HR 2158: ‘‘Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act’’

UPDATE: H. R. 2158 (Fleming) goes to Hearing at US House Natural Resources Committee- To exempt from the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 the expedited removal from the United States of certain snake species, and for other purposes, “Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act.”

WHEN: Thursday, July 25, 2013 – 10:00 AM

WHERE: 1324 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

***See below for background:

HR 2158: The ‘‘Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act’’ was introduced into the US House of Representatives by Representative John Flemming (R-LA4) on May 23, 2013. It was assigned to the US House Committee on Natural Resources.

HR 2158: ‘‘Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act’’

HR 2158 would allow for greater flexibility in the export of Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus), Indian pythons (Python molurus molurus), Northern African pythons (Python sebae), Southern African pythons (Python natalensis) and Yellow anacondas (Eunectes notaeus) out of the United States.

Currently export may occur only through designated ports as defined by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  When an aircraft departs with export from one of these ports, it may not land within the United States.

HR 2158 would continue to allow for export from 17 designated ports. In addition, it would allow such carriers to make  intermediate stops in other states prior to final departure within a 48 hour time period as long as secure containment protocols are maintained.  HR 2158 does not address interstate transport.

The US Herpetoculture Alliance supports HR 2158, and thanks Representative Flemming for addressing this important issue, and while we believe this is an important issue, we do have concerns regarding the timing and strategy leading to the bill’s introduction.  With the questions of whether five additional species of constrictors will be added to the Injurious Wildlife List of the Lacey Act, as well as challenges to the four constrictors that were added in 2012 to be considered this summer, the issue of international export and interstate transport may become confused in the minds of lawmakers.

The Herp Alliance expects that HR 2158 will be referred to the US House Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, of which Representative Flemming serves as Chairman. We believe there will be a hearing on the bill this Summer, possibly in the July time frame.  If passed, HR 2158 could allow breeders of Burmese pythons, African pythons and yellow anacondas an opportunity to engage in export outside of the US that is currently prohibited due to intermediate stops within the United States.

HR 2158 will NOT allow for interstate transport! It only allows an exemption for shipments to be exported outside of the United States.

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