Following a Humane Long Island investigation that documented hundreds of violations by dozens of vendors exhibiting and selling constrictor snakes such as pythons and boa constrictors, iguanas, tarantulas and scorpions, among other animals at the Long Island Reptile Expo on October 1, 2023, the previously scheduled March and October 2024 Long Island Reptile Expos have been cancelled and Suffolk County Community College has agreed to never host the Expo at any of its campuses moving forward. 

Not only is selling and exhibiting these animals in cramped, plastic containers without food and water—as was widely documented at the Expocruel, but the presence of these animals in the town of Islip is illegal. Under Town of Islip Code Section 12-23, these animals are wild animals and their very presence in the town, let alone their sale, is prohibited. 

Reptiles are sensitive animals who require specialized care, yet at reptile expos they’re hawked like inanimate merchandise to people who often buy them on impulse with little to no knowledge of their proper care and special needs for space, heat, humidity, lighting, live prey, and more. According to Warwick et al (2017), 75% of “pet” reptiles die within the first year, in part due to these species’ inherent low adaptability to artificial environments. The CDC also warns that even healthy-looking reptiles can carry Salmonella and that infants, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illness or death.

Humane Long Island thanks Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter for protecting the public and animals by enforcing the law and thanks SUNY Suffolk for cutting its ties with the Long Island Reptile Expo permanently. New York has already said no to cruel puppy, bunny, and kitten mills by banning the sales of these animals starting in November, but reptile mills—which aren’t even regulated by the USDA—are even worse.