation should it be decided to amend the Schedule again.


In addition to your listing queries you have also raised some questions
about the way some local authorities administer and enforce the DWAA.
During the course of a review of the legislation and several public
consultations, leading to the changes to the DWAA you refer to in your
e-mail, it became apparent that there was some inconsistency in local
authorities’ handling of the licensing process.

One of the main reasons for this is probably the lack of guidance available to them since the
DWAA came into force over 30 years ago. The new guidance which has been
drafted by Defra, and which we hope to publish shortly, will hopefully
go some way to addressing the inconsistency of approach and provide
clear and helpful advice on the provisions of the DWAA.

The guidance also covers various other issues of concern, to both local authorities
and keepers, which have been raised during the course of consultation.
Leaving possible inconsistent implementation of the DWAA to one side, it should
be remembered that the DWAA, as written, does provide local authorities
with some discretion, with regard to licence fees and conditions which
it can attach to licences for example, and of course this can lead to
differing ways of working between different authorities.

I will now address each of the issues that you have raised in your main paragraph.
Suitable knowledge or facilities

The DWAA specifies the matters about which a local authority must be
satisfied before granting any licence. The granting of the application
should not be contrary to the public interest in any way, the applicant
must be a suitable person to hold a licence, and the local authority
must also be satisfied that the conditions in which the animal is
proposed to be kept will safeguard its welfare in respect of:

its accommodation;

the supply of adequate and suitable food, drink and
bedding; protection in the case of an emergency; prevention and control
of infectious diseases and its ability to take adequate exercise.
The welfare aspects can easily be addressed through inspection of the
premises by a competent vet with experience in dealing with the animals
which are proposed to be kept. Deciding whether an applicant has
sufficient knowledge is of course less simple and is by way of a
judgement call by the local authority.

The authority could ask for details of past experience in keeping such animals, details of
animal-keeping organisation membership and that sort of information in
support of any application. The vet could also have an input having
seen how acceptable the proposed accommodation is for the animals.
Ultimately the final decision lies with the authority but its decision
does need to stand up to scrutiny and the applicant can of course appeal
to the magistrates’ court if they are refused a licence.

Refusal to grant licences

During the course of the review and public consultations we were made aware,
anecdotally, that certain local authorities were refusing to issue
dangerous wild animal licences. This of course is counter to the
purpose and spirit of the DWAA and we have made it clear in the new
guidance that the DWAA is a regulatory piece of legislation rather than a
prohibitive one and does not deny the right for people to keep those
animals listed on the Schedule as long as an appropriate licence has
been obtained. It is also clear that the refusal to issue licences
point blank and without sufficient consideration/reason can lead to
further non-compliance of the DWAA and an increase in the chances of
escape of animals and risk to the public. Where someone is unhappy
about the refusal of a local authority to grant a licence the DWAA
provides for an appeal to a magistrates’ court.

Unreasonable conditions

There are a number of conditions that must be always be attached to any
granted licence but the DWAA also allows a local authority the
discretion to add further conditions as they see fit. In determining
the type of conditions to be attached to a licence the local authority
will consult as widely as possible and may take account of the view of,
for example, specialist vets, the police and fire authorities.
Additional conditions must be relevant in terms of satisfying the DWAA
with regard to public safety, the avoidance of nuisance, and the welfare
of the animals being kept. The DWAA provides for an
appeal to a magistrates’ court where someone is unhappy with a condition
on a licence (whether it was included when it was granted or added
later) or with the variation or revocation of any condition on a
licence.

Variance of licensing fees

The DWAA states that an application must be accompanied by such fee as the
authority may stipulate (being a fee which is in the authority's opinion
sufficient to meet the direct and indirect costs which it may incur as a
result of the application). The fee is therefore payable upon
application, whether or not a licence is subsequently granted. The
discretion as to the level of the fee, subject to the words in brackets,
is intended to enable the individual authority to recover the full
administrative cost of processing the application, but no more. We are
aware of the wide variance in fees between local authorities and the
guidance does address this issue. It makes clear that fees should only
reflect those costs reasonably incurred and should not be used for
profit-making or as a punitive tool to dissuade keepers from keeping
dangerous wild animals or from applying for a licence.

