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Rattlesnake Round-Ups, also known as Rattlesnake Rodeos are events common in the rural Midwest and Southern United States, where the primary attractions are captured wild rattlesnakes which are sold, displayed, and often killed for food or to create animal products such as snakeskin. Typically a round-up will also include trade stalls and other features associated with fairs. The largest rattlesnake round-up in the United States is held in Sweetwater, Texas. Held every year since 1958, the event currently attracts approximately 30,000 visitors per year and in 2006 each annual Round-Up was said to result in the capture of 1% of the state's rattlesnake population.
Cash prizes and trophies are often given out to participants. The events often attract thousands of tourists, which can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue into small towns; the Sweetwater Round-Up's economic impact was estimated to exceed US$5 million in 2006. Snake collectors often make large profits selling snakes at the events.
Rattlesnake round-ups became a concern by animal welfare groups and conservationists due to claims of animal cruelty and excessive threat of future endangerment. Some Round-Ups responded by imposing catch size restrictions or releasing captured snakes back into the wild.
- "Texas Town Welcomes Rattlesnakes, Handlers". Associated Press. March 11, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-03-29. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Arena et al, 1995: p. 313
- "American Society of Ichthyologists and herpetologists position paper on Rattlesnake roundups". American Society of Ichthyologists and herpetologists. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- Rubio, 1998: p. 151
- "Environmentalists Tackle the Rattlesnake Rodeo". Associated Press. April 21, 2010.
- Arena, Phillip C. et al. (1995). "Rattlesnake Round-ups". In Knight, Richard L. & Gutzwiller, Kevin J. Wildlife and recreationists: coexistence through management and research. Island Press. pp. 313–322. ISBN 978-1-55963-257-7.
- Mushinsky, Henry R. & Savitsky, Alan H. "Position of The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Concerning Rattlesnake Conservation and Roundups". ASIH (American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists). Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- Rubio, Manny (1998). "Rattlesnake roundups". Rattlesnake: Portrait of a Predator. Smithsonian Books. ISBN 1-56098-808-8.
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