Louisiana Action Alert & WV, SC, WI, MD Alerts

Louisiana Action Alert

Louisiana Senate Bill 357 seeks to ban constrictor and venomous snakes. The constrictor snakes listed below currently require a permit from LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (DW&F) once they reach 8' and can be kept by private keepers. This bill amends the current law and bans all species listed, regardless of size. The venomous species below would also be illegal to keep and permits would not be available to private keepers. Only certain institutions would be exempt (animal sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife research centers, scientific organizations, and medical research facilities as defined by the U.S. Animal Welfare Act). View the Action Alert with bill text at www.usark.org/campaign/2014-louisiana-senate-bill-357-action-alert. Additional legislator contact information is located at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-louisiana-senate-bill-357.

This is far overreaching, unconstitutional legislation that turns pet owners into criminals overnight. It would also lead to the immediate euthanization of all Burmese pythons, Southern African pythons, African Rock pythons and Yellow anacondas kept as pets as they are federally listed as injurious under the Lacey Act and cannot be legally transported out of state.

Banned Non-venomous snakes: Carpet and Diamond pythons, Boa constrictors (all subspecies), Reticulated python, Papuan python, Olive python, Scrub python, Amethystine python, Southern African python, African Rock python, Indian and Burmese pythons, and any species of Anaconda

Banned Venomous snakes: Families Viperidae (Pitvipers and Vipers), Elapidae (Cobras and Mambas), Hydrophiidae (Sea Snakes), Atractaspididae (Mole Vipers), as well as the genera Dispholidus, Thelotornis, and Rhabdophis of the Family Colubridae

The bill was introduced on 2/28/14 by Senator Chabert and assigned to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

West Virginia Action Alert

House Bill 4393 will ban common pet species including Boa constrictors and Hognose snakes. The bill also creates a "Dangerous Wild Animal Board" that will write an initial list of prohibited species and will then have authority to add any species they please. Complete the Action Alert at www.usark.org/campaign/west-virginia-house-bill-4393. It is also critical to send individual emails using the information at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-west-virginia-house-bill-4393. There are two other similar bills in West Virginia but this bill is the only one seeing movement. The other two bills can be found at www.usark.org/2014-legislation.

South Carolina Action Alert

House Bill 3985 seeks to ban many species of herps including Boa constrictors, Reticulated pythons, and any species of animal listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This means chinchillas, prairie dogs, certain parrots/parakeets/macaws, some iguana species, and even species of small fish, salamanders, and toads would be considered "Dangerous Wild Animals." Even if these animals are captive bred, they will be illegal. Find the Action Alert at www.usark.org/campaign/south-carolina-h-3895-dangerous-wild-animals-act. It's crucial to send individual messages to legislators found at www.usark.org/press-releases/south-carolina-h-3895-dangerous-wild-animals-act.

Wisconsin Action Alert

Assembly Bill 703 will ban crocodilian species and some mammals. It will place financial burdens upon municipalities, encouraging them to place stricter regulations and potentially add species as prohibited. The Action Alert can be found at www.usark.org/campaign/wisconsin-assembly-bill-703. Be sure to send individual messages and get additional information at www.usark.org/uncategorized/2014-wisconsin-assembly-bill-703.

Maryland Action Alerts

There are two similar bills, SB 827 and HB 1124, in Maryland. These bills propose amendments to the current law. Both bills place additional restrictions on currently regulated facilities and also remove exemptions from Class C Exhibitors License holders. Find information for SB 827 at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-maryland-senate-bill-827-amendments and for HB 1124 at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-house-bill-1124.

State Action Alerts: Let Them Hear You!

Act now! You must contact your legislators as your voices matter most. Your opposition will stop anti-reptile and anti-pet legislation! USARK has made it easy to contact the appropriate lawmakers at the links below, so take a few minutes to protect your freedoms, support your herp community and then share the Action Alerts with all pet owners... ALL pet owners should be fighting overreaching and unconstitutional anti-pet legislation.

Emails, networking with pet owners/businesses/organizations, attendance at public hearings, phone calls, legislator meetings, mailed letters, and faxes should all be happening in mass. Enough voices do make a difference and these bills can stopped. USARK is contacting legislators and we are active on state issues, but they must hear directly from their constituents.

More State Herp-related Bills

Additional 2014 state bills can be found at www.usark.org/2014-legislation.

National Reptile & Amphibian Advisory Council (NRAAC) Law Symposium

The Reptile and Amphibian Law Symposium & Workshop will be held March 7-8 in Washington, D.C. This is an essential event for anyone interested in the impact of law and regulation on the keeping, breeding, care, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. Get more details at www.usark.org/2014-blog/nraac-law-symposium.

USARK Federal Lawsuit Update and Q&A

On Friday (2/21/14), the Department of the Interior (DOI) responded to USARK’s legal challenge on the current injurious species listings by filing a “Motion to Dismiss” our claims. This was expected and USARK has been preparing for this action. USARK counsel is currently working on our reply which is due within 14 days (March 7). Read the full post at www.usark.org/2014-blog/lawsuit-update-wv-action-alert-and-more.

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Article written by USARK