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NC Reptile Ban: HSUS Dangerous Wild Animals

Reptile Ban: HSUS to Introduce DWA Legislation to NC in 2015

The Carolina Tiger Rescue (CTR) announced on their web site that, “Carolina Tiger [Rescue] will join the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in introducing legislation banning the private individual ownership of wild cats in NC.” However, this legislation may cover more than big cats. The HSUS model Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) legislation, for which they received the stamp of approval from the American Bar Association (ABA) Animal Law Committee in 2014, includes large constrictors (even boa constrictors) and venomous snakes.

The CTR is formerly the Carnivore Preservation Trust (CPT) whose image was tarnished in 2007 when then CPT board member Lorraine Smith was fired after engaging in illegal lobbying activities as the Curator of Mammals for the NC Zoo in Asheboro. CPT has since changed their name to CTR in an effort to reinvent themselves in the mold of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.

Smith lobbied door-to-door in the legislature with Nicole Paquette, then Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Born Free USA, advocating for the dangerous animal bill Paquette wrote. The NC Zoo is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources. State employees are not allowed by law to lobby the legislature. Smith was subsequently fired.

Nicole Paquette is The HSUS's Vice President of Wildlife Protection.  Photo: Pete Marovich/For The HSUS
Nicole Paquette is The HSUS’s Vice President of Wildlife Protection.
Photo: Pete Marovich/For The HSUS

Interestingly, Paquette now works for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as the Vice President of Wildlife Protection, and the bill she wrote for NC in 2005 has evolved into HSUS’s model DWA legislation endorsed by the ABA Animal Law Committee. If HSUS plans on introducing their model DWA legislation, it will include reptiles.

As of today, the HSUS DWA bill has not been introduced in NC. We don’t know yet who the sponsor will be or what the precise language of the bill will be. The North Carolina 2015 Legislative session just began last week and will run through the end of June. We expect that this bill will be introduced relatively soon.

… and so it begins. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

It is likely that in 2015 HSUS will seek to capitalize on the endorsement of their DWA legislation by the ABA Animal Law Committee by pushing for an aggressive state level campaign to install their model as law in as many states as possible. Stay tuned to Herp Alliance for the most accurate news and analysis in herpetoculture.


“In the Summer of 2014 the sins of HSUS hit home with a vengeance when HSUS, Born Free USA and other co-defendants agreed to pay $15.75 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed against them by Feld Entertainment under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. As a result, the charity watchdog group, Charity Navigator, revoked HSUS’ mediocre 3-star rating and issued a “Donor Advisory” warning. Charity Navigator issued the warning soon after news of the HSUS settlement made the news. The animal rights behemoth lost its insurance coverage in 2010 likely putting donors on the hook for HSUS’ legal misadventures.” ~ The Last Word, November 6, 2014

9 thoughts on “NC Reptile Ban: HSUS Dangerous Wild Animals”

  1. I suggest you get your facts straight. Carolina Tiger Rescue is working with the Humane Society of the United States to ban wild cats, bears, nonhuman primates, red and grey wolves, and the family Hyaenidae: all species of hyena and aardwolf. Period. If you are looking at anything else- it is the old versions from years ago. Reptiles and amphibians are not and never have been in the newer version. I’ll expect a correction to your story.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. We hear what you are saying Pam. HSUS certainly hasn’t made us privy to any discussion draft, and as of yet nothing has been introduced. All we have to go on is what Nicole and HSUS have been doing in the recent past, and the new ABA recommendations she is touting all around the country. If you are correct and reptiles will not be included, that’s great, but please don’t ask us to trust you on that.

      We qualified the article with,

      “If HSUS plans on introducing their model DWA legislation, it will include reptiles. As of today, the HSUS DWA bill has not been introduced in NC. We don’t know yet who the sponsor will be or what the precise language of the bill will be.”

      There is no correction necessary, but we will certainly honor your comments so that all can see your concerns.

  2. Speaking as someone who enjoys raising and caring for reptiles in general, adding these restrictions to pet owners is absurd. You’ll find that other reptile owners will say the same.

  3. So nice to see Nicole is continuing her crusade to eradicate any non canine animal in private hands. They will never win, and I don’t mind going back to the capitol of either state to give good data and actual info to the uninformed. Keep up the good work Andrew,

  4. Banning of keeping or breeding of any animals does nothing for wildlife conservation and awareness. Animals (wild or domestic) need proper housing, nutrition and adequate enrichment, period. If a keeper is not smart enough, or doesn’t have the resources to meet the requirements, they should not be allowed to keep animals!

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