None of the Government's claims have merit.
In its latest filing, USARK demonstrated that the environmental interests of USARK and its members support their standing to bring the NEPA claims. USARK also showed that FWS' unlawful ban on interstate commerce and transportation should be overturned. Once again, USARK has defended their stance that the Lacey Act, as written, does not have jurisdiction to prohibit the interstate transportation of injurious species among states within the continental U.S. FWS has chosen to interpret the statute in this manner and has never been challenged as they have never listed species as injurious that are commonly kept as pets or have substantial financial impact.
The Government has an opportunity to respond to USARK's arguments. The motion will then be submitted to the Court for decision.
USARK anticipates the motion to dismiss will be denied and the legal issues can then be briefed. We will have additional updates as they become available.
You can view the latest filing at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/USARK-Opposition-to-FWS-Motion-to-Dismiss-6.11.14.pdf.
A group of "experts" compiled the list. Their reasoning for listing many completely harmless species is that they, "present the threat of disease to humans." Responsible personal hygiene and child supervision prevents all zoonotic (spread of disease between animals and humans) disease transmission. Pet keepers and Americans are continually threatened by the actions of a few irresponsible people. Collective punishment (punishment of the whole due to the actions of a few) continues to ravage American freedoms due to propaganda pushed by animal rights (AR) groups.
The listing of many species clearly demonstrates a lack of knowledge. The group denied assistance from USARK and qualified WV herpers. However, this is not the finalized list and USARK continues to work on the issue.As always, it is of utmost importance to always present yourself in a civil and professional manner when responding to legislative issues. Acting differently will only hurt our cause and build walls between responsible pet keepers and legislators.For an article covering the issue, click here: www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140611/DM01/140619767/1420.
When non-native species (the mentioned tortoises are from Madagascar) are listed under the U.S. ESA, usually little is done by the U.S. to effectively help save these species as the U.S simply does not have the funding or expertise to save species all over the world. The USFWS is pressured by petitions and lawsuits from "environmental groups" that may or not have good intentions. Unfortunately, even conservation and the advertised saving of endangered species can be abused only to make money and do little or nothing to save species. Just like many "animal welfare" groups (that are actually extremist animal rights groups, "conservation and environmental" groups are not always what they seem and often use fraudulent advertising. Even well-meaning groups may not understand the ramifications of their actions.
What may happen, is interstate transportation of these species may become unfairly regulated, or even illegal, and someone who breeds these animals that are endangered in the wild, would not be able to send offspring to other breeders or facilities to save the species. As deforestation, industrialization, pollution and human overpopulation continue to decimate wild populations of animals, captive breeding and keeping of these species will be all that remains as their natural habitat is destroyed.
Dedicated and passionate herpers have been establishing genetically-diverse breeding groups of these species for many years. The little money collected by selling offspring to zoos, museums and other advanced hobbyists will never cover their expenses. Comments will be due to USFWS by Sept. 8 and USARK will provide additional details. If you work with these species and would like to provide information, please send an email to info@USARK.org.
Here are links to pertinent information:
Federal Register Announcement: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Federal-Register-Spider-Tortoise.pdf
Spider Tortoise Petition: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Spider_Tortoise_Petition_FoA_WG.pdf
Flat-tailed Tortoise Petition: www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/FlatTailed_Tortoise_Petition_FoA_WG.pdf
Central Kansas Reptile Show
International Herpetological Symposium (IHS)
So I guess this is when you have to ask yourself... "IF this little girl isn't afraid of snakes, then why should you be!?"
Indiana Reptile Breeders' Expo: June 22 in Richmond, IN. More details at www.irbexpo.com.
All Ohio Reptile Show: June 21 in Columbus, OH. More details at www.allohioreptileshows.webs.com.
National Amphibian Expo: August 9 in Indianapolis, IN. Get more details at www.naexpo.org/show and buy shirts at www.teespring.com/naexpo.
National Reptile Breeders' Expo (NRBE): August 15-17 in Daytona, FL. NRBE celebrates 25 years! Get more details at www.reptilebreedersexpo.com.
Reptile Super Show: August 9-10 in Pomona, CA. Get more details at www.reptilesupershow.com/los-angeles.