Tag Archives: SB 902

Illinois Action Alert – OPPOSE IL HB 5940

1-Logos_Revised_2_BW-002Illinois House Bill 5940 is another bill that seeks to modify the Illinois Dangerous Animals Act.  HB 5940 was written by HSUS and is being shepherded through the legislature by HSUS’s paid lobbyist, Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP.

HB 5940 goes before the Agriculture and Conservation Committee tomorrow, May 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

The full text of Amendment 2 to HB 5940 can be read here.  This is an HSUS ballot initiative and it seeks to impose more restrictions on owners of exotic animals, whose definition currently includes all “poisonous and life threatening reptiles.”

HSUS’s position on this initiative is so restrictive that they do not wish to include an exemption for the Zoological Association of America (as did Ohio and Maryland), one of two national accreditation organizations whose member institutions include Six Flags Wild Safari Animal Park (NJ), Orange County Zoo (CA), Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation (FL), Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (TX), and many others.

If SB 902 does not pass, HB 5940 will put further restrictions on “poisonous and life threatening reptiles,” which Illinois case law has defined to include certain large constrictors over 15′ in length.

The members of the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee can be found here.  Please call, email and fax them TODAY to vote NO on HB 5940.

In the meantime, SB 902 goes before the Illinois House Agriculture & Conservation Committee tomorrow, May 13, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.  The members of that committee can be found here.  Please call, email and fax them TODAY to vote YES on SB 902.

Illinois SB 902 Amendment 2 Introduced – 4″ Turtle Provisions Lifted!

DNR-welcomeThe Illinois legislature will publish later today the Second Amendment to SB 902 (House Amendment 1).  There are three substantive changes in the Second Amendment, and they are as follows:

  • Malagasy cat-eyed snakes (Madagascarophis) are being removed from the definition of “Venomous Reptiles.”
  • Section 30-5, the prohibition on the sale of aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles whose carapaces are less than 4″ has been removed entirely.
  • Zoos accredited by the Zoological Association of America will be included in the exempt organizations.

These changes have been made in response to feedback from Illinois residents.

It has been erroneously reported on the internet that SB 902 will illegalize all turtle and tortoise breeding in Illinois.  This is false, and it is a misinterpretation of that section.

First, “Turtle farming”  is defined in the bill as “the act of breeding, hatching, raising, selling turtles, or any combination commercially for the purpose of providing turtles, turtle eggs, or turtle parts to pet suppliers, exporters, and food industries.”

Illinois seeks to preclude commercial turtle farming.  This language is specifically drafted to affect only turtle production for sale to pet suppliers, exporters and food industries.  This is not hobby breeding.

This bill provides overwhelming benefits to the Illinois herp community.  It has broad support of Illinois reptile keepers, multiple Illinois herp societies, reptile rescues and individuals.

Under current Illinois law, it is illegal to privately keep any venomous or life threatening reptile. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that pythons of 15′ in length are life threatening and therefore illegal.

Some of the benefits of SB 902:

SB 902 would lift the prohibition on large constrictors currently in place, and instead proposes certain “captive maintenance requirements” as set forth in the bill are met.

SB 902 would also make it legal to keep certain venomous snakes, crocodilians, Komodo dragons and crocodile monitor lizards with a permit only if used for bona fide educational purposes.

SB 902 also removes all herpetofauna from the purview of the Illinois Dangerous Animals Act.

Herp Alliance continues to support SB 902.

Illinois SB 902 Update

shieldIL-RightAmendment 2 to Illinois SB 902 will be published, if not today, within a couple of days. It was expected on Friday, but had not quite made it out of bill drafting. Amendment 2 will have three specific changes, all of which are positive in terms of the Reptile Nation.  Although it may seem like amending a bill is a simple task, the Illinois legislature has not been in session and all amendments must go through JCAR (bill drafting).

Although SB 902 is the only bill that has been proposed in the current legislative session in any state that is favorable to reptile ownership, it is receiving criticism on Facebook and on the internet, mostly by people who do not reside within Illinois.  Herp Alliance’s position on SB 902 and our summary of Amendment 1 can be found here.

Herp Alliance will publish Amendment 2 promptly upon its release.

Illinois Introduce the Herptiles-Herps Act

IDNROn January 23, 2014, Illinois Senator John J. Cullerton (D) introduced Senate Bill 902 which pertained to deer hunting.  On February 18, 2014, the primary sponsor of SB 902 was changed to Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D).  On March 17, 2014, Senator Clayborne amended SB 902 into The Illinois Herptiles-Herps Act .  See SB 902 First Amendment.

SB 902 is substantially similar to SB 2362 which was introduced in the 2013 session.  It seeks to carve out all herpetofauna and to deal with them in a separate statutory section all to themselves. It is a proposed “herp code.” It states specifically that:

For purposes of this Act, reptiles and amphibians shall be exempt from the definition of “aquatic life” under Section 1-20 of the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. All rules and enforcement actions under the Illinois Conservation Law and the dangerous animals provisions in Section 48-10 of the Criminal Code of 2012 related to reptiles and amphibians shall be covered exclusively by this Act.

Under current Illinois law, it is illegal to privately keep any venomous or life threatening reptile. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that pythons of 15′ in length are life threatening and therefore illegal.

SB 902 would lift the prohibition on large constrictors currently in place, and instead proposes certain “captive maintenance requirements” as set forth in the bill are met.

SB 902 would also make it legal to keep certain venomous snakes, crocodilians, Komodo dragons and crocodile monitor lizards with a permit only if used for bona fide educational purposes.

SB 902 makes it unlawful to buy, sell or offer to sell any aquatic or semi-aquatic turtles with a carapace of under 4″ or their eggs in the state. This means that the Illinois State Department of Natural Resources could enforce the 4″ provision of aquatic or semi-aquatic turtles without FDA.

SB 902 imposes insurance requirements and liability on owners of all of the “special use herptiles” within the bill and provides for criminal and civil penalties for noncompliance.

Herp Alliance endorses SB 902.