FWS Taking Aggressive Action Against Reptiles

While you were enjoying a quiet Thanksgiving holiday with your family, US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) was taking aggressive action against reptiles and other animal interests.

FWS has notified the Office of Management & Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) that it will finalize the ‘Constrictor Rule’ adding more boas and pythons as injurious species, as well as propose two additional rules that will allow FWS to more easily administer the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act, and effect greater control over the import, export and interstate transport of reptiles and many other animals. The full ramifications of these three rules will not be clear until until they are published in the Federal Register likely in early 2014.

SONY DSCWhat is clear is that FWS seeks to add more constricting snakes to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act. At risk are: Boa constrictor, reticulated python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda, and Beni anaconda. This is in addition to the listing of four constricting snakes in 2012: Burmese python, northern and southern African pythons, and the yellow anaconda.

1)  RIN: 1018-AV68- Title: Injurious Wildlife Evaluation; Constrictor Species From Python, Boa, and Eunectes Genera. We (FWS) are making a final determination on the listing of five species of large constrictor snakes as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act: Reticulated python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda, Beni anaconda, and boa constrictor.

Further, it is also clear that FWS seeks to increase their power and streamline the process to add other species to the injurious species list, while also increasing restrictions and fees on import, export and transportation of ALL wildlife.

2)  RIN: 1018-AX63- Title: Injurious Wildlife; Making Injurious Wildlife Determinations Under the Lacey Act. We (FWS) propose to revise our regulations for listing species as injurious in order to enhance the species screening process and enable more efficient and effective decisions that will help prevent the introduction and spread of injurious wildlife.

3)  RIN: 1018-AZ71- Title: Importation, Exportation, and Transportation of Wildlife. We (FWS) propose to rewrite a substantial portion of our regulations for importation, exportation, and transportation of wildlife. We (FWS) will propose changes to the port structure and inspection fees.

With the apparent unwillingness or possible inability of the reptile community to file a lawsuit challenging the shaky legal standing of the original ‘Constrictor Rule’ of 2012, FWS has become emboldened to press their advantage. Burmese pythons and three other constricting snakes were added to the Lacey Act under what some think to be an “arbitrary, capricious and unlawful” process conducted by FWS. Now FWS threatens to add five more snakes, including boa constrictor and reticulated python.

2014 promises to be a critical year for many in herpetoculture. From zoos and research facilities to commercial breeders and hobbyists, TV and film to pet owners, ALL will likely be negatively impacted by proposed rule changes to the Lacey Act.

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31 thoughts on “FWS Taking Aggressive Action Against Reptiles”

  1. Here we go again.Punishing responsible pet owners for the irresponsible behavior of a very small percentage or even better,blaming the current state of non native wildlife in Florida on the herptoculture community.Thanks to hurricane Andrew and a bunch of politicians with a very askew perspective,Ive already lost my entire burmese python biz and am no longer able to obtain genetics from outside my state in order to further my projects.Its such a shame the Animal planet and television and mainstream media put such a negative light on our hobby,when their are so many people do so much good amongst us.Raising money for children with cancer via egg auctions,doing demo’s at schools and educating the public who has interest are just a very few examples of ways that I see my fellow herpers doing positive things for their community..Im prepared already to be very upset when they place my current main source of income and life time hobby and passion the reticulated python on Lacy act.Such a shame the voting public and officials are so missinformed on this topic.

      1. YES ! Everything you say is completely true ! And im very sorry about these ignorant people taking away one of your passions!

  2. This is rediculouse bs. Oh I for one will not obey or support this. Because this will ruin buisnesses and further more it’s my right. I’ll still breed sell own buy and ship. You have no proof and no right to dictate what we can and can’t have or take I will not obey this ever and if I move to another state they come with me end of story. So since your still trying to kill buisnesses worry about something real something that is an actual problem homeless in America not so harmless animals that a lot keep as pets.

    1. I suggest that if you belong to a trade association, or make significant donations to a trade association, you suggest that they use donations to file a lawsuit against FWS challenging the merits of the ‘Constrictor Rule’. Good luck!