The guidance also states that local authorities should be able to justify
the level of fees in the event of a challenge and that keepers can
challenge fees through the courts or by reference to the local
government ombudsman under maladministration.
If you have any further queries about the provisions of the DWAA then please contact:

Dave Wootton
Policy Advisor Biodiversity Programme
Defra Zone 1/10
Temple Quay House
2 The Square Temple Quay
Bristol, BS1 6EB 0117
372 8686
dave.wootton@defra.gsi.gov.uk

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/7/2011, 12:56 pm

I especially like this bit...

There are no plans to amend the Schedule in the near future but if you do have
views on what you think should be added or removed from the list then we
would be happy to receive them. Alternatively you can respond to any
future consultation should it be decided to amend the Schedule again.


so... what do i send lol

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/7/2011, 1:24 pm

You send a very detailed response. Seems they send you a load of wash just to simply say "not doing anything about it." So, I would send them a load back, going into explicit detail that must be responded to in a very detailed manner again. Maybe if you annoy them with queries they will have no choice but to do something about it Smile
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/7/2011, 1:44 pm

What Taledus said, and give them a big ole list of species that rarely/never cause fatalities.

Something was telling me that the "experts" they used as consultants weren't experts at all, because if they were, the whole Buthidae family wouldn't have been banned.
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/7/2011, 4:30 pm

Desk Monkeys wrote:
* the animal’s armoury – its tools and its size;
* the animal’s ferocity – its temperament and inclination to use its armoury;
*the harm the animal could do to a child (we believe a threshold of
serious injury to a child is consistent with the original intentions of
the Act and is a credible threshold);
* the animal’s likely behaviour when unrestrained or cornered outside of the keeper’s premises;
* recorded incident of deaths or serious injury;
* what legislation already exists for regulating the acquisition or keeping of animals.

In other words, they didn't know what the heck they were doing. For crying out loud, the animals' "ferocity"! And "the harm the animal could do to a child"--why don't they just do that to snakes and dogs too, then? If they claim to have looked at statistics, then they should have seen how minuscule most of those numbers are. Maybe they just added all of those numbers together or generalized a few scorpions to the rest.
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/8/2011, 7:43 am

Very interesteing read. At least there's some answers to the madness there but not nearly enough.

I think it's very obscure that you have to go through the same protocol to keep a scorpion in a box as a tiger or crocodile, surely it should work on what you want to keep. Did it really take a group of "experts" to come to the conclusion to just ban all Buthidae, what a lazy way to get out of banning sperate species.

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/8/2011, 8:07 am

JamieLawrence wrote:
Very interesteing read. At least there's some answers to the madness there but not nearly enough.

I think it's very obscure that you have to go through the same protocol to keep a scorpion in a box as a tiger or crocodile, surely it should work on what you want to keep. Did it really take a group of "experts" to come to the conclusion to just ban all Buthidae, what a lazy way to get out of banning sperate species.

yep completely agree, just lazyiness but what can we do, we could compile a list of the scorps in the buthidae family that we all agree are not harmful (well not deadly) and put that to them, as they did say There are no plans to amend the Schedule in the near future but if you do have
views on what you think should be added or removed from the list then we
would be happy to receive them. Alternatively you can respond to any
future consultation should it be decided to amend the Schedule again.


so there is a tiny glimour of hope (very tiny)

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/8/2011, 8:12 am

Better than no hope at all. Very Happy

Make sure Centruroides Gracilis is in that list Bex! Razz
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/8/2011, 8:24 am

lol well think we should all write the list together as im not that hot on the buthidae species that are non lethal lol i like the ones that are hehehe

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/8/2011, 8:26 am

I think we all do, but you know, any hint of lethal and they'll say no. Sad

I've got a better idea, we should compile a list of scorpions that ARE lethal, or perhaps "of significant medical importance" as they like to say, it's quicker than writing out the ones that aren't.

EDIT: Found a list. Click Click.
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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/8/2011, 8:52 am

oooh that list is suprisingly short lol good good well will send an email soon then

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PostSubject: Re: DWA's.   2/10/2011, 7:50 pm

Hopefully the reply you recieved means that no further species will be added to the list. I always worry about the future of our hobby when I read things like this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/lincolnshire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9391000/9391589.stm

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