Action Alert: No to Adding Species as Injurious

Anti-pet groups are pushing to have the 5 remaining species of snakes (Boa constrictor, Reticulated python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, Green anaconda and Beni anaconda) listed as injurious under the Lacey Act – in essence banning all importation and interstate commerce. The time to fight for your rights is now. These anti-pet groups, posing as animal welfare groups, will not stop at large species of snakes. They have an agenda to end all pet ownership in America. With hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, they are being allowed to influence public policy. Take less than 5 minutes and complete the Action Alert below to contact your federal Representative and then share it with as many people as possible. This is just another step toward eliminating your freedoms and those of the entire reptile community. Remember to be professional and civil at all times. Act now!

 Action Alert

1. Below is a link to contact your federal Representative. Simply click the link and enter your zip code. You will see your Representative’s information (you may need to narrow search with your address). You will see a small envelope next to your Representative’s picture that you can click to send an email (or you may visit the Representative’s website provided). Simply fill out the form, copy and paste the subject line and sample letter below and send it. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Letter

Subject: NO to adding additional snake species as injurious

I write today to urge to ask Secretary Sally Jewell and USFWS not to list five additional snake species as injurious under the Lacey Act. There is no valid scientific evidence to support the listings and the result will impact tens of thousands of families and small businesses. Five million households in America have pet reptiles. The reptile segment of the pet industry accounts for $1.5 billion in annual revenue. This community and industry are being destroyed by special interest groups allowed to influence public policy.

Anti-pet groups are being allowed to force their agenda upon all Americans. Constrictor snakes have been held as pets for over 50 years and there is no evidence to support  injurious listing for the United States.

The proposal to list these snakes under the federal Lacey Act is opposed by a wide group of stakeholders, including the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), the pet industry, and the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, to name a few. The proposal was highlighted in a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing as federal overreach and at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing which featured National Geographic’s resident herpetologist in opposition to the listing.

The Boa constrictor and Reticulated python are by far the most commonly held and most economically important large constrictor, accounting for the majority of adverse economic consequences from a listing. USFWS, however, failed to adequately characterize the industry’s scope or recognize the negative economic impacts of this first-time listing of a species widely held as pets.

This rule is an unnecessary federal intrusion into state wildlife management and misuse of the Lacey Act. Listing of these snakes will create felons out of tens of thousands of pet owners, hobbyists and educators and will destroy small businesses across the country in states where there is zero likelihood of captive-bred snakes establishing themselves in the wild.

A ban on the import and interstate commerce of the remaining five species will have a devastating economic impact. There is absolutely no evidence showing these species to be a threat to public safety and no science to support the fact that these species can become injurious throughout the United States. The only potentially habitable climate lies in extreme southern Florida and the issue has been addressed locally by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Responsible pet owners want to maintain their freedom to choose their pets. Pet ownership is a matter of individual responsibility and not government action. Thank you for opposing any additional listing and protecting my rights as an American citizen.

Sincerely,