This question is asked frequently, "In many sectors of the hobby it is frowned upon or even considered "unethical" to breed hybrids. Should this attitude exist for house snake keepers?"
I think its important to keep in mind that house snake taxonomy is a mess (More on this in the popular "House Snake mess for dummies" Article). We know little about what constitutes a "pure" animal to know what constitutes an "impure" one to even explore the argument to a finality, but lets use the arguments that are common in other sectors of the hobby to explore the issue.
"Hybrids that get loose from irresponsible owners then taint the purity of wild populations"
Unless you actually live in the places these animals are native there is no risk that your "hybrid" animal will get loose and "taint" the purity of the wild strains like there is with say a specific locality of California kingsnake. So were safe there- a black house snake in africa will not be changed by yours here in the US.
"If people breed hybrids we wont have any pure animals anymore eventually. "
Black house snakes are still being exported in mass, with least concern status, so there isn't currently really a need to preserve the "purity" of every single one like there is with say blue tongue skinks where the native borders are closed, and what we have now may be all we'll ever have. So that argument also doesn't apply here like it would elsewhere either.
"Hybrids are sickly mongrels that don't do as well as their pure counterparts..."
All morphs of any animal are caused by mutation, so we have to ask ourselves where do we draw the line on this one in the first place? Is a wild caught "pure" albino cape with light sensitivity automatically healthier than a hypo green with no issues? Not in my experience. House snakes are still young in the trade, but so far I haven't come across a hybrid that lacks the health and vigor common amongst the different species. For me, that will need further exploration before Id be comfortable taking the stance that hybrids are unethical on the grounds of health. Ironically that would require more hybrids to be made in order to prove or disprove as well. I can say that some of the common morphs are hybrid crosses and most people aren't even aware of that, yet they live productive lives in captivity all the same. Butters/Illumo/hypo green are worthy examples.
4) "People are breeding hybrids because they don't want to have to buy/wait for/breed another pure animal. Then they dump the hatchlings. "
I too think the why is important. Perhaps the most important is WHY? why does this person want to cross their animals? I've personally made several hybrid crosses and I can tell you it isn't that easy. This fact alone will weed out many of the people who will attempt hybrid pairings for the "lazy" or otherwise "less than ethical" reasons. It's a lot harder, so there's going to be a reason to endure to the point of success.
For me its to understand the boundaries of their taxonomy. Many house snakes are currently *legally* lumped together (like black house snakes and togo stripes) as the same species even though it makes no sense. "Hybrid" pairings give us information to understand these animals both here in the US and in the wild. Others may want to explore their gene plasticity or create new morphs. Point is there are perfectly valid reasons to create hybrid house snakes, and anyone that's ever seen a butter (or one's price tag) can tell you they are not being "dumped" either. In my experience so far its been quite the opposite. I personally can not create enough of some of them to keep up with the demand for them.
What about the localities?!
Localities with visual differences are technically not (always) *hybrids* of two species, so not exactly the same argument. They are usually two animals of the same species collected from different places (hence the term locality). I do agree that localities should be preserved to the best of our ability (I go over that pretty in depth in my Red Kenya vs Kzn Red post if anyone is interested). I do find it unethical to claim an animal is anything its not, and especially would not label an animal as "x,y, or z" locality if you don't actually know that, because that does have the capacity to change the "purity" of that locality in captivity here over time. Even that hang up is avoid by just being honest though. There's also the very valid argument to be made that even the localities that we do "breed pure" will not stay the same as those in the wild over time, since we will be selectively breeding those towards the traits we breeders like, resulting in differences over a long enough scale of time. But again that's another subject than strictly *hybrids*.
So we should just take peoples word?
Some will say that you shouldn't expect people to be honest and sure that's true, but you certainly can say that about every aspect of life- that's not new here. The best thing to do is to research the traits of the morph, specie, or locality your interested in and of course research the breeder you intend to buy from.
Long story short
if you honestly represent the animals you have made as hybrids, so that everyone knows exactly what they are getting, I just don't see the kind of reasons to devalue or snub hybrid house snakes like there is in other types of animals in the hobby.
Lastly, It is ok to agree to disagree.
Hybrids aren't for everyone. Some people don't like the idea of animals having any type of mutation at all. That's ok! You can like hybrids or not. You can like mutations "morphs" or not. One of the best features of this hobby is that were all a little misfit in the first place, so there's no reason we cant respect each others differences. :)