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Upsetting reply from Senator when I contacted regarding Lacey Act

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  • Upsetting reply from Senator when I contacted regarding Lacey Act

    I was particularly peeved when I got a response back from my Senator in regards to my letter asking him not to support the revision of the Lacey Act. I will leave his name out, but he's from Ohio.

    Dear Ms. Brewer:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on a rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that has added several constrictor snakes as injurious wildlife.

    Under the Lacey Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can label certain wildlife as injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, or wildlife. Injurious species are prohibited from interstate trade and commerce, but are not restricted from private ownership. After the introduction of constrictor snakes in the Everglades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that the snakes are highly adaptable and their populations are now swelling. However, I can understand your concerns with this possible listing, particularly its impact on pet owners and Ohio businesses.

    You may wish to share your concerns directly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I will certainly keep your comments in mind should this issue come before the Senate.

    Thank you again for getting in touch with me.

    Sincerely,

    United States Senator
    Such misinformed CRAP. Darn you HSUS and PETA!

    -Andrea (too miffed for the normal smiley face!)
    Visit us online at: www.crestedgeckogirly.com
    Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crestedgeckogirly21


    Have YOU Hugged a Gecko Today?

  • #2
    It'd be great if any of you would like to write him again. Every little bit helps. Please PM me for email.

    Thanks everyone!

    -Andrea
    Visit us online at: www.crestedgeckogirly.com
    Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crestedgeckogirly21


    Have YOU Hugged a Gecko Today?

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    • #3
      He may be misinformed, and should be corrected, but what he is basically telling you is that there is nothing he can do about this.
      --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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      • #4
        I agree with the above statement. Looks like we need to start hitting the USFWS.

        However, it is VERY nice that he took the time to reply to your email. I doubt most senators even read theirs.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm sorry, I really don't know anything about this, but I thought that there were invasive, non-native animals in the everglades because of people releasing reptiles they didnt want anymore? I don't know about snakes specifically, but I do know they have a problem with lizards. Biiiiig lizards.

          .....or is the problem the fact that you're in Ohio, where no reptile is going to survive outside?
          My iHerp[/SIZE][/CENTER]

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          • #6
            The bulk of the Burm population there is believed to have come from warehouses blown into the swamp by Hurricane Andrew.

            However, it's true that there have been animals released, and animals have escaped as well. The Everglades has more non-native species in it now than it has natives, and reptiles are the LEAST of the concern there. Invasive plants and insects are the worst ones. However, you don't see politicians railing against the dangers of those, and trying to ban the importation of plants, or put nurseries out of business.

            Florida could have prevented this problem by closing its doors to all tropical wildlife and plant life, decades and decades ago. It chose not to, and the Everglades is the victim.
            This could not happen elsewhere in the US....because it didn't.
            --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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            • #7
              I've lived in Florida most of my life, and our house is in the Everglades- or what's left of them after the Army Corps of Engineers installed the canals back in the 60s to create the "dry land" that Naples is now built on. The landscape in South Florida has evolved the way it has due to HUMAN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY, not due to invasive species- though I'll agree that they are A problem. Just not THE MAIN problem.

              Originally posted by WingedWolfPsion View Post
              The Everglades has more non-native species in it now than it has natives
              Where on earth did that come from? o_0

              Actually, the most damaging non-native species in the Everglades are the feral cats and dogs.

              And it's HUMANS that remain 99% of the problem. Pollution, habitat loss due to expansion, agricultural runoff, and industrial enterprises are the main threats to the Glades by far. By FAR. Just those are a whole lot more complicated and less attractive for an elected politician to go after, since those same industries are what will be putting all the dollars into their election and re-election campaigns.

              It's a royal mess.

              Comment


              • #8
                From what I understood, the Melaleuca was one of the most damaging, not dogs and cats. I don't think mammals can touch invasive plants for sheer destructive power.

                Agriculture and human activity is the biggest threat, we were just talking about invasive species.
                My bad, though, it wasn't more than half. It's 26%, I misremembered.
                --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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                • #9
                  Melaleuca has been pretty much eradicated from public land at this point, I believe? Private land is another story so of course there's encroachment... but I think the Melaleuca War is just about won. Though Brazilian Peppers and Australian Pines along the shorelines are another story...

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                  • #10
                    Yes, it's hard to find up-to-date information on the status of these things. (I don't live in Florida).
                    Still, I think the plants are beating out the animals by a large margin...and insects are beating out larger animals for destructiveness, too.
                    Norway rats are probably also a worse problem than cats or dogs, as they eat bird's eggs, reptiles and reptile eggs, etc etc.
                    --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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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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