  3. Stop this Lacey act now. You are killing millions of dollars in revenue and many people’s livelihood. Impose licenses if you must to keep responsible owners honest. But let us keep our passion and love for these animals alive. The pursuit of the Lacey act will only cause illegal keeping and transportation. We are Americans with the right to pursue personal freedoms and happiness. Rights I fought for in the United States Navy. Hear my cry.

  4. As a member of the herpetoculture community I am against the proposed US Fish & Wildlife “Categorical Exclusion” from NEPA mandates and I would like to support Senate EPW Ranking Member Vitter’s request for a 90 day extension on the public comment period.This type of Categorical Exclusion is too far reaching and without precedent. It could facilitate the arbitrary addition of animals to the injurious wildlife list of the Lacey Act; potentially threatening the entire $1.4 billion annual commerce in reptiles and amphibians. Not only would it negate due process, but it would also negate legal recourse under NEPA. Categorical Exclusion could potentially become a tool to destroy my small business. Please consider the following points:The proposed categorical exclusion bypasses the requirement to consider economic and social impacts under NEPA.A categorical exclusion would not allow FWS to fully consider the beneficial impacts of declining to list a species under the Lacey Act.The proposed categorical exclusion is much broader than any of the other eight exclusions that FWS has approved under “permitting and regulatory functions”.The FWS’s “extraordinary circumstances” exception to a categorical exclusion is unhelpful because it does not apply to actions with high economic impacts.Thank you

  5. This this worst information ever. Boa constictors is a very broad coverage for an animal that if properly housed doesn’t have any chance of causing harm to anyone. More people were killed and injured out shopping on black Friday that the people that are injured or even killed by snakes every year. This is the government trying to take to much control of what we have in our homes. Dogs and cats kill more people and cause more injuries than snakes. The statistics are very low for snake related death or injury. I have had snakes for a very long time and have never even been bit. I have been attracted three different times by domestic dogs on a leash in my lifetime. These animals r not getting a good wrap and instead of calming the public at large and telling them the truth about snakes the governments solution is to ban them. Ok so ban driving, pet dogs and cats, shopping, working, pretty much everything you do because every thing you do could cause injury or death. Come on people stop this ignorance now before they take complete control of everything that makes Americans free.

    1. I AGREE, but we are hardly free because of this kind of nazi crap. WE need to take action seriously this is total crap they wish to control everything we do we are NOT free at all because of passing so many laws its a freedom taken away and they will not stop till we can’t do anything..

      1. I suggest that if you belong to a trade association, or make significant donations to a trade association, you suggest that they use donations to file a lawsuit against FWS challenging the merits of the ‘Constrictor Rule’. Good luck!

    2. Boa constrictor is a species, sub species include Boa constrictor constrictor and Boa constrictor imperator. Yes, this means ALL BCI and BCC are on the list.

    1. I suggest that if you belong to a trade association, or make significant donations to a trade association, you suggest that they use donations to file a lawsuit against FWS challenging the merits of the ‘Constrictor Rule’. Good luck!

  6. why do you want to take something away from so many people who enjoy the passion!! its not enough that (we) snake keeping herpers and collectors spend countless hours a each week taking care and enjoying what our hearts love and so desire!! the thousands that we spend monthly on feeder foods such as mice and rats!! creating and all while maintaning a steady work flo for others, because someone has to work and take care and breed these mice and rats!! think about all the jobs and how much more this will impact our all ready hurtfilled economy!!! please i ask that you change your minds and views on this… prosecute the people who do wrong, dont punish and make it impossible for the rest of us who are in it for the passion of the snakes for theire true beauty and theire awesome colors and keep it to where our kids, and their kids will be and can do the same!!!

  7. Enough already!
    Land of the free, home of the brave , Not.
    I work, I pay my inflated taxes, and I have to worry every couple of months that these crooked, overpaid politicians are going to take away the one last hobby that keeps me sane by passing some new ridiculous law. Theres a lot more wrong with this country that needs to be fixed, ya think? Leave us alone already, sheeesh!

