American Bar Association Recommends Constrictor Ban

No BoaThe US Herpetoculture Alliance reported on September 1, 2014 that the Animal Law Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) had taken a stand against “Dangerous Wild Animals,” recommending a ban on the private ownership of ALL large constrictors, venomous snakes and crocodilians.  640px-American_Bar_Association.svg

Today, the ABA House of Delegates approved ABA Animal Law Committee
Resolution 105
, urging the passage of laws that “prohibit, the possession,sale, breeding, import, or transfer of dangerous wild animals.”
 Resolution 105 states 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.”

This edict, adopted and approved by 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.

14 thoughts on “American Bar Association Recommends Constrictor Ban”

  1. If you look at the statistics you will see that dogs, farm animal among other “acceptable” animals have created more injuries and death than our constrictors. The responsible owner does not release them. I am a dog owner as well and would never just let my dog loose and put my dog into jeopardy. I should not have to get rid of my animals that I love and take care of as a responsible pet owner should. The people that should be penalized are the ones that are irresponsible. Thank you for your time and hopefully your understanding.

    Brian A. Dimond

  2. Statistics show more equine and other farm animals along with many other animals dogs, cats ect, including humans cause more deaths and harm to humans then reptiles. Why should us as reptile keepers have to give up our right as a citizen in whats supposed to be a free nation . If we are responsible owners and such give up our beloved pets due to some people either not wanting us to have them or not knowing the facts on them . I do believe people should be more educated on situations like this before they try to pass a bill just because people have jumped to conclusions. Besides the market goes dwn so will some of the money comming into the government.

  3. I find it incredibly ignorant that it be considered to take away the right of responsible reptile to have their animals simply based on an unfounded irrational fear of these animals. Because that is what it is based on. There are irresponsible owners in all aspects of animal keeping, but it seems like the focus is on reptiles which are seen as non- traditional “pets”. Far more damage is done to the general public and to the natural ecology of this great country by the “socially acceptable” pets, like cats and dogs. There are many more cases of human injury and fatalities due to dog attacks than there has ever been with reptiles. And domestic cats can be directly linked to the decline of all types of native wildlife due to their instinctive tendencies to hunt and kill small vertebrates. Yet none of these animals are under the legislative radar. Seems astonishingly ignorant, and unfair. Not only that but extremely unjust!

  4. I have been “attacked” by a dog that weighed at most 120 lbs. I went to the ER for 24 stitches a physiattist for nerve damage to my inner thigh and pain management. 3 years past and my gait is not correct. I was bitten by my “dangerous” boa constrictor that is just under 150 lbs and went to my medicine cabinet for a bandaid 2 hours later I was holding the very same boa constrictor and showing my friends and family that I had made a simple mistake and she reacted but naturally she was quite tame and had no interest in attacking everyone like that dog did so long ago.

  5. Statistically speaking, dogs and farm animals kill more people than large constrictors each year. Responsible owners house their animals is secure enclosures and only handle in safe environments. Sure, accidents may occasionally happen, but it is very rare. Should dogs be banned because irresponsible owners raise aggressive individuals which sometimes bite people? Of course not! That would be taking away thousands of beloved pets from loving and responsible families, as well as hurting the breeding business, and causing millions of animals to be homeless or even put to death. It is the same for snakes. We herpers love our serpents. There are facts to counter the fear, and logic to counter the hatred. Snakes are not as dangerous as they are misunderstood. I would hope that the authorities would be open minded enough to gain some knowledge and experience before passing a law that will negatively affect thousand of people and animals.

    Thank you for your time.

  6. “And to ensure the humane treatment and welfare of such animals.” And what do you think will happen to these hundreds and thousands of animals when they are ripped for their loving homes because they are now illegal? What are they going to do with them? This is absolutely absurd. What happened to a free country? If I want to keep my pet boa in my house in safe enclosure and provide love and care for it I should be able to. What is our world coming to honestly. You don’t like snakes so you don’t want anyone to have them? Makes me so mad.

  7. My husband and I are both 8 year military veterans. It makes me disappointed that irrational fear is what is driving the law makers of this country. I knew nothing about reptiles a year ago, but now I cannot imagine my life without them. Statistics must be taken into account when determining what is “not safe” for the population.

  8. I find this very ridiculous and absurd. I have multiple species of snakes and have never had one problem out of them. As gar as thay goes i have a larger boa that will literally sleep along side me and never cause a scene. My kids and i handle and play with my snakes on the daily and never an incident with them. If people would stop living in fear and allow people to educate them about snake as well as other reptiles there would be no need for this at all, if you ask me its a bunch of rubish. Theres more injuries by household dogs a year than snakes and almost anyone you can name has a dog. I say put this to an end and let us have our reptiles in peace.

