False claims that Snakebusters have unsafe reptile shows.
Because Snakebusters are rated Australia's best reptiles, and have been for many years, others seek to undermine our impeccable reputation and industry leading, perfect safety record for what are ultimately their commercial purposes.
There have been a number of false claims made by Snakebusters competitors, including officers of the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) working on behalf of their associated entity, “Zoos Victoria”.
resulted in a string of adverse reports about Raymond Hoser and Snakebusters, in
the media and elsewhere, including numerous erroneous and defamatory accounts of legal proceedings finalized in favour of Snakebusters. False reports that Snakebusters have been permenantly closed down and are "out of business" have been corrected.
There has also been an improper misrepresentation of the content of a video that shows devenomized snakes biting the snake man's 12 year old child who herself suggested she get bitten. This was to prove that the snakes posed no risk to anyone and refute false claims that the snake man's ability to survive multiple bites from the same snakes was because he was a "freak". The video had been used successfully to quash $21,000 in fines in the County Court in mid 2011. Those fines, successfully appealed, had been imposed in the Magistrate's Court on the basis of false DSE claims that the snakes were in fact venomous and a risk to children. In that court, this was ostensibly proven in the absence of any videos of children taking bites and surviving, necessitating the production of the child-bite video for the successful appeal.
As a result, commencing July 2011, Snakebusters
took legal action against several people for defamation related matters. Consequences of false statements made in media reports in August 2011, will be added to these actions.
For the record, News Limited has already both apologised for (in writing) and corrected false reports published.
In the meantime the following points should be noted by all our existing and potential clients:
· Snakebusters have never put the safety of their staff or the public at risk.
· Snakebusters have never been convicted of any safety related offences by any authority.
· All Snakebusters competitors in Victoria have had incidents where staff or public at their events have been rushed to hospital for venomous snake bites and required life-saving anti-venom. Details can be found here:
· Snakebusters are alone in Australia with the expertise to have vet certified, surgically devenomized deadly snakes, used for all venomous displays, which means safety of all is guaranteed.
· Any display using venomous snakes that are not devenomized is illegal under Section 32 of the OH and S Act, Victoria, 2004. If it's not Snakebusters displaying venomous snakes, then it's illegal and people are at risk.
· As a result of a false complaint against Snakebusters by an inexperienced imitator, Worksafe Officer Phil Fisher did an undercover inspection.
· He cleared Snakebusters as safe.
· Worksafe have never prosecuted Snakebusters.
· In 2006, persons associated with DSE Manager of Compliance Ron Waters paid $29,500 to Snake Man Raymond Hoser for illegal use of his trademark “Snakebuster” after being sued in the Federal Court for trademark use.
· DSE officers have corruptly chosen not to prosecute several companies breaking Wildlife and OH and S Laws in Victoria and there have been several near fatal venomous snakebites as a result. Some examples are here:
· On 9 August 2011, Worksafe Officers stated they were aware of venomous snake shows conducted by four Victorian companies (not including Snakebusters) in breach of the OH and S Act 2004.
· On 23 August 2011, Snakebusters successfully took out a (contested) court order against the DSE and associated entities to prevent similar attacks and lying in their media releases in future. This follows a similar order against several other persons working for other less experienced displayers, taken out in July 2011. Both orders are legally enforceable and should prevent further attacks on Snakebusters and their customers, either by way of attacks, harassment or media releases that contain known lies.
· If it’s not Snakebusters displaying venomous reptiles, then it’s a risk!