April 2013 Recap

California AB 339 (the "swap meet" bill) has been amended to exclude reptile and aquatic trade shows. The bill has been amended in Assembly, read a second time and re-referred to Committee on Appropriations. Thanks to your voices through USARK's action alerts and collaboration between PIJAC and USARK, reptile and aquatic shows will now be safe. This was a crucial amendment as all reptile shows could have been affected. Thank you Reptile Nation for your support and action!

In late April, USARK President Phil Goss, along with Joan Galvin from USARK's legal staff at Kelley Drye, attended PIJAC's Top2Top conference. This was a huge step in progressing the relationship between USARK and PIJAC. Many reptile industry leaders attended this conference including Bill Brant (Gourmet Rodent), Todd Goodman (Timberline), Bob and Sheri Ashley (NARBC and Eco Publishing), Gary Bagnall (Zoo Med), John Mack (Reptiles by Mack) and Mark and Kim Bell (Reptile Industries). At the conference, Bob Ashley accepted the "Pet Advocates of the Year" award on behalf of Brian Potter and himself for NARBC's efforts and contributions to protect our rights to keep herps. Thanks Brian, Bob and the NARBC crew!

USARK was hard at work building a stronger herp community in April. Goss traveled to Washington D.C. and met with senior staff at the Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with members of USARK’s Washington legal counsel from Kelley Drye, to press the case for withdrawal of the remaining rule and reversal of the current rule designating several snake species as injurious under the Lacey Act. Goss also hit the road and discussed the importance of the Association. 2013 was the first appearance for USARK at the Chicago Herpetological Society's "Reptile Fest" event. Thousands of people and many area herp societies attended this event and great support was given to USARK. USARK and Goss also had booths at the following reptile shows in April: Midwest Reptile Show in Indianapolis, Repticon/America's Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, CA and the Breeders Reptile Show in Lodi, CA. Thanks to everyone who visited our booth and supported the herp community! It was great meeting you.

USARK would also like to thank a few supporters: Ship Your Reptiles for their USARK/PIJAC donation program, the Chicago Herp Society for welcoming us at Reptile Fest, Exo Terra, Jason from Southern California Herpetology Association & Rescue and Lynda Bagley for generous contributions at the Repticon Costa Mesa show, and Dr. Roy and Kathleen Smith, Reptile Mogul and J&M Reptiles/Cages for generous contributions, as well as volunteers Edgar Ortega and Keith Morris, at the Reptile Breeders Show. If we missed someone, let us know. Thanks for all your support!Also, please visit, Like and Share the new USARK Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers which is constantly updated with top herp news, interesting species profiles and great photos.

Top herp news:The first large-scale evolutionary family tree for every snake and lizard is created: http://www.sciencecodex.com/george_washington_university_biologist_maps_the_family_tree_of_all_known_snake_and_lizard_groups-111883

A very positive story concerning snake education: http://www.joplinglobe.com/lifestyles/x2002141057/Ryan-Richardson-Collins-legacy-helps-cure-fear-of-snakes

Story and pics of bee's use of turtle eye secretions to obtain sodium and protein: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2320122/Incredible-photo-captures-bee-survives-sucking-turtle-s-tears-time-ever.html

If you missed it:
Bill and Kathy Love's exposé concerning HSUS: http://www.cornutopia.com/Corn%20Utopia%20on%20the%20Web/-%20LURKING%20ENEMY%20Cornutopia%20corn%20snakes%20cornsnakes.htm

One last thing... This is a reminder why you support USARK!

Photo by Tiffany Vandeventer