Public comment on the proposed rule change by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add nine constrictor snakes to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act closed at midnight, Tuesday, May 11. Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment! This unprecedented and controversial rule making, if enacted, would devastate the Reptile Nation and set dangerous precedent for the future.
Never before has a listing of this nature been proposed for animals that are so widely held by the American public. The implications for ball pythons, leopard geckos and bearded dragons are ominous. Anyone who thinks this was about big snakes is dead wrong. This is about the ideology of powerful special interest groups, and an attempt to misuse the Lacey Act to end the ownership of all non-native animals in the United States.
The rule making process will begin in June to list ALL amphibians. Ornamental fish will not be far behind.
Public Comment Reopened
USARK’s request for extension of public comment on the proposed rule change by USFWS will be honored. We filed our request for a 90-day extension at the end of April and were backed by two ranking members of congress. Although preliminary indications were that our request would be rejected, it is now confirmed that it will be honored. Another 30-day public comment period will be reopened with a posting in the Federal Register in mid-May. If you are one of the many who did not make comment by the deadline last night, you will have a second opportunity!
This whole process may end in a federal lawsuit filed by USARK against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We have the facts and science on our side. USARK filed a 36-page Request for Correction under the Information Quality Act with the U.S. Geological Survey regarding their report: Giant constrictors: biological and management profiles and an establishment risk assessment for nine large species of pythons, anacondas, and the boa constrictor. There is no longer any question about the problems with the poorly written USGS report.
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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