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Thread: New Pet Laws in the US

  1. #1
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    New Pet Laws in the US

    So, there are two pet laws trying to be passed by anti-pet organizations like PETA and HSUS. One is a law that is trying to add boa constrictors, DeSchauensee's anacondas, green anacondas, and Beni anacondas to the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the animals listed as injurious from being transported across borders or imported into the US. This means that breeders cannot introduce new blood into their stock, and anyone moving out-of-state must leave their beloved pet behind, animals can't be taken to another state for demonstrations, you can't buy/adopt pets out-of-state, etc., or they will become a federal criminal. The other law would allow USFWS to add any species to the list of injurious species under the Lacey Act, without due process. This includes reptiles, amphibians, fish, small mammals, and birds. They wouldn't need any scientific proof to show these animals are injurious, and they wouldn't need to research the species' economic impact in the pet trade. This doesn't just affect reptiles! Here are some links to help combat these laws, you only have until the 31st! Please, complete these and share them with as many people as you can! And keep a look out for future bills by joining USARK's newsletter, if you'd like.
    http://usark.org/press-releases/acti...-as-injurious/

    http://usark.org/action-alert/usfws-...l-exclusion-2/

  2. #2
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    Thanks for alerting us to these. It is hard to keep track of everything happening in legislatures etc., so I am glad you posted this.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    The only problem with the legislation is that in the southern US< particularly the Everglades, anacondas and boas are highly invasive and damaging species.

    They SHOULD be controlled.

    Just because you're a responsible owner and don't plan on releasing your pet into the wild, many do.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    The only problem with the legislation is that in the southern US< particularly the Everglades, anacondas and boas are highly invasive and damaging species.

    They SHOULD be controlled.

    Just because you're a responsible owner and don't plan on releasing your pet into the wild, many do.
    For one, even in Northern Florida these snake find it hard to live (and there have been no recorded cases of these snakes surviving the winter in the rest of the Southern US). And two, this isn't just about snakes. This is also about bettas, goldfish, cavies, pacman frogs, etc. Basically (if not every) pet owned in captivity. Third, most of the population of snakes in Florida is caused by a massive break-out of one breeder's stock when a hurricane hit. Most (not all) can be traced just to that guy's stock. Pet owners releasing their animals makes up a very small percentage. And fourth, if this was a licensing law, I would be all for it. A license should be required for ANY pet, imo. I completely don't agree with bans or the Lacey Act, however. If I move out, I don't want to just get rid of my snake who I've had for so many years, just because I can no longer take it with me. Just like a dog/cat owner wouldn't want to leave their dog/cat behind. Being unable to transport across borders also seriously affects breeders' abilities to sell, and thus those animals become less common and more expensive.

    This isn't about controlling these animals. This about getting rid of all pets altogether, and this is just the first step to banning all pets. They realized that when they tried banning reticulated pythons and Burmese pythons a few years ago, and it fell through. They had to settle with the Lacey Act. That's what we were willing to put up with, but it won't stop there. They'll pick it back up again when people feel more comfortable with it.

  5. #5
    Just because someone wants an animal/particular species for a pet, doesn't mean they should be able to have it. The amount of damage done to the environment by invasive non-native species is staggering. With fish, in particular, the rate of growth and propagation can be astounding. Snakeheads and certain types of carp brought into the country from Asia are doing major damage to the freshwater ecosystem in the US.

    Burmese pythons are a problem in the everglades in part due to the aforementioned hurricane, but there are releases as well.

    Frankly, we have enough issues with invasive species, and the Lacey act is the main legal means of control.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  6. #6
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    I once saw a TV show on people in Florida taking advantage of an unusual cold snap and using it to capture iguanas that people had released and are now an invasive species in parts of Florida. I wish there was a way of legislating common sense, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If only we could make everyone adopting or even buying a pet take a class - yes this tiny little iguana is really cute, and can fit in the palm of your hand, but it will grow, sometimes to 6 feet long, and live a long time! Are you prepared to house and feed a six-foot-long lizard ten years from now? No? then buy your kid a plastic dinosaur, and leave the live animal for someone who IS prepared.
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    Just because someone wants an animal/particular species for a pet, doesn't mean they should be able to have it. The amount of damage done to the environment by invasive non-native species is staggering. With fish, in particular, the rate of growth and propagation can be astounding. Snakeheads and certain types of carp brought into the country from Asia are doing major damage to the freshwater ecosystem in the US.

