American Bar Association Recommends Constrictor Ban

No Boa
640px-American_Bar_Association.svgThe US Herpetoculture Alliance has learned that in August, the American Bar Association (ABA) Animal Law Committee took a stand against “Dangerous Wild Animals” in a report that can be read in its entirety here: ABA Animal Law Committee August 2014 Report on Dangerous Wild Animals.  The Report, which recommends a ban on the private ownership of ALL large constrictors, venomous snakes and crocodilians,  concluded that:

“Dangerous wild animals do not make good pets. Only through private prohibition can there exist  a uniform U.S. legal regime that safeguards the public, protects animals, allocates legal liability and insurance risk properly, furthers a policy of respect for nature, and considers the interests of present and future generations in accordance with the goals of the American Bar Association.”

ABA’s list is broad and over-inclusive, and it has defined “Dangerous Wild Animals” to include, among multiple species of mammals, the following reptiles:

  • All species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans, gharials.
  • Family Atractaspidae: all species, such as mole vipers.
  • 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).
  • Family Colubridae: boomslangs (Dispholidus typus), twig snakes (Genus Thelotornis).
  • Family Elapidae: all species, such as cobras, mambas, and coral snakes.
  • Family Hydrophiidae: all species, such as sea snakes.
  • Family Viperidae: all species, such as rattlesnakes, pit vipers, and puff adders.

The Report presents new problems for all exotic animal owners and keepers, including reptile owners.  The Report states that,

“the American Bar Association urges all federal, state, territorial, and local legislative bodies and/or governmental agencies to enact comprehensive laws that prohibit the private possession, sale, breeding, import, or transfer of dangerous wild animals, such as big cats, bears, wolves, primates, and dangerous reptiles, in order to protect public safety and health, and to ensure the humane treatment and welfare of such animals.”

Without question, this Report will make its way into legislatures across the country as anti-reptile bills are introduced, and an edict from the ABA will be a persuasive argument to politicians.

The Reptile Nation needs, now more than ever, effective advocacy, or the Lacey Act’s Injurious Wildlife List will be a moot point because large constrictors will be illegal at the state and local levels.

25 thoughts on “American Bar Association Recommends Constrictor Ban”

  1. This is outrageous. More people are injured or killed yearly by dogs than snakes. The people trying to pass this are obviously ill informed about these species. 99% of owners take great care and pride in their animals and see them as part of their family just like others see their dogs and cats. Me included. No one should be able to go and take away someone’s pet because another person has a sick perception about these animals. By passing this it will ruin peoples lives. Destroying home businesses where this is their only source of income a devastating home by removing their beloved pets. No one, absolutely no one will walk into my home and take my babies from me.

  2. This is not the fault of the snakes but the people who abandon them. Snakes have a right to loving homes just like dogs and cats

  3. “allocates legal liability and insurance risk properly”

    Can anyone say lawyer speak for “who do we sue and how much do we get”

  4. They are taking away our rights as American’s & pet owners !! This is totally ridiculous ! So wrong in so many ways. It’s time to stop punishing us as well as our snakes for other peoples poor actions. The majority of us love and take proper care of our pets .
    We all have choices , for pets my choice was snakes. I find much joy in caring for these beautiful exotic creatures. True , that i could never change the negative way others perceive them. But it is not right that laws can take away my joy, or any other pet owners.

  5. States would lose way to much revenue off those of use that breed for this to go through I would think. As a tax payers and u.s. citizens its our right to own what we want. No one is going to tell me what I can and can’t have.

      1. I agree with Jake 100%- There is no doubt in my mind that this is the work of Nicole Paquette, an attorney and Vice President of Wildlife Protection at HSUS. Prior to joining HSUS in 2010, Paquette spent a decade as General Counsel at API/Born Free USA. I have been at odds with her on various issues in CA, NC, SC, TX and VA since 2004. I know her well. This is the “Dangerous Wild Animal” legislative model she has been working on for more than 10 years.

