The Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works (EPW) has passed S. 373 aka 'The Python Ban'. The committee held a mark up session on S. 373, to amend title 18, United States Code, to add constrictor snakes of the species Python genera to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) (Ranking Member) expressed concerns about the bill. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) offered an amendment to limit the scope of the bill to only the 9 snakes addressed in the USGS report on large constrictors. Senator Cardin further agreed to work with Senator Inhofe to improve the bill prior to a vote on the Senate floor. The amendment was passed by voice vote. S373 was then voted out of Committee by voice vote with Senator Inhofe registering a NO vote. S373 has now passed out of committee. It cannot become law until it is voted on and passed by the full Senate and House of Representatives. There is still much work to be done prior to the Python Ban becoming law. S373 in its current form is unacceptable to USARK and the Reptile Nation. We will continue to work with Senator Inhofe, Senator Cardin and the EPW Committee Staff to shape the future of this bill. Please make an appointment to visit with your Senator and express your concerns with S373. Everyone needs to step up and make contact with your Senator. Let USARK know about your meeting. It is time to step up our game and show Washington we are serious about this. Continue the good fight. The Reptile Nation thanks Senator Inhofe for his even handed treatment of our industry. It is extremely important for everyone in the Reptile Nation to take direct action to STOP S. 373. If you don't take massive action now you may never get another chance to effect this legislation. We have come too far to give up now. We can win if we all pull together and take massive action. DO IT NOW! ACTION STEPS: USARK Senate Campaign 1.Email your Senator- This is the simplest step to take. It is only effective if done as apart of USARK's comprehensive overall strategy. Email alone is the least effective way to get your message to Congress. Please click this link and follow the instructions to Email your Senator. EMAIL: Tell the US Senate to Stop the Python Ban! | United States Association of Reptile Keepers | Then go to step 2. 2.Phone your Senator- This is also an easy step that everyone can do. It is more effective than email when trying to get your message through, but still is best used as one part of the USARK Senate Campaign. Please click this link and follow the instructions to Phone your Senator. PHONE: Tell the US Senate to Stop the Python Ban | United States Association of Reptile Keepers | Go to step 3. 3.Visit your Senator- This is the single most effective way to influence your Senator. Make an appointment to go in and talk to your Senator's Staff. They will respond to your personal visit to their local offices. You don't have to go to Washington DC. This makes your Opposition to S373 personal and gives your Senator a reason to oppose the bill. Contact USARK and we will coach you and give you talking points to use with your Senator. We can help you get a strong message across. Just let us know once you have scheduled you appointment. Go to step 4. 4.Report Back to USARK- We want to hear about your progress. We have set up a forum for each state where you can report your experiences. Let us know what happens. You can also discuss your experiences with others from your state. We are interested in all of your experiences, but especially those all important 'in person visits' with your Senator. Please click this link to Report Back to USARK. USARK • Index page You will have to register just like any other forum. Then go to the S373 Senate Campaign and click your state. We can't wait to hear from the Reptile Nation on this! Lobbying Campaign: Not only is USARK is spearheading the grass roots fight against S373, but we are leading the lobbying effort for a coalition of interests in Washington, DC. We are the only organization involved in this issue that has a powerful professional lobbying presence on Capital Hill. We have employed a team of top flight lobbyists that have been engaged on S373 since it was introduced last winter. We have reached out to the Pet Industry and have been approached by the Fashion and Western Apparel Industries; all of whom are concerned by the implications of arbitrary legislation of new Lacey Act provisions that could negatively impact their business. This is a time when we need 'all hands on deck' to fight this ill conceived legislation. Unity is essential. There is Strength in Numbers... Protect Your Rights! We will continue to engage this fight at all levels.