  9. feel that everyone in favor of these acts to restrict ownership on certain reptiles, has never even met one. large snakes make great education tools and are beautiful. stray cats and boars (here in Florida) cause the most damage. As a florida resident who is up to date on whats going on in the evergaldes, I know that there isn’t a problem. Yes they live there, yes they are surviving but they aren’t snatching up children and eating dogs. this is just one more way citizens are trying to be controlled by people that dont understand. there’s been like 5 major incidents over the past few years. I see weekly a story of dogs biting children. this kind of effort needs to be put towards the conservation of endangered species.v

  10. The indoctrination of people to fear snakes and believe they are evil and all snakes do is kill people,it is so acceptable by society to just kill snakes just because they are snakes, don’t know of any other animal that is just killed because “the only good_ _ _is a dead___ ” (insert the name of the animal in the blank) they are not cute and fluffy so that makes it ok just to kill them and all that fear drives people to push far bans on ownership of snakes and they are very closed minded to the people who like snakes and own snakes and make money in the snake trade industry

  11. This is a ridiculous act of fear from people who do not understand reptiles. This is, and has been, based of fear and lies of the reptiles from places like the Humane Society and irresponsible owners who do not do research before obtaining reptiles, and do not care for them as they need. Those of us who are responsible and know what we are doing should NOT be punished over this BS! They need to look at the facts that PROVE reptiles are so much less of a threat than dogs, horses, etc!! Dont put a ban, push more education!! Humans are more of a threat than any reptile!! And if they do put a ban, what are they gonna do with all the reptiles that are owned? Kill them all? How is that benefiting the reptiles? How is that “ensure the humane treatment and welfare of such animals.”All its gonna do is cause more harm than good!!

  12. This is an act of ignorance and fear. I’ve been keeping and breeding reptiles for 30yrs, I’m not ready nor am I willing to be forced into giving up my animals. More to come when I cool off!

  13. I have been dealing with reptiles for over 50 years. As many have stated previously, the key to understanding these animals is education. I run a reptile rescue and have many different snakes which include boa constrictors and other large species as well as many other reptiles. My goal is to educate as many people as possible to help over come the irrational fear of these amazing animals. They are not dangerous, they don’t want to eat or kill anyone. Also as stated previously, more damage and harm are caused by dogs & cats in one year that have been caused by large constrictors in over 20 years. Its the media and the fear mongers that sensationalize the simplest story or event that perpetuates the irrational fear of these animals. Get the facts before jumping to conclusions and passing judgement on something that you know little to nothing about and are only basing it on wrongful assumptions. I am sure that any one of us would be quite willing to meet and introduce you to some of these animals then you could see for yourself how dangerous they are NOT!!!

  14. This draconian, so called legislation in the making smacks of nothing more than the know it all bully boys making laws to suit their own vile purposes. There is too much listening to so called animal rights Nazis who would be quite happy to see all animals killed as long as it was done their way. There has also been far too much of the kind of media circus mentality where the snake is always make out to be the evil animal that needs to be slaughtered as soon as possible with no questions asked, even when the snake has done nothing wrong. This legislation, which sounds as though it has been thrown together with what little scientific evidence it may have behind it, being the kind of pseudo scientific nonsense used by various animal rights groups to bully people who are ignorant of the true facts.

    We have had this kind of thing here in the UK too and it is totally abhorrent that one group of animals; in this case snakes should be set upon by people, who no matter how educated they may be know absolutely nothing about the snake or the hobby. I wonder if these very people would be so keen to threaten and bully dog and cat owners. I doubt it as they would know there would be too much of a backlash.

    Ban the keeping of reptiles, criminalise those who own then. Then watch the huge black market in reptiles grow as the keeping of them is pushed underground. Then deal with all the ramifications of that, including all the animal welfare issues that will arise from this. This piece of pure garbage could also cause an explosion of the very non native and invasive species that the ABA are trying to avoid. This proposal has in no way been thought through properly. If it had been the ABA would have seen what is so blatantly obvious to most other people; the animal rights groups excluded, of course as they have their own agenda.

    None of this will work and it will all end in tears. It will also be the snakes who end up paying the ultimate price for the fear mongering of the ignorant, narrow minded people who think they know it all but really know nothing.

    Where is the real scientific proof that what the ABA say is true. Maybe you should all write to the ABA and demand copies of said scientific data and see how many of you get a reply.

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