Court Rules in Favor of the Reptile Nation!
View as a Press Release at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/PI-Press-Release1.pdf.
Reptile Nation, we have good news! USARK is pleased to announce the Court ruled in our favor, granting our motion for preliminary injunction. This injunction will suspend the ban on interstate transportation of reticulated pythons and green anacondas under the Lacey Act. Given the high bar that must be met for an injunction, this is indeed a tremendous milestone in USARK’s history.
USARK President Phil Goss knew immediately that USARK must fight for this preliminary injunction after hearing the Fish and Wildlife Service announce additional snake species would be unjustly listed as injurious during their March 2015 press conference. It’s been tireless work by those involved, and Goss had this to say today, “Truth is a powerful weapon, but only if it’s heard. The Reptile Nation has been heard! This would not have happened without a united reptile community supporting this pivotal cause. Thank you, Reptile Nation!”
Our case involves much more than snakes, and the reptile community has made it glaringly evident to anti-pet groups that we can and will fight. We fight not only for ourselves, but for all responsible pet owners. We hold the truth and legitimate science. We will prevail over disgraceful sensationalism and nefarious propaganda.
The herp community is comprised of five million households in America. Community members care about their pet snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and invertebrates just as other pet owners do their dogs, cats and horses. As the public becomes aware of the facts in our case, rather than reacting to an irrational fear of snakes and lies from anti-pet groups, support will grow from the tens of millions of American pet owners.
The Reptile Nation may be misunderstood, but we are responsible pet owners. We will not back down to animal rights groups seeking to remove our freedoms as Americans. We look forward to getting the facts out in public as this case proceeds.
CONTACT: Media and press may contact USARK with inquiries at info@USARK.com.
Preliminary Injunction: What you need to know!
The Court has granted USARK’s motion for a preliminary injunction. This will eliminate enforcement of interstate commerce and transportation for reticulated pythons and green anacondas until the Court rules on USARK’s lawsuit. Judge Moss has requested USARK and FWS submit additional briefs by May 15, and has scheduled a hearing for May 18 to discuss this action.
The importation and interstate transportation/commerce bans are still in effect. Enforcement will likely be lifted shortly after the hearing on the 18th, once we have a ruling on the final scope of the injunction.
There are two main questions raised by the Court to be discussed in the briefs and hearing:
- Should the injunction be tailored to exclude shipment into Florida and Texas?
- This has not yet been decided, so shipping into Texas and Florida may or not continue to be banned. Shipping out of these states should not be an issue. Obviously, USARK will fight to allow shipment into these states as both states already have regulations regarding these species. (These are the only two continental states listed in the USGS model used as having potentially suitable habitat for these species.)
- Whether it is necessary or appropriate for FWS to seek interim relief from the Court of Appeals.
Also, USARK asks that the herp community present themselves in a civil and professional manner throughout the remainder of this lawsuit. USARK only represents responsible herp owners and businesses. Being irresponsible in any manner is not within USARK mission statement. Our battle is tough enough without the thoughtless actions of anyone inside our community. Thank you for maintaining your composure and representing us with dignity, Reptile Nation.
USARK will provide additional information soon.