    Burmese pythons are a problem in the everglades in part due to the aforementioned hurricane, but there are releases as well.

    Frankly, we have enough issues with invasive species, and the Lacey act is the main legal means of control.
    I can understand your point of view, but I still do not believe that the Lacey Act is the answer. We can agree to disagree on the Lacey Act. But, do you really believe they should be allowed to add whatever species whenever they want, without any sort of due process? The US is a Democratic Republic, and they should be required to go through due process in my honest opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    I once saw a TV show on people in Florida taking advantage of an unusual cold snap and using it to capture iguanas that people had released and are now an invasive species in parts of Florida. I wish there was a way of legislating common sense, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If only we could make everyone adopting or even buying a pet take a class - yes this tiny little iguana is really cute, and can fit in the palm of your hand, but it will grow, sometimes to 6 feet long, and live a long time! Are you prepared to house and feed a six-foot-long lizard ten years from now? No? then buy your kid a plastic dinosaur, and leave the live animal for someone who IS prepared.
    I agree so much with this. Pythons can live very long; I believe the longest living ball python recorded was 48 years old. I heard a story about a boa that was in it's late-70's on display at a museum and it could still be alive for all I know. Not too sure about that one, though. Husbandry classes are definitely a very good idea, and would bring much good to the people attending as long as the classes taught the most recent practices, to ensure the best quality care.

    I saw one story where a woman bought a Burmese python. I believe it was 12ft, but it could have been bigger or smaller. Definitely bigger than 9ft. She put it in a glass enclosure and put a screen on top. It was only secured with one cinder block. Constrictors are extremely strong, and it easily knocked the top off and killed her toddler/small child.

    Outreach and awareness are top priorities in the pet word, and I wish there was more of it instead of shows like "Shark Week" and just horrifying tales of animal attacks.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BoaLover11 View Post
    I can understand your point of view, but I still do not believe that the Lacey Act is the answer. We can agree to disagree on the Lacey Act. But, do you really believe they should be allowed to add whatever species whenever they want, without any sort of due process? The US is a Democratic Republic, and they should be required to go through due process in my honest opinion.
    The proposed change in law would become the due process. They need more flexibility than they currently have to deal with invasive species.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  9. #9
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    I don't agree with everything this law proposes and I don't think it's perfect. I think a certain process should be put in place in order for exotic pet owners to keep their pets while moving or something, and buy CERTAIN pets out-of-state.

    But I don't think all species should be freely let over the borders from state-to-state and country-to-country. There are breeders for that. Here in NJ you cannot legally breed pet turtles of any sort here. However, you may own them if you can prove the came out of state, and you have a wildlife license from the NJFWS. I, personally, want to own a Box Turtle and would never breed one. But I can't see the point of the law, allowing turtles to be taken from other states. If you allow that than you might as well allow breeding because people are sure as hell going to do it. I don't think any of these laws are well-enforced or effective enough. We have an invasive species here known as the Red-Eared Slider and I see them everywhere. It really grinds my gears knowing morons get these turtles and than release them because they don't want them anymore. Particularly, because I work for a Nature Center and I know for a fact many NJ Turtles are already endangered, they don't need anymore competition.

    I agree with LH that the Lacey Act has some good aspects. I think invasive species control is important. We already have enough here as it is. As a Natural Resources Major (Particularly in Wildlife and Fisheries Management) invasive species are the bane of my existence.
    Mikey - [Pug/Beagle Mix] Spock and T'Stala - [Hermit Crabs] Rest in Peace, Bo. I love you - [African Cawed Frog] Bo II - [Guppy] Buzz - [VT Male Betta] Chippewa - [BT Male Betta]
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  10. #10
    Just read the articles.

    The proposal isn't a change to the laws, which would require a Congressional vote, rather, it is an addition to the listed species under the Lacey act which doesn't require congressional action for it to be approved. What the lawmaker in question is trying to do is to get the USFW to move more rapidly to add the species to the act using the exisitng regulatory framework.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  11. #11
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    Well, the deadline for CatEx has been extended to September 30. I am guessing this is because enough people stood up against its passing, and they're now going over it more thoroughly. I am not sure about the additions to the Lacey Act, as I cannot find anything about it other than its proposal.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BoaLover11 View Post
    Well, the deadline for CatEx has been extended to September 30. I am guessing this is because enough people stood up against its passing, and they're now going over it more thoroughly. I am not sure about the additions to the Lacey Act, as I cannot find anything about it other than its proposal.
    The categorical exclusion is a proposed rules change, as in a change in how an agency is going to implement legislation, not a legislative change. The proposal was posted in the CFR (combined Federal Register) on 1 July 2013. This means that there is a 90 day comment/discussion period before implementation of the rule.

