The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Natural Resources Wildlife Division is accepting public comment on a proposal to promulgate regulations pursuant to Connecticut General Statute Section 26-55. This proposal as written would effectively ban the importation, ownership and trade of many reptiles. The deadline for public comment is March 1, 2011.
As stakeholders, United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) members in Connecticut were never invited to participate in the formulation of a proposed rule. The premise of public health and safety is inconsistent with the fact that reptiles have never been a public health or safety risk in Connecticut.
The reptiles listed cannot survive outdoors for most of the year in Connecticut. It is too cold for most reptiles native to the U.S. to survive in Connecticut, let alone tropical reptiles. There has never been a human death associated with a captive reptile in Connecticut. On average there is only about one per year in the entire U.S. Traditional pets and livestock are responsible for dozens of deaths every year without proposed bans on ownership.
This proposal has been corrupted by special interest groups opposed to animal ownership and is being exploited to attempt to remove as many animals from ownership as possible. If enacted, this proposal will create a new class of criminal in Connecticut from thousands of solid, reptile keeping, law abiding citizens.
USARK has an alternative to a ban on the ownership and trade of reptiles. We have a set of industry Best Management Practices that will address concerns in Connecticut, without alienating the citizens of Connecticut or destroying hundreds of jobs in the process. This model provides a framework for responsible reptile keeping with the primary focus being secure containment and public health and safety protocols. Our Model State Legislation was passed into law in N.C. and is being considered in Va., S.C., Ga., Pa. and Ohio.
Click here to read the proposed regulation.
Click here to submit public comment.
Please engage in the process and submit public comment prior to the March 1, 2011 deadline.