        Further, ABA cites the Captive Wild Animal Protection Campaign (CWAPC) run by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) as being influential in the process. For those not familiar with GFAS, it is ostensibly an animal sanctuary accreditation association. This group was created a few years back because animal rights proponents wanted animal sanctuaries limited to those that would conform to their policies. The president and board read like a “Who’s Who” of the AR industry: Adam Roberts (Born Free) President, Mark Markarian (HSUS) Vice President, Ian Robinson (IFAW) Secretary, Matthew Bershadker (ASPCA) and others. I believe that this group has been at the heart of the decision making process with ABA’s ALC and helped clear the way for Paquette’s proposal. http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org/gfas/about-gfas/board-and-staff/

        At this point The Report is a recommendation. However, if it is approved by the ABA, it will be an incredibly powerful tool for HSUS to influence legislators and policy makers at every level. I am not sure how long the adoption process is for ABA’s House of Delegates, but my recommendation is a coordinated response directed to the House of Delegates prior to a final decision being made.

  6. These people need to stay out of our lives. The people who give the proper care to their reptiles have not had one get out and “eat a baby” “The neighbors dog” or even the stupid neighbor next door who is all for this ban. I’m tired of all the bad owners making the good owners look like idiots.

  7. Its the same attitude as our forefathers and the native americans !! Lets kill them or keep them in certain places ! Or racism !! This shit is ludicrous ! Not to mention there proposed laws will limit who can an will profit from keeping them !! Lets face it they wana control anything that theres a profit be made !!! Of course with less ppl keeping an breeding the prices will be drivin even higher !! An yes they can an will be able to sell over seas an other countries so there still will be a market for the animals !! Lets keep ppl from breeding drug dealers while were at it !! Fear mongering for control like religions have done for centuries !! The difference between dangerous an fear is knowledge an experience !!! This whole thing is so usa ! Over flowing with hypocrisy an double standards !!

  8. I do t think that they should ban snakes from having a good home just like dogs and cats pple own exotic big cats in there own back yard and in the privacy of their own home why can’t we enjoy these species of animals on this list you have wrote Alott of pple have big constrictors and take pride in raising them !

  9. Fuck u guys!!! Snakes are family. Well I agree with venomous snakes. But constrictors and pythons shold be kept as pets. I havw alot of them. There like puppy dogs. Thwy need love and attentiom. Tjey have feelins. Fucku. No ones gonna stop me.

  10. This is a violation of our rights! How can people who know nothing about these animals tell us we cannot own them because they are dangerous? This is the government once again taking more rights away. It may be our snakes now but it will not stop there. They will come for our cats and dogs next. I cannot believe that ignorance and fear is allowed to make rules and laws against responsible owners. There is always a few idiots that just don’t care but why punish the rest of us that take exceptional care of our animals including reptiles. And those of you saying ” f u ” your making us ALL look bad. Swearing is not the way to get the point across. You bombard them with the facts. Such as snakes cannot survive past southern Florida. North Florida at the MOST. A northern fall will kill them let alone winter. There is no chance of an established breeding population. How long have the burms been in the Everglades and you don’t see them pushing into Georgia do you? No! They require hot spots of 90-95 ambient of 78-88 that doesn’t happen often in the north not to mention the high humidity they require, 70%, they are very docile. Yes burms can be a bit more aggressive than boas but not by much and if handled and cared for appropriately they are just as docile. Your “experts” are providing false “facts” because they are paid by the government to do their “study” so yea it will favor what the government is trying to push. Stop this madness!! Stop taking our animals and rights!!

  11. This is complete nonsense!!!! :
    “the American Bar Association urges all federal, state, territorial, and local legislative bodies and/or governmental agencies to enact comprehensive laws that prohibit the private possession, sale, breeding, import, or transfer of dangerous wild animals, such as big cats, bears, wolves, primates, and dangerous reptiles, in order to protect public safety and health, and to ensure the humane treatment and welfare of such animals.”
    “dangerous”, “protect public safety” and “humane treatment of animals”!
    Have they even looked at what PETA has done to puppies and kittens that were completely adoptable? Dangerous to whom? If they are in your home, how are they a danger to others or the public? How do they equate big cats (ie., lions, cougars and tigers), bears, wolves and primates with boas and pythons? Can they be any more stupid as shit!!!!
    This is a bunch of horse shit!!!!!!
    If they want a revolution, they are well on there way!!!!!!! If they ban reptiles, then they should ban ALL animals, this way ALL pet owners will be furious (about time, we’ve only been asking ALL pet owners to join us to stop the politicians from doing stupid shit like this!)!!!

