On April 18, 2013 H 3985 was introduced into the South Carolina House of Representatives. H 3985 is an onerous bill that could ban the possession and trade of hundreds of species of reptiles; including constrictor snakes, venomous and crocodilians. This bill was introduced by Representatives J.E. Smith and R.L. Brown, and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. H 3985 is a template for “Dangerous Wild Animal” (DWA) legislation that is being pushed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It is a threat to tens of thousands of animal owners in South Carolina.
If passed as written H 3985 could make it “unlawful for any person to import, possess, sell, transfer, or breed a dangerous wild animal”. The list of reptiles that would be prohibited under H 3985 are:
( i) Order Crocodylia: all species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans, gharials;
(ii) Order Squamata:
(A) Family Atractaspidae: all species, such as mole vipers;
(B) Family Boidae: anacondas (Genus Eunectes), boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), Burmese pythons (Python molurus), reticulated pythons (Python reticulatus), amethystine pythons (Morelia amethistinus), scrub pythons (Morelia kinghorni), Northern African pythons (Python sebae), Southern African pythons (Python natalensis);
(C) Family Colubridae: boomslangs (Dispholidus typus), twig snakes (Genus Thelotornis);
(D) Family Elapidae: all species, such as cobras, mambas, and coral snakes;
(E) Family Hydrophiidae: all species, such as sea snakes;
(F) Family Viperidae: all species, such as rattlesnakes, pit vipers, and puff adders; and
(iii) All species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act (50 C.F.R. 17.11) as threatened or endangered are considered dangerous wild animals.
In addition, there is a “grandfather clause” that would allow current owners to keep their animals with requisite documentation to prove ownership prior to July 1, 2013.
The Herp Alliance shares the same federal consultant (Vitello Consulting) with the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS). In addition, we have reached out to Feld Entertainment in order to work with multiple stakeholders to address concerns with H 3985.
H 3985 is straight out of the HSUS playbook. They have coined the term, “Dangerous Wild Animal” to define their legislation and strike fear into the hearts of legislators and the public. The US Herpetoculture Alliance is committed to fighting this H 3985 “tooth and nail”.
“Georgia and the Carolinas are my home. South Carolina has always been a bastion of personal liberty. There is NO justification for the kind of draconian legislation that has been introduced.” ~ Andrew Wyatt, CEO US Herpetoculture Alliance.
Stand by for the coming action alert to empower you to take ACTION to OPPOSE H3985.
“The US Herpetoculture Alliance Protects the Future of Herpetoculture and Promotes Conservation Through Captive Breeding”