Georgia Herpetological Society


Code Of Ethics


The Georgia Herpetological Societies membership is open to anyone with an interest in reptiles and amphibians. Membership is comprised of individuals from both the herpetological and herpetocultural fields, hobbyist and the curious.


We invite you to join the Georgia Herpetological Society. Just print the application form and fill it out. Return it with your check or money order payable to the Georgia Herpetological Society. Membership runs for one calendar year and is renewable every December.



Ethics Introduction:

Members of the Georgia Herpetological Society play a vital role in public education about the importance of reptiles and amphibians. This role extends to the purpose of educating the uniformed about the natural history, ecological role and conservation status of all reptiles and amphibians. As such, it is important that we abide by a continuous set of rules and policies that create a professional level of acceptance for the society and its membership as well as continuity with its intended message.

To fulfill this role, we must understand the relationships we share with the public, the animals under our care, and with each other. A subsequent obligation of membership is to maintain high standards of ethical conduct. Members must have the courage and foresight to live up to their responsibilities within the parameters of professionalism.

A code of ethics provides standards by which we can judge our memberships conduct. It is a desire to maintain the respect and confidence of fellow members and the public that should provide us with incentive to maintain the highest degree of ethical conduct.

So long as our membership is guided by these principles, ours will continue to be a respected organization.


Code of Professional Ethics *

The following Code of Professional Ethics of the Georgia Herpetological Society shall form the basis for membership within the organization.


Any deviation by a member from the GHS Membership Ethics or from any of the rules officially adopted by the Board of Directors, or any action by a member that is detrimental to the best interest of the society, shall be considered unethical conduct. All violations will be reviewed by the existing GHS board and any action will follow within 30 days of the reported activity.


An appeal may be made to the board by the member and this appeal must be made in writing within 30 days of the boards initial decision. A final decision will be made following an appeal in writing within 30 days of the appeal receipt.


In order to promote high standards of conduct in our society, the Georgia Herpetological Society has formulated the following basic principles for the guidance of its members:


As a member of the Georgia Herpetological Society, I pledge to:


  1. Educate the public on the importance of reptiles to the world’s biodiversity.


  1. Educate the public in a responsible manner about the reptiles and amphibians of Georgia and their importance


  1. Promote the conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians both locally and nationally.


  1. Foster relationships between the public and private sector with regards to reptiles and amphibians.


  1. Encourage the responsible ownership of reptile and amphibians.


  1. Assist the society in sponsoring initiatives that prevent the loss of reptiles and amphibian populations in Georgia.


  1. Work with government agencies in their efforts to educate and conserve the states reptile and amphibian populations.


  1. Promote the responsible ownership of reptiles and amphibians.


  1. Realize that I have moral responsibilities not only to my fellow members, and the public, but also to the animals under my care.


  1. Display the highest integrity and the best judgment or ethics possible.


  1. Deal fairly with members and the public in the dissemination of husbandry information and advice.


  1. Use only legal and ethical means when seeking to influence governmental legislation or regulations.


  1. Maintain high standards of personal, professional, and business conduct and behavior at all society functions.


  1. Promote the interests of GHS and do my full share of work in support of the concepts and ideals of GHS.


  1. Encourage publication of significant achievements in breeding husbandry, medical technology, architecture, etc., in the appropriate publications generally familiar to members.


  1. Endeavor at help nature centers in their promotion of reptile and amphibian conservation.


 By applying for membership with the Georgia Herpetological Society, I promise to abide by its policies and goals as outlined in the aforementioned membership code of ethics. I also promise to abide by all local, state, and federal laws pertaining to reptiles and amphibians. Furthermore I affirm that I have not been convicted of any wildlife crime I understand that any violation of the membership code of ethics could lead to my permanent expulsion from the organization.


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* Excerpts were adapted from the American Zoo and Aquarium Associations code of ethics.