Photos: ‘Give Snakes Space!’ – PETA ‘Python’ Hisses at DEFRA Tank Size Rules

Photos: ‘Give Snakes Space!’ – PETA ‘Python’ Hisses at DEFRA Tank Size Rules

London – Today, in the latest development in PETA’s campaign to compel the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to increase size requirements for snake enclosures, a PETA supporter dressed as a snake languished inside a tiny tank on top of a table with a sign proclaiming, “Thérèse Coffey: Give Snakes Space!”

More images from the action are available here.

The appeal to Coffey, DEFRA’s secretary of state, comes after PETA and several other animal charities sent a letter warning legal action could be taken if DEFRA fails to update its guidelines for minimum enclosure sizes for snakes – an update which is expected imminently. Currently, snakes are the only animals who are permitted to be kept in enclosures in which they cannot fully stretch out their bodies. DEFRA has indicated that it’s minded to defer to the pet industry’s standards, which allow these animals to be kept in smaller enclosures for months, even though scientific advice from the department’s own expert group, the Animal Welfare Committee, has stated that snakes need to have enough space to stretch out. In the letter, the groups urged DEFRA to require that snakes be housed in enclosures that are at least as long as they are, a requirement that has been successfully implemented in Wales.

“Keeping snakes in claustrophobic enclosures where they can’t unfurl their bodies is physically and psychologically damaging, just as it would be for anyone else,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “PETA is calling on Coffey to get out of bed with the pet trade and give snakes the space they need.”

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, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]