Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Getting it straight: accommodating rectilinear behavior in captive snakes - a review of recommendations and their evidence base
Author: Warwick, C.
Grant, R.
Steedman, C.
Howell, T.J.
Arena, P.C.
Lambiris, A.J.L.
Nash, A.-E.
Jessop, M.
Pilny, A.
Amarello, M.
Gorzula, S.
Spain, M.
Walton, A.
Nicholas, E.
Mancera, K.
Whitehead, M.
Martinez-Silvestre, A.
Cadenas, V.
Whittaker, A.
Wilson, A.
Citation: Animals, 2021; 11(5):1-21
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 2076-2615
Statement of
Clifford Warwick, Rachel Grant, Catrina Steedman, Tiffani J. Howell , Phillip C. Arena, Angelo J. L. Lambiris ... et al.
Abstract: Snakes are sentient animals and should be subject to the accepted general welfare principles of other species. However, they are also the only vertebrates commonly housed in conditions that prevent them from adopting rectilinear behavior (ability to fully stretch out). To assess the evidence bases for historical and current guidance on snake spatial considerations, we conducted a literature search and review regarding recommendations consistent with or specifying ≥1 × and <1 × snake length enclosure size. We identified 65 publications referring to snake enclosure sizes, which were separated into three categories: peer-reviewed literature (article or chapter appearing in a peer-reviewed journal or book, n = 31), grey literature (government or other report or scientific letter, n = 18), and opaque literature (non-scientifically indexed reports, care sheets, articles, husbandry books, website or other information for which originating source is not based on scientific evidence or where scientific evidence was not provided, n = 16). We found that recommendations suggesting enclosure sizes shorter than the snakes were based entirely on decades-old ‘rule of thumb’ practices that were unsupported by scientific evidence. In contrast, recommendations suggesting enclosure sizes that allowed snakes to fully stretch utilized scientific evidence and considerations of animal welfare. Providing snakes with enclosures that enable them to fully stretch does not suggest that so doing allows adequate space for all necessary normal and important considerations. However, such enclosures are vital to allow for a limited number of essential welfare-associated behaviors, of which rectilinear posturing is one, making them absolute minimum facilities even for short-term housing.
Keywords: Literature review; reptile husbandry; enclosure size; space; body posture
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
DOI: 10.3390/ani11051459
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Zoology publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_130404.pdfPublished version547.77 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.