Forum terms, conditions, and rules
We may change these at any time and we’ll do our utmost in informing you, though it would be prudent to review this regularly yourself as your continued usage of “Fancy Rats” after changes mean you agree to be legally bound by these terms as they are updated and/or amended.
Terms and conditions
By registering on “Fancy Rats” (hereinafter “we”, “us”, “our”, “Fancy Rats”, “http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk/index.php”), you agreed to be legally bound by the following terms.
Our forums are powered by phpBB (hereinafter “they”, “them”, “their”, “phpBB software”, “www.phpbb.com”, “phpBB Group”, “phpBB Teams”) which is a bulletin board solution released under the “General Public License” (hereinafter “GPL”) and can be downloaded from http://www.phpbb.com. The phpBB software only facilitates internet based discussions, the phpBB Group are not responsible for what we allow and/or disallow as permissible content and/or conduct. For further information about phpBB, please see: http://www.phpbb.com.
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, libellous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “Fancy Rats” is hosted or International Law. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned, with notification of your Internet Service Provider if deemed required by us. The IP address of all posts are recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that “Fancy Rats” have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should we see fit. As a user you agree to any information you have entered to being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent or without court order from a legal official, neither “Fancy Rats” nor phpBB shall be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.
In addition to the terms and conditions above, there are a few other rules we ask you to adhere to - specific to this community. Rules relating to specific forums are detailed within the 'Guidelines' announcement at the top of those forums and we ask you to familiarise yourself with these prior to posting.
The Fancy Rats forum exists primarily for the benefit of fancy rats as pets, by promoting their proper care, as laid out in the Ethical Statement here. All rules are formulated to enable us to keep the forum as friendly and helpful as possible. Members who consistently prove they are unable to use the forum in the spirit it is intended will be banned.
Behaviour on the forum
Respect of fellow members
Fancy Rats Forum should be a place where people can come to learn about rat care no matter what their current position is. Members ask questions to be helped, not judged. 'Ganging up' on other members will not be tolerated. Where a member's views are in conflict with the ethics of Fancy Rats other members are reminded that attitudes are more readily changed by gentleness and education than argument and attack.
It is accepted that from time to time members will disagree with each others opinions, beliefs or advice, or may suspect that the other member is trolling, but we ask that all members post with respect of others' points of view, and do not let their posts degrade into petty arguments or personal attacks. Name calling will not be tolerated regardless of whom or as what.
This rule applies equally to treatment of third parties (e.g. sellers, breeders, members of other forums etc who are not active members of the board, rats or other creatures). We understand that members may be upset by the way some people treat their animals, and we have no wish to shutdown legitimate debate about husbandry. However, we would ask that threads on such subjects remain civil - attacks on, abuse of, or suggestions of violence towards third parties will not be tolerated. We'd also like to remind everyone that members often direct such people to FR for more information, and in these circumstances threads full of abuse may have adverse consequences both for the board and any rats involved.
This rule also covers the admin team as a group and the forum as a whole. Any personal or abusive attack made on Fancy Rats Admin, an individual moderator acting in an official capacity, or the forum as a whole will constitute a breach of the above rule. A personal or abusive attack is taken to mean aggression, humiliation or intimidation intended to inflict mental or emotional pain, and can include but is not limited to threatening behaviour, profanity, stultification, bullying or intimidating behaviour.
Any threats made to FRA, an individual moderator acting in an official capacity or the forum as a whole will result in an immediate permanent ban from the forum. A threat is taken to mean any act of coercion where a negative consequence is proposed to elicit a response and can include but is not limited to threatening legal action, violence, defamation or other form of harm to FRA, the individuals that make up FRA or the forum. Any threats made to a member or group of members will result in a permanent or long term ban from the forum and must be reported by the victim if made by pm.
Spamming, trolling, flaming, and jumping
Spamming is using the board or the PM system for any unsolicited advertising. Trolling is deliberately trying to disrupt the community in any way by posting inappropriately, this includes baiting other members in an attempt to provoke a reaction. Note that baiting a suspected troll is in itself a form of trolling. Flaming is causing (or escalating) heated arguments which sometime degenerate into 'flame wars' and personal vendettas. Jumping is repeating comments that have already given, in such a way that the recipient is likely to feel bombarded. None of the above will be tolerated here.
Promoting 'witch hunts'
We ask that you refrain from posting links to third party websites and advertisments with the intention of encouraging other members to bombard them with messages (for example: about a cage on ebay being too small for rats). This can lead to witch hunts and unpleasantness that spills over onto the forum.
Bringing problems onto the forum
Members should not bring arguments, disputes, or issues which have begun elsewhere onto this forum. Such threads will be removed at the admin team's discretion and appropriate moderation will be given.
The forum contains a large number of articles covering many of the issues which are frequently raised in members' posts. Members are requested to use the links to these in answering wherever possible. The articles are to be found in the Information section, and links to them are also often given in the appropriate forum's 'useful stuff' announcement.