  8. This is starting to get as ridiculous as our current administration! These animals (and the animals already on it) do not belong on the Lacey Act. These are liberal, alarmist stances taken against people trying to live their version of “the American dream” but once again America is slipping into the hands of communist views and people who think THEY know what’s best for all of America ! So sick of it. Just wanna move to Peru and be done with what this country is becoming!

  9. I don’t understand how alcohol and ciggaretts and dogs and cats can be legal but not our choice of pets? Snakes Have always been my passion and this law could kill it its not right in so many ways. Tv portrays these animals the wrong way people still think these animals eat people like in the movies.

  10. Boa constrictors? Really? Some of the friendliest snakes I’ve ever met were Red Tail Boas (Boa Constrictor Constrictor)! To give a government the power to dictate what herpers are allowed to own is giving up every ounce of freedom.I own Red tailed boas and a few friends of mine as well. I also know those who own the burmese pythons. If they want to try and pass this law they will find that there is a larger resistance and I will be part of it and I am passing this to all my friends and family and groups im part of. STOP THE AGGRESSION TOWARD SNAKES! Impose a license to own the snakes if you must but DO NOT BAN THEM!

  11. This is just plain stupid! Please explain to me the reasoning and beneficial aspects of this addition to the Lacey Act, aka GIVE ME YOUR MONEY I CONTROL YOUR HOBBY act. We need to stand up and ban the FSW for being idiots, or better yet, castrate them so they cannot reproduce and contaminate the rest of the world with their useless DNA. All I hear is, we are a group of ban happy fucktards that have no reason for doing so, and we just love to ruin everyones hobby for the sake of a dollar. WELL I SAY FUCK YOU AND ANYONE THAT SUPPORTS THE LACEY ACT!

  12. This just a way kill business. how many people out there work for breeders, in suppliers of you for the Exsotic animals.think of all the businesses that make enclosures in heating sources to maintain these animals think of all the money that is lost this is just ridiculous to do the This

  13. This act will put thousands out of work and alienate 100’s of thousand of voters.feral cats and dogs do much more damage and can survive in more climates as well as having a greater potential to kill someone yet no one bans big dogs because of popularity.need I bring up emerald ash borers or chesnut blight or dutch elm disease all brought about by other industries and have killed billions of trees .

  14. What’s the statistic again? Five deaths/year caused by reptiles? How many do dogs kill/year? How about cigarettes? Or cars? According to the American Alpine Club, 21 people died in 2006 due to mountain climbing accidents. Should we ban outdoor activities then?

    This cesspool of a government is doing everything it can to regulate us into oblivion so that all we are allowed to do is eat, sleep, and work our lives away for it. Fuck them. I will not support these regulations.

  15. How are they going to try to add boa constrictors to that list? Boas have been some of the most well behaved snakes I have owned, they are puppy dog tame, I have one when I walk in the room it drags its face along the glass because she wants held. Isn’t that how it always goes the irresponsible destroy the responsible’s opportunities. The government is going to force the population into revolt #toomuchpower #headwereitshouldntbelong.

  16. I’d like to know when and where citizens can make an appearance to speak against this. People can get a license to own a bear, tiger or many other exotic species and snake owners are the only ones targeted. Shouldn’t there be a vote like there is for our polititions?

  17. Educate people to be better owners the same as all animals
    Dogs that have been ill treated kill more people each year
    This is ridiculous I had a bermese she was a gentle giant snake r not vicious and evil this law is stupid they r being treated as though there venimous snakes but there not STOP THIS LAW ITS DISTGUSTING

  18. Wake up people, the Lacey Act is just the beginning. Once they make these amendments, they will be able to add any animal they want without any proof, fabricated or not, to the list. The 2 studies that were presented as “proof” for the 2012 amendment to the Lacey Act were complete farces. Please check out the ReptileFreedomAct.com website. Some of us a trying to do something about this, this time around.

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