Tag Archives: reptile show ban

California AB339: 4 Inch Turtles?

         All That is Gold Does Not Glitter”- JRR Tolkien

Recently it has been reported that CA AB339, dubbed the “Swap Meet Bill”, has been amended to exempt, “Any reptile and aquatic trade show…”. While this is true, the full implications of AB339 have not been addressed. The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) has reported that, “In April, a joint effort between USARK and PIJAC had this bill amended to exclude reptile shows.”  This statement was made with no reference to other qualifying language in the bill that could have notable consequences for show promoters and vendors; qualifications that the US Herpetoculture Alliance believes could nullify the exemption, and/or limit the types of transactions that could be engaged in at California reptile shows.

FDA-Logo-jpgWhile the US Herpetoculture Alliance commends the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Counsel (PIJAC) and it’s “pet reptile” arm, USARK,  for securing the exemption, the full consequences of AB339 suggest closer scrutiny is appropriate. Due diligence and careful scrutiny are the hallmarks of honest and effective advocacy.

The critical questions are these:

1)  While not implicit in the bill, does AB339 give the State of California de-facto authority to enforce the Food and Drug Administration’s four inch turtle rule that has been on the books since the 1970’s? And if so;

2) Would that authority nullify the reptile show exemption if reptile show promoters continue to allow venders to sell baby turtles and tortoises; subjecting vendors to potential fines and disciplinary action?

3) Why have these questions not been explained by those that reported on AB339?

It appears that Section 122373 of AB 339 would indeed give the State authority to enforce the FDA “Four Inch Turtle” law:

large_14turtle” This chapter shall not apply to the following: (j) Any reptile and aquatic trade show, provided all of the following circumstances exist: (2) The show’s sponsor or permittee ensures compliance with all federal, state, and local animal welfare and animal control laws.”

It is possible that these questions may be answered in time, when and if AB339 is passed, but the US Herpetoculture Alliance wants to give notice that California show promoters and their vendors could be at risk if they continue to sell baby turtles and tortoises at California reptile shows (if AB339 is indeed passed).

It is our hope that PIJAC/USARK have already vetted these questions and answers are forthcoming, but it is no secret that “bricks and mortar” pet stores are already subject to the FDA four inch turtle law. The lack of an explanation for stakeholders on these points begs another question, “Was the reference to federal law overlooked?”

If the implications of Section 122373 are as they appear, AB339 would “even the playing field” between pet stores and hobbyist trade shows taking away the current competitive advantages held by show venues. Show vendors would be subject to the same rules as pet stores… No sales of baby turtles and tortoises.

The US Herpetoculture Alliance continues to OPPOSE AB339, but with support from the pet industry and animal rights advocates it may already be a forgone conclusion.

The Herp Alliance is your premier source for cutting edge analysis on issues that impact herpetoculture.

 

 

 

 

 

RED ALERT: Reptile Shows in Nevada at Risk!

Take Action: Nevada AB 246

Please call the Nevada Senate Committee on Natural Resources TODAY and register NO on AB 246. It is scheduled for a vote TODAY at 1:30pm PDT. The US HA Logo REDHerpetoculture Alliance has offered an amendment to limit the definition of “swap meet” to include ONLY “outdoor” venues. Without this amendment ALL reptile shows in Nevada could be prohibited! At this juncture Herp Alliance has received no indication that this amendment will be accepted. Call the Senate Committee on Natural Resources today and register NO on AB 246. The deadline for the Committee to take action on AB 246 is tomorrow May 17, 2013. Today is the last Committee hearing prior to the deadline. If AB 246 doesn’t get voted on today the bill will be dead.

Sample Script: (be polite and professional)

Please vote NO on AB 246 “swap meet” bill. It gives an overly broad definition to the term “swap meet” and will cost the State of Nevada hundreds of thousands of dollars from the elimination of professional reptile trade shows held in the state. The definition should be limited to “outdoor” venues only. This will hurt tourism revenues coming into the State of Nevada.

