ACTION ALERT: Cat Ex
Deadline is 2/21/14

We need more comments! Be LOUD! This affects the entire exotic pet community and needs to be shared. Keepers of fish, birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, etc. should all be involved. This rule would allow USFWS to add any species as injurious (making importation, interstate commerce and interstate transportation illegal) without full due process afforded under the law. Any species listed could disappear from the pet community. Spread this information to all exotic pet owners and protect your freedoms.

The U.S. Government needs to hear your voices! Remember to be civil and professional in any correspondence. This “Categorical Exclusion” would make USFWS exempt from NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) requirements. Note: This is a new comment submission format, so comment even if you have previously.

You can view the Action Alert with 4 steps on how to support your herp and exotic pet community at www.usark.org/action-alert/usfws-categorical-exclusion-2/.

You can read about USARK's involvement with Cat Ex at www.usark.org/uncategorized/catex-update-and-usark-in-d-c-92413/.

ACTION ALERTS: STATE LEVEL
Your legislators need to hear from you!

Wisconsin AB 703: This bill makes changes to the laws relating to the possession of certain wild animals and forces financial burdens upon municipalities by requiring them to administer and fund the new regulations without state assistance. It impacts these reptile species: Crocodylia: an alligator of any species, crocodile of any species, caiman of any species, or gharial. View the ACTION ALERT at www.usark.org/uncategorized/2014-wisconsin-assembly-bill-703/.

West Virginia House Bill 4393: The bill seeks to form a Dangerous Wild Animal Board which will have rulemaking authority (no public input) to list any species as a “dangerous wild animal.” View the Action Alert at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-west-virginia-house-bill-4393/.

West Virginia Senate Bill 428: The bill seeks to form a Dangerous Wild Animal Board which will have rulemaking authority (no public input) to list any species as a “dangerous wild animal.” View the Action Alert at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-west-virginia-senate-bill-428/.

West Virginia Senate Bill 371: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the possession of wild and exotic animals (including herps) through a permit system, providing rulemaking authority (no public input) to authorities. View the Action Alert at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-west-virginia-sb-371/.

Virginia Senate Bill 50
 
Virginia SB 50 would allow species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as pets. View details and text of the bill at www.lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+sum+SB50. Read a related article at www.hamptonroads.com/2014/02/virginia-bill-would-allow-endangered-species-pets.

Virginia residents should contact Lewis Waskey at waskey@waskeyconstruction.com for additional information and details on how you may assist.

Pubic Hearing: Date of Meeting: February 19, 2014
Time and Place: 4:00 PM; House Room 3; State Capitol
House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
Subcommittee Natural Resources

Additional State Issues
 
Other 2014 proposed legislation and information can be found at www.usark.org/2014-legislation/. This includes bills in Maryland, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Oregon. This page is updated regularly and makes it easy to follow 2014 issues.

NARBC Arlington Recap

The NARBC crew held another fantastic show in Texas last weekend. Attendees and vendors reported good reviews and another successful show has passed thanks to great promoters. Brian and Bob continue to keep Texas herpers happy with this top-notch conference. In addition to the reptile show, some great presentations were given including a Blue Tegu talk by Russ Gurley and the very important TXARK introduction by Jason Royer.

TXARK (Texas Association of Reptile Keepers) will play a vital role for Texas herpers by having a solid foundation in place to combat legislative matters. They will do much more than protect the freedom of herpers. TXARK will promote the herp world and build a better understanding of herp keepers to the general public. Learn more at www.facebook.com/TXARK. Thank you to all involved with TXARK and USARK looks forward to other states following in your footsteps.

Also, the NARBC crew held another successful USARK/PIJAC auction and raised over $18,000 thanks to donations from supportive vendors. The room was packed and Brian once again entertained the crowd, while at one point reluctantly sharing a fried pie with an audience member. This fried pie thief later lost an arm wrestling match to USARK volunteer, Kimberly. Thank you to all auction bidders and our generous contributors. Below is a list of USARK supporters who donated.

