ACTION ALERT: Norman, OK

Remember to be CIVIL and PROFESSIONAL at all times!

Where: city of Norman, Oklahoma

What: Norman is proposing a ban on ALL pythons, boas and anacondas. Send emails and contact officials NOW before the meeting on February 9th. They need to hear the opposition NOW, as well as at the meeting.

Time and Place: All herpers and concerned pet owners should attend. This is unjust action no different than breed-specific legislation.

6:30 PM on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Municipal Building

Council Chambers

201 West Gray

Norman, OK 73069

Copy/paste these email addresses into your email's "To" box (even better to send individual emails):

ward1@normanok.gov, ward2@normanok.gov, ward4@normanok.gov, ward5@normanok.gov, ward6@normanok.gov, ward7@normanok.gov, ward8@normanok.gov, action.center@normanok.gov, info@ci.norman.ok.us, city.manager@normanok.gov, city.clerk@normanok.gov, mayor@normanok.gov, ward3@normanok.gov

City Council member phone numbers can be found at www.normanok.gov/cityclerk/city-council.

Copy/paste one of these subject lines, or write your own so all emails don't have the same subject line.

  1. NO BAN on snakes
  2. I OPPOSE SNAKE BAN
  3. Snake ban is unjust
  4. Opposition to snake ban
  5. Reasons to not ban snakes
  6. Snake prohibition is unfounded

Sample Letter #1

Copy/paste this sample letter. It is important to personalize/edit at least some of the letter.

Dear Norman Council Members and Officials,

I oppose a ban on pythons, boas and anacondas as an Oklahoma resident and responsible pet owner. This is an example of the government overreaching and taking away freedoms without just cause or valid reasoning. There is absolutely no justification to list boas and pythons as prohibited in Norman. There has been zero input from any professionals, herpetologists, stakeholders, biologists or other experts. 

For many reasons, this ban is unjust. Many species of boas and pythons are commonly kept. The husbandry, or captive care, of these animals is well-understood and they thrive in captivity, allowing them to be in the homes of people who cannot have cats or dogs. Companies even make cages specifically for housing them.

There is no public safety risk regarding these animals and the risk of a feral population establishing in Oklahoma is non-existent. These non-native species of snakes cannot live in temperatures remotely close to Oklahoma winters, or even colder nights in fall and spring.

I would hope that as a tax-paying citizen, government officials would base legislation only upon sound reasoning and legitimate science. I'm seeing in Norman that some officials want these snakes banned just because they don't like them and lack education regarding them. That is bad government and is unconstitutional. Government officials must become properly educated on topics before making decisions, especially when many of their constituents will be affected.

I know that the Oklahoma City Herpetological Society, United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) and many local stakeholders have all reached out to educate officials. If you listen to those educated about these animals, you'll see these snakes should not be banned in Norman. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Have a good day.

Sincerely,

[your name: helpful to add address if in Norman or nearby]

Sample Letter #2

Copy/paste this sample letter. It is important to personalize/edit at least some of the letter.

Dear Norman City Official,

As an Oklahoma resident and pet owner, I oppose a ban on pythons, boas and anacondas. This proposal is overreaching and unjust legislation without sound science or reasoning to support it. There is simply no valid justification to support for this ban.

Study sessions regarding this ban did not include input from any herpetologists, stakeholders, biologists or other professionals. The questions raised by council members at the February 2 meeting on this topic could have easily been answered by those familiar with these animals, but instead, the Council has chosen not to include the expertise of those who have offered.

For many reasons, this ban is unjust. Below are just a few:
  1. By banning these animals, you will be unfairly criminalizing several dozen Norman residents;
  2. Oklahoma does not have a climate that would support feral populations these animals;
  3. Bans do not address animal welfare issues;
  4. These snakes are very commonly kept in captivity;
  5. The husbandry, or captive care, of these animals is well-understood and they thrive in captivity;
  6. There is no public safety risk from these animals;
  7. Banning these animals removes any educational opportunities for children;
  8. Oklahoma has an abundance of herpetologists and many keep these snakes;
  9. Many more reasons can be supplied.
Government officials should base legislation upon valid reasoning and sound science. This proposal is nothing more than bad government based upon miseducation of the subject. I would hope government officials would take the time to learn about the topics at hand before making decisions to negatively impact their constituents.

To my knowledge, the Oklahoma City Herpetological Society, United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) and local stakeholders have all reached out to assist. Please allow their assistance and you'll see these snakes should not be banned in Norman. Thank you for your time and have a good day.

Sincerely,

[your name: helpful to add address if in Norman or nearby]