Chair: Aaron D. Ford (D)- (Cell) 702-772-5544

Vice Chair: Mark A. Manendo (D)- 775-684-6503

Tick Segerblom (D)- (Wk) 775-684-1422
James A. Settelmeyer (R)- (Cell) 775-450-6114
Pete Goicoechea (R)- (Cell) 775-778-1620

Nevada AB246 Amended: Reptile Shows At Risk

West_Virginia_State_Capitol_BuildingYesterday Nevada Assembly Bill 246 was amended and passed out of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining. The US Herpetoculture Alliance remains strongly OPPOSED to AB 246.

AB 246 was amended to allow for reptile shows and other trade events ONLY if, “[t]he swap meet is conducted in a county or incorporated city in this State which has adopted an ordinance authorizing the sale of live animals at a swap meet.” AB 246 goes further to require that the ordinance must include, “provisions which are substantially similar to the provisions of NRS 574.360 to 574.510…” In other words, if the county or city does NOT have an ordinance in place, reptile shows shall be illegal!

There is no exemption for bird shows, reptile shows or trade shows as has been erroneously reported on the internet.

The US Herpetoculture Alliance has already reached out to the Senate Committee on Natural Resouces to which AB 246 is being referred. The fight is now in the Senate. 

See the full version AB 246 Amended here.

See NRS 574.360 and 574.510 here.

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

Reptile Shows in California & Nevada: AB339/ AB246

HA Logo REDThe US Herpetoculture Alliance is working hard to protect reptile shows in California and Nevada. In California, AB 339 seeks to make illegal the sale of animals, including reptiles, at flea markets or swap meets as defined by § 21661 of the California Business and Professions Code (the “Business Code”). In Nevada, AB 246 seeks to amend Chapter 574 of NRS and would prohibit the sale or transfer of ownership of a live animal at a swap meet. “Swap meet” means a flea market, open-air market or other organized event at which two or more persons offer merchandise for sale or exchange. If passed as written AB 246 would be a total ban on reptile trade shows in Nevada. The Herp Alliance OPPOSES both California AB 339 and Nevada AB 246.seal_ca

Some of the reports regarding California AB 339 have been somewhat misleading. The idea that, “[t]his bill could end reptile shows in California” is not quite accurate. According to the definition already established under the California Business and Professions code, AB 339 could make reptile shows and conventions illegal ONLY if they occur  more than 6 times per year in a specific venue. Although the Herp Alliance will continue to oppose AB 339, even if passed as written, it will NOT significantly impact reputable reptile shows in California.

nevadaNevada AB 246 is a much simpler and more onerous threat to reptile shows. If passed as written AB 246 would be a total ban on reptile trade shows in Nevada. That is why the Herp Alliance has engaged the office of Chairman Skip Daly of the Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining. We do not believe it is the intention of the bill sponsor to destroy reputable reptile shows in Nevada. Rather, we believe that AB 246 is an animal welfare bill designed to protect the well being of animals being sold in non- climate controlled venues. To that end, the Herp Alliance has communicated to Chairman Daly that, “[w]e seek only to protect legitimate professional [reptile] trade shows that employ best management practices to protect the health and safety of animals in [climate] controlled environments”. The Herp Alliance has proposed a simple amendment to AB 246 which would limit the authority of the bill to “outdoor” venues. We believe that this proposed amendment to AB 246 is a sound policy alternative to the current bill proposal, and would protect reputable reptile shows in Nevada.

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

Nevada AB 246: Reptile Show Ban

HA Logo REDOn March 13th, 2013 Assembly Bill 246 was introduced into the Nevada General Assembly and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining. AB 246 seeks to ammend Chapter 574 of NRS and would prohibit the sale or transfer of ownership of a live animal at a swap meet. “Swap meet” means a flea market, open-air market or other organized event at which two or more persons offer merchandise for sale or exchange. If passed as written AB 246 would be a total ban on reptile trade shows in Nevada.