$4,000+: Gourmet Rodent

$1,000+: Brizzee Reptiles, BHB Reptiles, Timberline Live Foods, C Serpents Reptiles/Hot Box Incubators, Python in a Pear Tree, Bob Clark Reptiles, Bailey & Bailey Reptiles, Rodent Pro, Zoo Med

$500+: Reptiles by Mack, Tetra, Reptiles Magazine, CS Reptiles, Constrictors Unlimited, Gorgeous Gecko, Renick Reptiles, Eco Wear, NoCo Reptiles, Exo Terra

$250+: Royer Reptiles, Goss Reptiles, Russ Gurley, YellowBellyBall.com, Mark Petros, RonTremper/LeopardGecko.com, JPM Reptilia

$100+: Tim Cole (Austin Reptile Services), Gex Wear, Herpers: the Movie/Majestic Reptiles, Nick Killough, MR Reptile LLC, Dangeruss Reptiles, Scales DFW, Texas Lizard Connection, Sunland Breeders, Snake Eyes Exotics, Captive Bred Inverts, Texas Reptile Expos

Other Donations: Royal Flush Exotics, Snake Days, Courtney Clark, Art in Scales, Courtney Clark, Shores Enuff Snakes, Stamps Tarantulas, Reptile Handling Equipment, Pet Snake Snacks/ Lonestar Expos, Priceless Pythons, In Living Art

Volunteers: Gillian, Dan, Chris, Kim, Sheri Ashley, Russ Gurley, Chad Gaines, Mike, Sandy Quinn

Thank you to everyone involved for another successful auction and for your USARK support! Our fight is not possible without you.

RAACA Reptile Room Makeover Raffle:

Enter for your chance to win $10,000+ in caging from Jeff Ronne (The Boaphile) and support USARK. Only 2500 tickets will be sold. Buy tickets at NARBC Arlington, select retailers and at www.RAACA.net. Get details at www.RAACA.net. The deadline to buy tickets is February 21. The winning ticket will be pulled on February 22 at the LLL Reptile retail location in Menifee, CA by a random child (not by anyone affiliated to the raffle). Videos will be posted as well.

News and Upcoming Events

National Reptile & Amphibian Advisory Council (NRAAC) Law Symposium: March 7-9, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Registration is free but limited to the first 200 registrants. The event will include three days of panels, workshops, breakout sessions and talks with the goal of bringing all parties interested in reptiles, amphibians and the law to the table. Discussion will be focused on changes and issues with current and proposed herp laws and regulations at the local, state, federal and international levels. Get the details at http://www.nraac.org/symposium2014.html.

David Northcott Health Battle: Dave is a remarkable person, award-winning photographer and cherished member of the herp community. He is battling a heart condition and has been informed he will need a transplant. You can support him at www.gofundme.com/6g1rak. We wish you well, Dave.

Cancer Battle: A fellow herper, Patrick Gerbert (TattooedGiants Reticulated Pythons), is battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A fundraising page has been started at www.gofundme.com/Help-Patrick. Also, Travis Kubes and others are holding auctions on the Retic Nation Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/TheReticNation/) to benefit Patrick. We wish you the best in your fight, Patrick.

NARBC Tinley Park: March 15-16. NARBC once again brings top vendors from across the country to Illinois. Be sure to attend the USARK/PIJAC benefit auction, held Saturday night, to protect your rights to keep reptiles and amphibians as pets. NARBC raised over $100,000 to support the pet community and Rico Walder in 2013. Get all the details at www.NARBC.com.

Pacific NW Reptile and Exotic Animal Show:  March 29-30 in Hillsboro, OR. The PACNWRS is a public trade show exhibiting over 100 vendor booths offering exotic animals and their related merchandise. In addition to animals and products for sale, there are educational reptile and exotic mammal displays for the whole family. Get all the details at www.pacnwrs.com and www.facebook.com/pages/Pacific-Northwest-Reptile-and-Exotic-Animal-Show/.

Texas Rattlesnake Festival: This inaugural event will happen March 8-9 in Round Rock, TX. Share and spread the word. This is an educational event and no snakes will be harmed. This needs to be the future of rattlesnake-related events. Help make it a reality! More details at http://texasrattlesnakefestival.net/Home_Page.php and https://www.facebook.com/texasrattlesnakefestival?fref=ts.

OKC Elite Reptile Show: After a great first show, the second OKC Elite show hits Oklahoma City on May 3-4. More information will be posted at https://www.facebook.com/events/254930164657115/?fref=ts.

Snake Days: May 30, 31 & June 1 in Sanderson, Texas. Great educational lectures, field herping, photo contest, clean highways project and more. Get the details at www.facebook.com/events/690350000995984/ and www.snakedays.com.

Biology of The Pitvipers Symposium: June 4-7 in Tulsa, OK. Learn more at www.biologyofthepitvipers.com and www.facebook.com/BiologyOfThePitvipersSymposium.

Click the photo for details. Only 2500 tickets will be sold! Deadline is February 21.

Article written by USARK