Please do not post your personal information or any other person's personal information on the forums. Many posts can be read by non-members too, and anyone can become a member and read posts at a later date. Please use the PM or email facilities if you wish to do so. Any personal info in public posts will be deleted on request, although we stongly urge members not to post such information in the first place as we cannot commit to any timescales for removing it. It is not acceptable to post comments on the forum which reveal or suggest details of someone else's personal situation.
Adult material and profanity
Please remember this is a family forum with some members under 16 years of age. Profanity and any questionable material will be removed at the administrators' and moderators' discretion. The adult chat section is hidden from junior members and the discussion of more adult topics is encouraged there, however, these must still remain within the terms and conditions of the forum and not be in breach of other forum rules. Some words are censored automatically by the swear filter which replaces them with '*please do not swear*', if you see this phrase during preview, you should correct the post immediately using the edit facility.
Deleting and editing
Deleting posts is not a facility open to members. When posting to the public forum you are accepting that your words become part of the thread, and whilst they can then be edited to correct grammatical or spelling errors for 15 minutes afterwards, deletion of content via the edit facility is not acceptable. Please make use of the preview function to check posts before submitting.
Members should not use "textspeak" or excessive abbreviations in their posts. This is principally to ensure maximum accessibility for members who have dyslexia or other reading difficulties, including those for whom English is not their first language and for those who use a screen/text reader. Members are asked to consider and take time over their replies so the excuse that 'txt spk is quicker' is not valid. Acceptable abbreviations commonly used online are listed in the forum admin and help section.
Members are asked not to post in the voice of their rats when answering forum posts unless using standard English. Again this is for reasons of accessibility as detailed above.
Use of capital letters, and colour
Please do not type in all capital letters. This is considered to be shouting and rude. It is also harsh on the eyes when trying to read it, as is typing all in colour so please only use colour occasionally for emphasis and note that red is reserved for moderation.
Members are asked not to post multiple posts on the same topic (or variations of) in the same or different sections of the forum. If you are unsure as to the most appropriate section to post in, please ask a moderator before posting, or use the report function to request a thread be moved.
Use of smileys and letters
Smileys are available to add colour and an indication of emotion to posts but please keep their use to a sensible level. Posts containing excessive smileys, or replies that are solely multiple smileys and/or multiple keystrokes of single letters will be edited or removed by moderators.
Members are asked to ensure that pictures are of a controllable size. This not only ensures faster downloading for viewers but also stops sideways scrolling (which makes posts difficult to read). As a guide, pictures should not exceed 650 pixels wide. If multiple pictures are included in a single post, members are asked to indicate this in the subject line of the post. Members need to upload their pictures to a holding server. DO NOT link to images from other people's websites unless you have permission to do so. Members are also asked to ensure that images are copyright free (not copied from someone else's site or from a book for example).
We would like to ask that members take a little care when posting eBay links (and any other long links) as they are often so long that they interfere with the page formatting.
http://www.really_long_eBay_link.com or [/color][color=green]http://www.really_ ... color=red]
You should use
Which will result in
Ebay links to auctions may only be made within the Market Place and are subject to approval.
FR allows limited advertising by rat related businesses and individuals where it is to the benefit of members. This includes banner adverts and posts restricted to the Market Place and the Web Directory, details are included in the guidelines for those sections. Banner adverts are paid for on a yearly basis. Discussion threads relating to businesses may appear elsewhere on the board, but any overt advertising will be removed. Advertising does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Fancy Rats. Individuals may only advertise within the appropriate Market Place in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
We do not condone the practice of intensively breeding rats for food, but we accept that the welfare of all rats takes priority. Therefore we will allow discussion pertaining to the ethics, husbandry and care of these rats. We still ask that methods and descriptions of euthanising and the feeding of any vertebrate feeder animals is not discussed here, this includes all feeder animals. This is primarily a forum about pets, and there are plenty of other forums to discuss this topic.
DIY euthanasia of pets
As per the feeder breeding rule, we request that methods and descriptions of DIY euthanasia for any pet species is not discussed here. Allowing such discussions could encourage inexpert attempts at DIY euthanasia that could lead to increased suffering. Discussions of the methods of euthanasia employed by veterinary surgeons is allowed across the Fancy Rats board.
Breeders who have an entry in the Fancy Rats Web Directory may freely discuss their rat litter plans and availability, although they are expected to do their best to have homes lined up in advance in accordance with the FR breeding ethics.
Advertising of other purposely or accidentally bred animals is not permitted, and there should be no mention of availability in the public forum. This includes linking to external adverts. Any such references will be deleted. Members wishing to enquire or inform (in response to an enquiry) about availability can do so by PM or email. The only exception to this is if a member wishes to avoid a deluge of PM's they may post a note that none of the babies are available. It is not permitted to send out unsolicited emails or messages about availability of rats in any situation in an attempt to tempt other members to 'GMR'. For advice on deciding to breed, rearing babies and finding homes for kittens, please read the articles in this section.
Rehoming animals via Fancy Rats
To rehome rats please check the rehoming guidelines and then pm Fancy Rats Rehoming with the completed template.
