Tag Archives: SC Reptile Ban

Overwhelming Opposition to South Carolina HB 3985 Makes Impact


Your response to the Herp Alliance Action Alert on this bill was overwhelming!  Over 3,600 messages were sent through our Action Alert.  Thank you for your help in making our voices heard.  Herp Alliance, TIGERS and Alligator Adventure communicated directly with the committee chair.  HB 3985 is tabled for this session!

From WISTV.com, see the whole story and video, here.


A new bill going through the State House would ban the ownerships, trading, or breeding of dozens of exotic animals from bears and lions to boa constrictors.

Since introducing the Dangerous Wild Animal Act into the legislature last week, small business owners and exotic animal lovers have united to let their representatives know any animal — not just the exotic species they own — can be dangerous.

However, the support to keep these animals available has been overwhelming.

“It is probably the second or third most opposed bill I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said Rep. Kirkman Finlay. “Various people feel their livelihood will be negatively impacted.”

“I think people would maybe — I don’t want to say give up — but move onto something else. And I don’t think that’s very fair to the animals,” said Tom Campbell, owner of Wild Reptile Adventure.

Many believe interacting with and owning these animals could help save them from extinction.

“You think the California condor would be around if it wasn’t for private collection and propagation of that bird species,” said Campbell.

Representatives from the Humane Society, the agency that helped craft the bill, tell us public safety and proper care of animals are the driving factors behind the bill. Others say exotic and “dangerous” animals simply get more bad publicity than good.

“There are no bad animals, just bad people, unfortunately,” said Campbell.

Those directly involved in the bill say they’re unsure whether this bill will be debated. It may be a matter for next year’s session.

SC Reptile Ban: H 3985

On April 18, 2013 H 3985 was introduced into the South Carolina House of Representatives. H 3985 is an onerous bill that could ban the possession and trade of hundreds of species of reptiles; including constrictor snakes, venomous and crocodilians. This bill was introduced by Representatives J.E. Smith and R.L. Brown, and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. H 3985 is a template for “Dangerous Wild Animal” (DWA) legislation that is being pushed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It is a threat to tens of thousands of animal owners in South Carolina.

If passed as written H 3985 could make it “unlawful for any person to import, possess, sell, transfer, or breed a dangerous wild animal”. The list of reptiles that would be prohibited under H 3985 are:

House_of_Reps_SealClass Reptilia:

( i) Order Crocodylia: all species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans, gharials;

(ii) Order Squamata:

(A) Family Atractaspidae: all species, such as mole vipers;

(B) Family Boidae: 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);

(C) Family Colubridae: boomslangs (Dispholidus typus), twig snakes (Genus Thelotornis);

(D) Family Elapidae: all species, such as cobras, mambas, and coral snakes;

(E) Family Hydrophiidae: all species, such as sea snakes;

(F) Family Viperidae: all species, such as rattlesnakes, pit vipers, and puff adders; and

(iii) All species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act (50 C.F.R. 17.11) as threatened or endangered are considered dangerous wild animals.

In addition, there is a “grandfather clause” that would allow current owners to keep their animals with requisite documentation to prove ownership prior to July 1, 2013.

The Herp Alliance shares the same federal consultant (Vitello Consulting) with the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS). In addition, we have reached out to Feld Entertainment in order to work with multiple stakeholders to address concerns with H 3985.

H 3985 is straight out of the HSUS playbook. They have coined the term, “Dangerous Wild Animal” to define their legislation and strike fear into the hearts of legislators and the public. The US Herpetoculture Alliance is committed to fighting this H 3985 “tooth and nail”.

       “Georgia and the Carolinas are my home. South Carolina has always been a bastion of personal liberty. There is NO justification for the kind of draconian legislation that has been introduced.” ~ Andrew Wyatt, CEO US Herpetoculture Alliance.

Stand by for the coming action alert to empower you to take ACTION to OPPOSE H3985.


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