    Nothing has been delayed, it's just the way the process works.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    The categorical exclusion is a proposed rules change, as in a change in how an agency is going to implement legislation, not a legislative change. The proposal was posted in the CFR (combined Federal Register) on 1 July 2013. This means that there is a 90 day comment/discussion period before implementation of the rule.

    Nothing has been delayed, it's just the way the process works.
    Ah. But it has been delayed. USARK was able to get an extension and re-opening for the discussion period for Cat-X, so technically it has been delayed. If you're interested, here are some excerpts from USARK's latest newsletter.

    On Cat-X:
    "USARK was well-prepared and submitted extensive comments before the original deadline. As USARK has previously noted, FWS is proposing a “categorical exclusion” from the National Environmental Policy Act (better known simply as “NEPA”) when it acts to ban importation and interstate trade in reptiles and other species it, in its sole judgment, considers “injurious.” In response, we filed thorough and legally-supported opposition to FWS’ unwarranted and unjustified proposal to exempt Lacey Act listings from environmental and scientific review and public comment.

    As USARK observed, FWS lacks the power to declare itself free from NEPA. Ultimately, a court can decide whether the snake listing or any future declaration of a reptile or amphibian species as injurious complies with NEPA and other applicable law. USARK stands ready to uphold these laws, and end and reverse the unjustified snake ban."

    Some more on Cat-X:
    "Application of this exclusion to any unwarranted attempt to list the boa constrictor and four other snakes still pending is thoroughly unjustified and unlawful. Even if there were some listings that could be justified as NEPA exempt, the constricting snake proposal is not one. It meets the key criteria for a major federal action that requires a full environmental impact statement:

    Both the concluded and pending listings have large negative environmental impacts that come nowhere near being outweighed by the virtually non-existent benefits. Adverse impacts include loss of needed conservation research and public environmental education opportunities, diversion of limited state conservation resources, and increased potential for releases into the wild and/or a mass slaughter of these majestic creatures;
    It is highly controversial, generating over 45,000 public comments and spurring at least three congressional hearings at which USARK presented testimony;
    The science supporting the ban is uncertain and its effects uncertain. In fact, the weight of scientific evidence suggests that these snakes pose no threat outside of extreme southern Florida and tropical states and territories where importation and possession is already prohibited; and
    This first ever Lacey Act listing of a species in common pet ownership is a precedent for future similar actions with similar uncertain and counterproductive impacts."

    "In the context of Lacey Act listings, NEPA is both essential and legally required. This criminal statute simply grants the Interior Secretary, acting through FWS, the power to make injurious determinations. NEPA supplies the requirements for scientific analysis and public comment. Without NEPA, people could have their livelihoods taken away based on undisclosed science and whims of federal bureaucrats."

    If you want to read the whole thing, here's a link: http://usark.org/uncategorized/cat-x...and-more-8813/

    You say that Cat-X is to speed up the process. I disagree. I believe it's being passed so that they will have no opposition in their future additions, and I don't believe they should have that right. Sure, I agree these animals should be regulated. But, once again, I do not believe the Lacey Act nor Cat-X are the answer. After all, has the Lacey Act done anything to help the Burmese python population? It's been on the list for a year or two now, surely it's lowered their population? I don't see how an importation/transportation law will do anything about an established breeding population. People can still own them in their states, they can still release the snakes into the wild in their state, and the snakes can still be bred and sold in their state. So, even with the Lacey Act, more pet snakes can still be added to wild. All it's doing is taking rights away from pet owners without addressing the problem it's supposedly put in place for.

  14. #14
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    Lacey Act

    I am TOTALLY against the Lacey Act. Forbidding large snakes to travel state from state is ridiculous. Not all snake owners are irresponsible, and not all dump their snakes in the everglades. All I know is that any person found to be carrying a large Retic, Burmese, or African rock python are charged and the animals are confiscated and euthanized.
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