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Thread: Upsetting reply from Senator when I contacted regarding Lacey Act

  1. #11
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    I thought the Senator from Ohio's response was pretty good considering the circumstances that they just recently had to deal with a exotic pet owner committing suicide and letting his man eating collection lose to wander the community at large.

    Looks like things could get worse for people who deal in large constrictor snakes. The House Judiciary Committee recently passed bill H.R. 511 which will ban trade, import, or pet use for the Indian python/ Burmese python, reticulated python, Northern African python, Southern African python, boa constrictor, green anaconda, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda and Beni anaconda unless you are a registered USDA-licensed exhibitor. This bill also differs from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ban in that it is concerned about irresponsible ownership, welfare of the animals themselves and the public at large rather then just focusing on non native apex predators wiping out native species. It is still not a done deal since the house still has to take the bill to a full vote.

    I think to simply argue that the science used in legislating large constricting snakes is flawed will not win the day in the end. Granted the science was lose but I think we still have to acknowledge that pythons are still recovered after cold snaps in the everglades and that although snakes studied in South Carolina that were exposed to the cold eventually died it was clearly noted that the everglade snakes were much more tolerant of the cold then expected. Some experts have argued that the snakes could evolve to adapt to colder climates and thermal patterns change. I believe that the USDA just released new planting zones reflecting a warming trend.

    Although not popular (hell I'm not even sure you are able to mention it on Pangea) the community needs to address concerns about irresponsible pet ownership within the community if the opinions of the public and the legislating bodies are to be swayed in the reptile community's favor.
    “they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither nor safety”

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobeyxxl View Post
    I thought the Senator from Ohio's response was pretty good considering the circumstances that they just recently had to deal with a exotic pet owner committing suicide and letting his man eating collection lose to wander the community at large.
    A most unusual and rare event, that is unlikely to ever happen again, and has never happened before. Passing a law to address a single tragic event is wasteful and stupid. No one was hurt in this incident, which is a point too many people seem to conveniently forget. Also, reptiles were not involved. No captive reptile has ever been responsible for the death of someone outside of its immediate household. Risks from even the largest species are relatively minor. There are a lot of risks in life. If we truly were that concerned about them, we would have outlawed the privately-owned automobile long ago. Only public transportation would be available. So, don't fall for the line that we need to protect the public from exotic pets. They are a convenient target, because it's easy for the media to spread fear over them.

    Looks like things could get worse for people who deal in large constrictor snakes. The House Judiciary Committee recently passed bill H.R. 511 which will ban trade, import, or pet use for the Indian python/ Burmese python, reticulated python, Northern African python, Southern African python, boa constrictor, green anaconda, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda and Beni anaconda unless you are a registered USDA-licensed exhibitor. This bill also differs from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ban in that it is concerned about irresponsible ownership, welfare of the animals themselves and the public at large rather then just focusing on non native apex predators wiping out native species. It is still not a done deal since the house still has to take the bill to a full vote.
    Make no mistake about it--this law has 0 to do with welfare concerns, though HSUS would like you to believe that it does. It is, again, an attempt to circumvent the normal process used to add species to the Injurious Species list of the Lacey Act. Why? Because the normal process for doing so would fail to justify adding these species. The Constrictor Report is fabricated BS. The Burmese Python, Both Rock Pythons, and the Yellow Anaconda have been added to the Lacey Act using their normal processes, but USARK plans to take them to court over this, and they're fully justified in doing so. HR511 is another example of government gone rogue. The Lacey Act is not the right tool for addressing this issue. In fact, it would only make things worse, and create a massive animal welfare problem. These animals would still be perfectly legal to own, sell, and breed--just not to transport across State lines. It will succeed in bankrupting families who breed these animals as a business, and it will penalize everyone who currently owns the animals, including military personnel, who often must move. Devaluing these animals and preventing responsible owners from transporting them will not be doing any good....not for people, not for the animals. Surely you can see that.

    I think to simply argue that the science used in legislating large constricting snakes is flawed will not win the day in the end. Granted the science was lose but I think we still have to acknowledge that pythons are still recovered after cold snaps in the everglades and that although snakes studied in South Carolina that were exposed to the cold eventually died it was clearly noted that the everglade snakes were much more tolerant of the cold then expected.
    60% of them were killed in a single winter, and we can't be certain why some survived, but it may have had something to do with all that warm water. The Everglades are a unique environment. It's been pretty cold this winter, too, and people haven't seen a Burm out there in months.

    Some experts have argued that the snakes could evolve to adapt to colder climates and thermal patterns change. I believe that the USDA just released new planting zones reflecting a warming trend.
    This is unrealistic, because these animals live in a habitat which adjoins colder climates in their native land, and they have not adapted and expanded into those areas. They've had a great deal longer to do so there. The Indian Python, which is more cold tolerant, is a CITES 1 animal, and isn't being imported anyhow. It is a separate species, by the way--there is no such thing as a 'Burmese/Indian Python". They're different animals. They have been officially split taxonomically. The idea of a warming trend fails to recognize the fact that climate change generally means unpredictable weather and seriously harsh winters in many cases. Just look at this year--it's barely dipped below freezing most of the winter here in Nebraska, but Floridia is COLD. Tropical animals can't survive this sort of weather mayhem. These animals tend to get respiratory infections if they're out in 60F weather for long, if they aren't killed outright.

    Please remember, the people saying this are the same people who implied that Cateaters were going to grow to enormous sizes and eat people. (Afrock/Burm crosses, which, as anyone who's done a Google search knows, are both difficult to produce, and smaller than either parent species).

    Although not popular (hell I'm not even sure you are able to mention it on Pangea) the community needs to address concerns about irresponsible pet ownership within the community if the opinions of the public and the legislating bodies are to be swayed in the reptile community's favor.
    No one would argue with that. However, we should not allow rogue politicians and radical animal rights groups to take away our rights to own the pets we choose to, period. Fixing the issues within the reptile trade isn't something that can happen if there is no longer a reptile trade. I believe you're absolutely wrong in saying that these bills have anything at all to do with that, anyhow. They are about money and politics, make no mistake about it.
    --Winged Wolf
    Eclipse Exotics
    http://www.eclipseexotics.com
    21.58 BPs in collection, 1.1 BP hatchlings, 1.1 super dwarf reticulated pythons, 0.1 Lygodactylus williamsi, 0.1 Lygodactylus angularis, 1.1 Lygodactylus conradti, 0.8 Lepidodactylus lugubris

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