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PR: Python Ban Moves Forward Despite Questionable Science

Discussion in 'Reptile Law - Legal News' started by Rich, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    December 10, 2009 Wilmington, NC- Driven by powerful special interests and much media sensation S. 373 aka ‘The Python Ban’ is likely to move forward despite lack of scientific justification. Pushed by Sponsor Senator Bill Nelson and the Humane Society of the United States S. 373 could devastate the trade in high quality captive bred reptiles in the United States.

    Today the Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works (EPW) will hold a business meeting on S. 373. The Committee Chair is Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and the Ranking Member is Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). The committee will hold a mark up session where they will consider 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. The committee is expected to amend the bill to include the 9 snakes listed on a recent controversial report by the US Geological Survey (USGS). All tolled the bill could stop the import, export and interstate transport of as many as 45 species of Boas and Pythons.

    The USGS report being used to justify these extreme measures has been called into question by a group of independent scientists in a letter to the EPW Committee on November 24, 2009. The letter characterized the USGS report as “not a bona-fide scientific paper”. The US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) stand by the report and have recommended to the committee that all 9 snakes reviewed should be included by amendment to S. 373. The independent scientists, who include professors from University of Florida, Arizona State University, Texas A&M and The National Geographic Society, go further to state, “this document is not suitable as the basis for legislative or regulatory policies, as its content is not based on best science practices”

    The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) made an agreement in principle with Senator Bill Nelson’s office to limit the damage to a 3 billion dollar a year trade in these reptiles, but was informed yesterday that the agreement would not be honored. Senator Nelson has justified his position based on the recommendations made in regards to the USGS report by USFWS and DOI. Andrew Wyatt, president of USARK, commented that “it is a real shame that Senator Nelson has changed his position on this issue”. If the bill passes approximately 4 million boas and pythons already in captivity would be rendered valueless overnight with no provisions for disposition or compensation. Wyatt added, “it could create a situation where millions of people will be in possession of injurious wildlife. It is ludicrous to put so many law abiding citizens in that position and diminish the Lacey Act for the sake of political expediency.”

    Passage of S. 373 would result in the loss of thousands of American jobs bankrupting an entire industry. Without strong evidence to support the injurious wildlife listing, USARK calls on the Senate EPW Committee to give an unfavorable rating to S. 373.
  2. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    I expected to see lots more activity on this thread!!!

    Anyway I understand that now, the Bill HAS been amended to include the other snake species, so things are looking pretty grim...this Bill will now go to (Parliament?) next, and we need to fight it all the way to the end (the President) if necessary - we CAN stop it if there are enough protests and pressure put to bear on those who are involved!!!

    Everyone please take notice, and start doing your part to STOP this thing from being passed. YOU can do this, and only each and every single individual in the US who has a life and /or business involved with snakes in any way. If you work in a pet Shop or Zoo or any place like that, get them involved!!! Schools, Universities, Wildlife Attractions should all be pressing to stop this terrible threat against human rights.

    Please - Don't leave it to others, or you are doomed in this matter. It would be like watching a cat breaking into your snake's enclosure and hoping it will just go away without your having to interfere.
  3. Drache Dame

    Drache Dame Elite Member

    This is horrifying, but unfortunately I don't see much that we can do. Petitions don't work, and unfortunately there is science (no matter how ridiculous it is) pushing this bill forward. I can just hope it doesn't get passed.
  4. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member


    Edit: Anyway, I just wrote my senators about this mess! I know there is only so much we really can do, but maybe the more information that gets out there the better! Eventually the information will reach the right ears!
  5. pantiesandtink

    pantiesandtink New Member

    Ugh I used to live in oklahoma, I can't believe inhoffe would do something this stupid! Why do these people hate snakes that much anyway? I think they are looking for a hobby between more important bills.
  6. avoidtheboyd

    avoidtheboyd Elite Member

    There probably just little girls when i comes to snakes and dont know how sweet they can be
  7. Dragoneer

