The US Herpetoculture Alliance has learned that, HR 2158: Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act, dubbed the “snakes on a plane” act will go to a markup hearing tomorrow, July 16th, before the full US House Natural Resources Committee. Congressman John Fleming (R-LA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, is the sponsor.
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.
Herp Alliance expects that HR 2158 will be marked up and reported out of the US House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow. Whether this bill has the momentum to move further than this remains to be seen.
Stay tuned for updates and analysis from the Herp Alliance.