  12. HSUS and PETA have a common goal, that is to shut down the exotic pet trade! What EVERYONE has to be aware of is this is just the beginning, once they have a foothold they will move on to other pets. There have been multiple times these organizations have mentioned in the past regulating by elimination the keeping of even dogs and cats! Where does this end?? The way this gets stopped is not only by the keepers and pet owners standing up for our rights, but also the businesses that manufacture the products that make keeping our pets! These companies must join forces and make a united front against these crazed organizations!

  13. OMG. This is utterly ridiculous. I have NEVER met a “dangerous” boa–as just ONE example from the above, wildly exaggerated list.

    Why don’t they go after Dobermans, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and the like–those animals cause FAR more bites and hospitalizations for mauling than any of the above-named snakes! These people are jumping off into the deep end of ridiculousness.

  14. This is outrageous.
    There is such a large community of responsible snake owners/breeders that house animals properly. People should be able to maintain the right to not only possess most of these animals, but buy and trade them as they please.

  15. I don’t know if anyone’s ever thought to sue the American Bar Association, but I wouldn’t be adverse to trying.

  16. Dear Bar Association.

    As usual, snakes are getting a bad press yet again. Ok you so called educated people of the bar association. Why are you in league with the loony animal rights people, you must realise that you are not going to get a balanced view from these people. I have met people like this and it is often not until you get them into your confidence and they start telling you things about what their aims are that you realise just how extreme some of them are. An example here is the animal rights guy who was a vegan, asked me why his snake would not eat the tofu he provided for her meals. When he was told what food she needed he said he would see her starve to death rather than give her the proper diet as that would have meant giving her mice. This is just one example. These people are also some of the biggest hypocrites going. They want to ban the keeping of many snakes and come up with all kinds of rubbish about how they are dangerous or that they are being ill treated. When you tackle them about things like the exotic skin trade or rattle snake roundups they do not want to know and it all goes strangely quiet. Pet owners are seen as a soft target for these people to score points on and make themselves look good. Why has only 1% of all the donation given to a certain AR organisation gone to animal shelters? Where are these people when it comes to the real issues of cruelty. They are nowhere to be seen.

    If this becomes law I can see it causing more pain and suffering. If these snakes are not allowed to be kept where are they to go. Zoos and wildlife parks will be over run with them, as will shelters. Some people will take their animals out and dump them. This could lead those snakes to have a slow lingering death or maybe they will get established. Yippeee! you just created the one thing you have been trying to stop. An alien species thriving where it should not be. Full marks!!!

    If you want to see what misery a ban will cause go back and look at the prohibition. People who keep their illegal pets will have to go underground for things like vet treatment and even food and do not kid yourselves that a huge uncontrollable black market will not be the result. Have you brought down the drugs cartels yet. No, you have not and by the looks of things you never will. Too many fingers in too many pies perhaps.

    So where will this get you apart voted out at the next election along with this particularly nasty and discriminatory piece of total trash legislation. Methinks you could end up going the same way as the Titanoboa. Maybe you should take a much closer look at the other side of the story and see some of the brilliant reptile and exotic pet keepers there are out there, people and animals who really do not deserve to be punished by the ill thought out proposals that this legislation consists of. No, you will not do that. Why does that not surprise me. Because it will make this bill look like what it is. Absolutely ridiculous.

    So much for the land of the free.

    Yours Truly.

    A British reptile keeper.

  17. This is supposed to be a free country. I have kept reptiles since I was a kid and plan on sharing my home with these animals for the rest of my life. There are way more people who provide proper husbandry than those who do not. This is not fair to the people like me who thoroughly research the animals of interest before hand and have the means to provide a safe and secure environment for my companions.

  18. I agree with everyone this is ridicules! HSUS, PETA, BornFree, ASPCA, and whomever else is involved wants to terminate the rights of pet owners. I am personally sick of AR activists and their nonsense! They just want to ban all animals! These groups tried to ban my Bengals cat! It is always something with these AR nutters! We all need to band together, and close down their tyranny! They want to arbitrarily decide what pets, if any we should have. PETA and HSUS wants all pets banned, because it is a form of slavery! I think with PETA makes that clear by how many pets they kill yearly. That is how they liberate companion animals, because these suffers creatures are better off dead than to be owned by a human.

  19. I think you people are over stepping your bounds. Just who are you to tell America that they can no longer own certain reptiles. I’ve owned boas for years. Without a problem. You should try to educate your self on facts not your over Bering opinions. . I’m tired of people like you trying to ruin what is the passion if many. And take others finances away by banning what they make their money on. Get off your high horse and mind your own business.

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