Interactive education with Snakebusters means hands-on, where the audience gets to hold the reptiles. In the wildlife education business interative often just means the presenter interacts with their audience. For most companies in the wildlife education business, interative actually means the presenter is talking, or interacting with the audience. In terms of hands-on contact with the reptiles this is rare.
For the few companies that claim “hands-on” besides Snakebusters, the “hands-on” usually means just touching the reptile, or “patting” it, as opposed to be able to hold or handle the animal.
Because a number of dishonest operators sought to misle potential customers, by claiming “hands-on” when in fact they are more “hands-off”, Snakebusters applied to register the trademark “hands on reptiles”.
At the time the
application was made, Snakebusters was being demonized by other companies who
were claiming that “hands on” as practiced by Snakebusters was a recipe for
disaster. Among the others in the
reptile “industry” who demonized “hands-on” as practiced by Snakebusters, were
Michael Alexander of company named “Black Snake Productions”,
Sean McCarthy calling himself a “Snakehandler” even though he uses killer tongs to handle his snakes.
Jonno Lucas, of company named “Educational Reptile Displays”.
All these people all publicly and in writing condemned Raymond Hoser and Snakebusters for daring to allow members of the public to hold reptiles at reptile shows, Melbourne kids parties, reptile School incursions Victoria, reptile events in Victoria and so on.
In line with the dishonesty of their businesses, when a few years later, they all started to realise that the public wanted the hands-on reptiles displays of Snakebusters, they started to advertise their own businesses as also having “hands-on” with reptiles.
Knowing that this wasn’t true and knowing that the advertising was misleading and deceptive, and in breach of the newly registered Snakebusters trademark “hands on reptiles”, Snakebusters decided to enforce their trademark rights to protect the consumers affected.
Cease and desist letters were sent in March 2011 to Sean McCarthy and Michael Alexander. Melbourne Zoo desisted their misleading print adverts and Lucas had been sent a cease and desist letter a few months earlier.
Lucas had earlier been busted by the Fair Trading Authority of Queensland for lying to potential clients about his qualifications to teach snake handling courses and had been compelled to place an advertisement on his website advising visitors he had lied to gain business.
Besides being the most interactive wildlife education company, and rated as Australia’s best reptiles, Snakebusters also has the highest of ethics. While being easy going by nature, and generally operating on the principal of “live and let live”, there comes a point when Snakebusters must enforce trademark rights to protect the interests of consumers who want proper interactive education which involves hands on handling of reptiles at Melbourne school reptile shows, kids reptile parties Victoria, Melbourne reptile displays, reptiles incursions in Victoria and similar.