Ontario Antivenin Bank

The Ontario Antivenin Bank was founded in 1999 by Bry Loyst. The purpose of this registered charity (charity number #80522 2353 RR0001) is to provide a reliable source of many kinds of antivenin for the sole purpose of saving human lives. The bank has already saved numerous lives due to snake bites.

It is not the role of the Bank to monitor the keeping of venomous reptiles by professionals or amateurs. It is a fact that there are very high numbers of a wide variety of venomous reptiles kept in captivity in many different communities in Ontario and across Canada. The objective of the Bank is to acquire and maintain antivenin for as many venomous reptiles as possible. The bank makes antivenin available for emergency purposes to hospitals as required. The Ontario Antivenin Bank will not give antivenin to private individuals.

The antivenin bank will only be useful for people within a few hours of the location of the bank. People outside of that radius should not rely on the bank. Antivenin should be administered as fast as possible. In many cases if the antivenin is not available in Ontario, bringing it in from another country can take days. People who have been envenomated by an exotic venomous reptile could possibly die due to this time delay. That is where we would like to fill the void. We need your help in doing so.

In Ontario, the only antivenin available to hospitals is CroFab, a polyvalent, which is used for indigenous Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake Sistrurus catenatus catenatus. However there might not be enough supply to treat an exotic envenimation, e.g. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus atrox.

In Ontario there is no major city zoo with a large enough venomous snake collection which stocks different antivenin. Therefore the Ontario Antivenin Bank is extremely important to anybody working with venomous snakes or who can come into contact with them during their line of work.

Here are some examples of people who may need the use of our bank:

Federal wildlife officers
Provincial Wildlife Officers
Animal Care Facilities
Private keepers
Non-Accredited Zoos
SPCA Officers
Humane Society Officers
Animal Control Officers

Note: The Indian River Reptile Zoo is home to the Ontario Antivenin Bank and is the only organization in Canada to stock antivenin.

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