Injurious Wildlife Legalities
This is an important reminder to all herpers regarding species listed as injurious under the Lacey Act, especially those attending and vending reptile shows across state lines. Keep it legal!
REMEMBER: Species listed as injurious cannot be imported into the U.S. or transported across state lines, according to the current interpretation of the Lacey Act by FWS. Not only does this include nine species of constrictor snakes, but now also includes 201 species of salamanders per the interim rule effective as of January 28, 2016 (see link below for full species list).
USARK and the Reptile Nation await a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the court awarded injunctive relief removing the authority of FWS to prohibit interstate transportation of two species of snakes listed as injurious. Last summer, the Court ruled in favor of USARK, granting our members injunctive relief. FWS has filed an appeal on this decision in an attempt to overturn the preliminary injunction.
NOTE: You also cannot sell a listed species with knowledge there will be a violation as this could lead to accessory or conspiracy charges.
We encourage all show promoters to remind their vendors of these regulations before each show. The information should also be available for all attendees.
A sample responsible buyer agreement verifying that buyers are knowledgeable of all city, county, state and federal laws can be downloaded at www.usark.org/library/sample-responsible-buyer-agreement.
All species listed as injurious are illegal to transport across state lines (according to FWS interpretation) unless you meet one of the two qualifications below:
1. For reticulated pythons and green anacondas ONLY: Transportation and shipment across state lines are legal if you have received your membership verification letter from USARK. Every time you personally transport these TWO species across state lines, you should have a printed copy of this letter on your person and easily accessible should an FWS agent request to see it.
You can find all the details on this verification letter and court ruling at www.usark.org/2015-blog/7182/. Injunctive relief only applies to those USARK members who were current on or before April 8, 2015. Even with this letter, there may be other prohibitions, such as no shipments into Texas or Florida. See link for full details.
2. Interstate transportation is legal if you have received a permit from FWS allowing movement for bona fide research, education, etc. That permit can be found at www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-42.pdf.
Herp species that are listed as injurious:
- Reticulated python
- Green anaconda
- Burmese python
- Indian python
- Northern rock python
- Southern rock python
- Yellow anaconda
- DeSchauensee’s anaconda
- Beni anaconda
- 201 species of salamanders: List at www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/pdf_files/List-of-Salamander-Species.pdf.
- Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)