Louisiana House Bill 1354 was introduced by Louisiana Representative Hill. It was rushed through the Louisiana House of Representatives and then the Senate. H.B. 1354 would require a costly wholesale/retail dealer commercial permit for anyone who wants to engage in the sale, importation, or handling of native reptile and amphibian species. It would also increase permit requirements and penalties for violation for private possession of constrictor snakes more than 6 feet long and listed venomous snakes.
The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) does not oppose the increased penalties for violations of current statute, however, we are strongly opposed to collectors, hobbyist breeders and pet owners being arbitrarily considered wholesale/ retail dealers. USARK has offered our expertise to help Louisiana lawmakers address issues of concern, and we oppose this poorly thought out bill that Representative Hill has created to deal with an isolated incident. It is appalling to see the misinformation and fairytales thrown about during the Senate hearing on this bill. Science, logic and facts should be the only things considered. If passed as currently written, this bill will cost Louisiana dearly – in dollars as well as the animal welfare nightmare it will create. This bill would put undue financial burdens on the reptilekeeping community, and would serve absolutely no purpose other than raising money for the State. We implore the members of the Louisiana Senate to say No to HB1354.
HB1354 could be voted on in the Louisiana Senate as early as Wednesday, May 26, 2010.
Click here to oppose H.B. 1354
Click here to read HB1354
There Is Strength in Numbers ... Protect Your Rights! We can win this fight!
Andrew Wyatt is the President of the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) and has been an avid herp enthusiast for more than 35 years. He has traveled the world and has had his animals featured in a number of television productions. For more information about USARK, click here.
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