Tag Archives: proposed rule

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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USPS to Ease Shipping Restrictions on Live Animals

On April 24, 2013 the US Postal Service (USPS) published a ‘proposed rule’ in the federal register (fedreg#2013-09603) that seeks to ease restrictions on the shipment of live animals. The US Herpetoculture Alliance supports this US-Postal-Service-Logo1-e1324319649576proposed rule that will include provisions allowing shipment of many reptiles and amphibians. USPS will allow public comment for 30 days. The deadline for public comment is May 24, 2013. Please follow the link provided and make your public comment today!

Animal Rights organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) are vehemently opposed to this measure. They are already activating their constituents to make public comment in opposition to this proposed rule. It is very important that USPS get support from the Herpetoculture Nation on this common sense approach to allow increased live animal shipping. Support the USPS ‘Shipping Rule!’

According to Greenwire, “The proposed shipping changes come at a time when the Postal Service is looking to revamp its business model and bracing for a drag on its revenue as other parts of the federal government absorb sequestration cuts. Previously, only chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, partridges, quail ducks, geese and swans weighing 25 pounds or less could be shipped”The US Herpetoculture is primarily interested in the NEWLY added reptile and amphibian provisions of the proposed rule:

[Revise and reformat 9.3.3 to include a new last sentence, and a new item a and b as follows:]

9.3.3 Small Cold-Blooded Animals

* * * The following also apply:

a. Reptiles (e.g. lizards, skinks, and baby alligators and caimans not more than 20 inches long) must be mailed by Express Mail, Priority Mail (excluding Critical Mail), First-Class Mail (parcels only), or First-Class Package Services.

b. Amphibians (e.g. toads, frogs, and salamanders) must be mailed by Express Mail, Priority Mail (excluding Critical Mail), First-Class Mail (parcels only), or First-Class Mail Package Services.

Support the USPS ‘Shipping Rule!’ Please click here to make public comment. The “comment” button is on the top right hand area of the regulations.gov page.

“The US Herpetoculture Alliance Protects the Future of Herpetoculture and Promotes Conservation Through Captive Breeding”