    Dragoneer Well-Known Member

    Isn't this ban on large snakes like Burmese, anacondas?? Surely they are not banning balls or red tails or snakes of that size! i agree there should be some kind of control on snakes as large as a burmese. Not saying they should be banned. But maybe require some kind of license to home one. I think those kind of snakes should be chipped with owner info. I wouldnt oppose some kind of governing on breeding and sales of those kind of snakes.
    Perfect examples, My neighbor from years ago bought a burmese, not realizing what he bought. He was thinking more of a ball. Either he or the pet store were at fault but the mistake was made.
    Second, friends of mine now saw my ball so they decided to get one. They have never had a reptile before and went and bought a burmese. I explained what they were going to get themselves into but they thought it was "COOL". Good grief.
    I am sure a lot of people here know someone who has done that and have no business owning one of those. And you know people let them loose because they can't care for it anymore.
    whew... sorry. had to vent a little. Just makes me mad.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Inhofe is just the ranking senator on the committee that hears these things and in fact has expressed concerns about the bill. He's on our side.
    He in fact voted NO with regards to the bill even leaving the committee.
    The ban is on members of the genus python....That can be construed to be ANY species of python.
    Boa constrictors are also part of their list.
  9. jeepguy

    jeepguy Elite Member

    There are actually two bills trying to be passed right now HR2811 and S373. The last that I have heard on the ban was it was down to 9 different species of snakes. This is down form the original 40. The nine species are the Burmese python, northern African python, southern African python, reticulated python, green anaconda, yellow anaconda, Beni or Bolivian anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, and boa constrictor. They are estimating that this ban will take away about 1 billion dollars from the reptile industry. Which is about 1/3 of the entire industry. USARK is fighting to help the herp owners and more info can be accessed through them. It is also my understanding that the ban will not take the snakes away from being owned. The ban will prohibit importing and state to state trade of the animals. Either way you look at it, it is wrong. The people that are going to be punished here just like always are the ones that are already doing the right thing and the people responsible for the legislative acts still are going to keep doing what they do. This ban will not personally affect me, but it may be the start to something worse and needs to be dealt with. I also know the amount of time and money that people put into their projects and I really feel sorry for them as well. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope something changes.
  10. wolf

    wolf Member

    it seems to me some things will never change. as always it only takes a couple to screw it up for the rest of us. due to the lack of knowledge prior to purchase, the lack of disclosure on the sellers part, or just straight up ego and ignorance... if people would just not realease these snakes into the wild, due to incompetence, that would resolve at least part of the issue. in the news a while back i also heard how several people were killed by their large burms... again ignorance, it's great to be comfortable with your reps, but use your head...ITS A WILD ANIMAL. it will always be a wild animal, it will never be domesticated... however if it is content,comfortable,well fed, warm and all requirements are met for its needs, it is highly unlikely you will have a problem with disposition. listen pit bulls attack and kill people too, but their not outlawed for it. its unfortunate that people always wind up getting the wrong things for the wrong reasons. every burm i've ever had was 12'+ , 100lbs.+ and i have never had an incident with any of them. besides, the system needs another way to generate revenue... think about it. alot of things are banned or outlawed, and regulated by the feds:guns, drugs, poaching, hunting,etc...even tattooing had been banned in ma. since the 60's, then when it got real trendy the ban lifted and was regulated and revenue. much like every other law and bi-law they enacted it will give them more "control" over the "situation" and it'll generate money... but it won't solve the problem. the business of trading and breeding large reps will still continue off the books, which will then result in criminal conclusion, life sucks then ya die... so make the best of it and enjoy and care for your reps.
  11. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Where is this thing at this point as far as legislation goes?
  12. YellowOctopus

    YellowOctopus Elite Member

    Why is a climate change denier (Inhofe) on a committee on the environment? That's ridiculous. See, now I'm just opposed to it just on principle when I had been for it in hopes that it'd help reptile education and then get repealed. Inhofe is the Sensenbrenner of the Senate. Ugh.
  13. butters

    butters Active Member

    What is the latest news on this bill? Has it been passed?
  14. JMM

    JMM Elite Member

    I do believe it has passed in Florida (this week ?) and is still under study as regards being applied to all US.
  15. happynewyorker

    happynewyorker New Member new to this forum..I do agree with dragoneer.there should be some kind of liscense for the bigger snakes.I myself have 4 balls and 2 corns along with a few other reps.and they are the most docile sweet hearts u can ever have.Now there are people that want reps and have no idea on how to take care of them,next thing u know those people set them free in places they aren't supposed to.And now we are going to pay for it.I hope and pray that bill does not pass.The only place i hope it goes is to the trash....
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