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Rattlesnake Round-Ups, also known as Rattlesnake Rodeos are events common in the rural Midwest and Southern United States, where the primary attractions are captured wild rattlesnakes which are sold, displayed, and often killed for food or to create animal products such as snakeskin. Typically a round-up will also include trade stalls and other features associated with fairs. The largest Rattlesnake Round-Up event in the United States is held in Sweetwater, Texas. Held every year since 1958, the event currently attracts approximately 30,000 visitors per year and in 2006 each annual Round-Up was said to result in the capture of 1% of the state's rattlesnake population.
Cash prizes and trophies are often given out to participants. The events often attract thousands of tourists, which can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue into small towns; the Sweetwater Round-Up's economic impact was estimated to exceed US$5 million in 2006. Snake collectors often make large profits selling snakes at the events.
Rattlesnake round-ups became a concern by animal rights groups and conservationists due to claims of animal cruelty and excessive threat of future endangerment. Some Round-Ups responded by imposing catch size restrictions or releasing captured snakes back into the wild.
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