For Immediate Release:
January 11, 2024
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Franklin, Wis. – After learning that locally based reptile supply company Zilla promotes housing snakes in enclosures that are far too small for them to thrive and are likely to result in stress, pain, and debilitating health problems, PETA filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today asking it to investigate Zilla for misleading customers with deceptive advertising.
Numerous peer-reviewed studies make it clear that to be mentally and physically healthy, snakes held in captivity must be able to fully stretch out their bodies—meaning that they must be housed in enclosures at least as long as they are—and that snakes who can’t stretch out feel stressed and experience various health problems, including injuries, joint disease, constipation, and obesity. Yet on its website, Zilla claims that adult snakes—including ball pythons, who can reach a length of 54 inches, and corn snakes, who can reach a length of 66 inches—will “do well” in 40-gallon tanks that are less than 37 inches long and about 18 inches wide and advises customers to only upgrade a snake’s enclosure “once they are 1.5 times as long as the length of the enclosure.”
© iStock.com / Natt Boonyatecha
“Zilla markets its cramped glass boxes to first-time snake buyers who don’t realize until it’s too late that snakes are likely to waste away slowly and painfully in these tiny tanks,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs Lori Kettler. “PETA is calling on the FTC to act to get these false claims out of Zilla’s advertising.”
In 2021, California-based reptile supply company Zoo Med Laboratories Inc. removed similar false claims from its website after PETA filed a consumer protection lawsuit against it.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.