NARBC Arlington: A Rousing Success

Sep 29, 2017
The Reptile Report
by Josh Jones

The Reptile Report - This past weekend, the North American Reptile Breeders Conference (NARBC) came to Arlington, Texas for the 12th time. From the great crowds to an auction that benefited Hurricane Harvey victims, herp hobbyists and pet parents alike were able to enjoy the full breadth of reptiles.

For PIJAC, it was another chance for us to educate the public on best practices for healthy herp handling, and to continue building strong relationships with the entirety of the professional herp sector. Only together can reptile lovers continue successes like that seen in Arlington, Virginia last week, where non-venomous snakes are still allowed as pets thanks to the hard work of area companion animal advocates.

One of the people responsible for all of the great NARBC shows, is of course, Bob Ashley. Bob was kind enough to conduct a brief e-mail interview for this piece.


Josh Jones: How many exhibitors came to the show this past weekend? How many attendees came? How does this compare to past years’ attendance?

 Bob Ashley: We had a record attendance for our Fall show in September betting last year’s numbers by 12 percent. We had 120 vendors at this event. 

 JJ: How many NARBC shows have there been, and how many in Arlington? 

 BA: 12 years now for Arlington an about 5 years we have been doing two shows a year.

 JJ: How many different species of herps were represented? What is the breakdown of hobbyists versus businesses that exhibit? 

 BA: Attendees are about 60 percent hobbyists and 40 percent businesses that vend at this show. Probably about 400-plus species were displayed at the show this past weekend.

JJ: What were the two top highlights for you at this weekend’s event?

 BA: The Auction is always the highlight, and then I would say the opening of the event on Saturday morning when the crowd moves into the event.

 JJ: Any general thoughts to offer to Reptile Report readers about NARBC shows? 

 BA: We have been doing reptile events for 17 years now and have always only allowed quality captive bred animals to be sold at our events. We have been promoted live on over 100 TV stations over the years, one of them being “The Tonight Show.” We have hired celebrity Reptile personalities in the past that help promote our shows as well as attend and sign autographs for fans. We also have great lectures at all our events with the most up-to-date information about reptile best practices surrounding husbandry and conservation. 


In my role as Director of Legislative and Regulatory Engagement for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), as PIJAC’s lead on legislative and regulatory matters pertaining to the herp industry, and as a keeper of crested geckos, it is important to me personally to work effectively with all reptile hobbyists and businesspeople. Five years of visits to reptile shows have been incredibly valuable, and being PIJAC’s staff liaison to our Herp Committee has helped me learn what concerns leaders in the reptile world.

I was therefore proud to continue to represent PIJAC at the Arlington show. I look forward to attending the upcoming show in Tinley, Illinois, where I’ll introduce PIJAC Communications Director Dustin Siggins to the many herp lovers there.

Only together can we continue to protect responsible pet ownership and the ability to keep pets. Please be sure to let Dustin and me know in Tinley if there’s anything PIJAC can do better to support our industry!

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