Animals that may be posted to the Other Pets rehoming forum are: mice, hamsters, gerbils, guniea pigs, rabbits, spiny mice, multimammates, chinchillas, degus, ferrets and hedgehogs. Larger animals such as horse, dogs and cats, and highly specialist animals such as reptiles, fish, and birds are not currently allowed. If you wish to rehome an animal not covered above, please send a PM to Fancy Rats Admin who will consider them on a case by case basis. To rehome rescue animals please first read the guidelines in the "Other Pets Rehoming" board.
Please note that the following categories of animals are not permitted to be advertised on the rehoming boards:
Animals which have been purposely bred by their owner.
Animals of any age which are for sale (though a donation may be made towards rescue).
Animals which have been bought in order to be rehomed - whether from pet shops, auctions, adtrader or private sale. These are not considered rescues and may not be advertised on the forum, regardless of the conditions in which they were kept.*
*Paying money for these animals only supports those who breed and trade them, and cannot be condoned. Where such animals are obtained for free, i.e. no money has changed hands, they may be considered rescues. We do not expect members to buy animals and then try to rehome them here.
The following categories of animals are not generally permitted to be advertised, but will be considered on a case by case basis:
Those that are the result of an accidental mating.
Those that result from missexing by petshops or the purchase of pregnant animals from a pet shop.
Unwanted breeding animals of any age unless the breeder has ceased breeding and is surrendering all their animals and equipment.
Advertising/stating availability of accidentally bred animals is not permitted anywhere on the Fancy Rats forum. Any such references will be deleted.
Advertising rescues and animals for rehoming is only permitted within the appropriate rehoming section in accordance with the relevant rehoming guidelines. Any adverts for animals found elsewhere on Fancy Rats will be deleted.
Stating the availability of animals who are advertised in the rehoming sections is permitted across the board so long as a link to the relevant post in Rehoming is also provided.
Members are asked not to create multiple accounts under any circumstances. Anyone found doing so will have all but one of the accounts deleted or deactivated and a warning will be issued. Anyone having problems logging in with their existing account can email us if it is not a forgotten password issue, and we will endeavour to help solve the problem. Our email address is:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who is banned from the forum for any reason - either temporarily or permanently, will have all accounts deactivated, and their Internet Server Provider may be informed of the abuse of their account (being used dishonestly) if they attempt to make multiple accounts whilst the ban is in place.
Members are requested not to share accounts.
Members are asked to consider other members when choosing their avatar, both in terms of content and the use of moving/flashing images, which some members find distracting and can sometimes provoke physical symptoms. We want the forum to be a comfortable place to be for all of our members. We do not want to ban animated avatars as some are very subtle and unlikely to cause problems, and we do want members to have as much choice as possible. We just ask that when choosing an avatar you show consideration towards other members.
Should be no more than 4 lines high (including any blank lines)
Should not contain any images/banners
Should not contain bold, or large type
Should only contain black type
Images should be limited to Emoticons/smilies only
An additional fifth line is permitted ONLY if you have changed your name from the original FR forum and must contain the text 'Formerly known as YourOldUserName'
Advertising in signatures
It is expected that any such advertising of products or services should meet the same criteria for eligibility as per Marketplace or the Web Directory.
Members are reminded that Fancy Rats Admin reserves the right to remove any advertising that is felt to be against the spirit of the forum (e.g. Pyramid schemes).
The new moderating system based on automated warnings (sent out by PM), and warnings are split into two categories - minor and major.
Minor rule breaks (leading to minor warnings)
Five or more minor warnings over a 12 month period lead to temporary ban. Minor warnings lapse after 1 year.
Minor rule breaks are:
Posting inapropriate material
Deleting post content
Textspeak and ratspeak
Multiple posts on one topic
Minor warnings are delivered using a standard PM system and can be issued by administrators or admin aides.
Major rule breaks (leading to major warnings)
One or more major warning can lead to temporary or permanent ban depending on severity. Attacks and behaviours listed below when directed at members, individual members of the admin team, or FRA result in a major warning of this severity.
Major rule breaks are:
Breaches of the terms and conditions e.g. slander, libel, racism, threatening or hateful behaviour.
Suggestions of violence
Creating a new account when banned
Posting someone else's personal information
Bringing problems onto the forum that have begun elsewhere
Two or more major warnings are required before a temporary ban can be issued for all attacks and behaviours described above when directed at non-members, third parties and other species, plus the following rule breaks.
Advertising rule breaches
Rehoming rule breaches
Discussion of DIY euthanasia
Major warnings are delivered using a standard PM system and can only be issued by administrators.
Warnings issued will be reviewed on a weekly basis to assess how the system is working and that it is fair.
It is accepted that not everyone will read the rules before posting, and anyone receiving a warning will be asked to look through these rules. While the Admin Team work hard to keep everything running smoothly, sometimes posts that violate a rule can get missed, and we ask that members can be responsible for themselves. We ask that you report such posts, rather than replying to them. It is greatly appreciated if you can aid moderators by reporting any abuse of the rules that is witnessed - either by using the report function, or by contacting the Fancy Rats Admim via PM and providing a link to the offending post.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Forum announcements, rule changes and information
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