1/30/21 ALERTS and UPDATES - Jan 30, 2021

ALERT: South Carolina tegu ban

Read the full alert at https://usark.org/2021-sc-tegu.

UPDATE: The hearing on this issue is February 4, 2021, at 10:00 AM. You must register to speak by February 3 via email. All details can be found at https://usark.org/2021-sc-tegu.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has proposed a ban on the Argentine black and white tegu. This species would be listed as Restricted Nonnative Wildlife. The regulation will include restrictions on possession, sale, offer for sale, transfer of possession, import, release, reproduction, and escape of designated species and associated permitting. The deadline to comment is January 25. More details at the link above.

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/3623566931058567.

ALERT: Oregon Animal Program ban

Read the full alert at https://usark.org/alert-or-2021/.

UPDATE: HB3008 is assigned to the House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources. Please send your comments to Committee members even if you already contacted the sponsor! All contact details are under the Sample Messaging section of the alert at https://usark.org/alert-or-2021/.

Oregon House Bill 3008 (HB3008) has been introduced by Representative Nosse. HB3008 prohibits using certain animals (list at link above and even includes tortoises and small monitors) in traveling animal acts, which will include the educational outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. Essentially, animals could only leave your home for veterinary visits.

Regardless of what species are involved, this bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of Oregon tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.

The unintended consequences are many. It is a ban on taking a Greek tortoise into a classroom for an educational program about turtles and tortoises. It is a ban on taking a dwarf monitor lizard into a library or to a Scout troop meeting for an educational show discussing reptiles.

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/a.398227663592526/3634347109980549/.

ALERT: Florida FWC Commission Meeting Species Ban

FWC has posted the agenda for the next Commission meeting on February 25-26. This will be another virtual meeting. The listing of 16 species of non-native reptiles (tegus, green iguanas, current Conditional reptile species) as Prohibited Species is first on the agenda (after the usual formalities) for Thursday, February 25. Herpetoculturists can oppose the ban during the comment period following Staff’s presentation. USARK FL will be posting updates on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/usarkfl

FWC has not yet posted its presentation materials.
See the agenda at https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/february-2021/.

Advanced comments must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, February 19, 2021. Those comments can be submitted using the comment form at https://myfwc.com/contact/fwc-office/senior-staff/commissioners/. If you would like to provide comments via mail, please send those comments to the following address:

FWC Commissioners
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

You can read a recap of the December Commission Meeting at https://www.facebook.com/usarkfl/posts/404549087552277.

HR48 “American Sovereignty and Species Protection Act” (similar to SAVES Act)

Read the full alert at https://usark.org/action-alert-h-r-2603/.

U.S. Representative Biggs (Arizona) has introduced HR48. This is an act to amend the Endangered Species Act to prevent a species that is not native to the United States from being listed as an endangered species or a threatened species, to prohibit certain types of financial assistance, and for other purposes.

HR48 amends the Endangered Species Act by adding this text: “(D) NOT NATIVE SPECIES.—The Secretary may not determine that a species is an endangered species or a threatened species pursuant to section 4 if such species is not native to the United States.”

For many reasons, ESA should not include nonnative species but should focus entirely on native species. America must more efficiently utilize and protect the resources we have. We must tighten the reins and terminate wasteful expenditures of our money and energy. Regarding this issue, that means turning ESA’s focus solely to native species, while collaborating with CITES for nonnative species matters.

The linked webpage at https://usark.org/action-alert-h-r-2603/ provides a historical record of previous bills with the same intent but the messaging remains relevant. We will post an alert specific to HR48 soon.

Federal: Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2021

Read the full alert at https://usark.org/future-pandemics-act/.

This bill has been introduced again by Representatives Mike Quigley and Fred Upton. This Act has been introduced in both the House and Senate. The Act is reported to “address the public health risks posed by wildlife markets, and for other purposes.”

Stakeholders and advocacy groups representing affected members, including USARK, have been working to educate Congress about issues revolving around zoonoses (diseases or infections that are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans) and animals. While animal rights groups flagrantly called for blanket bans on everything associated with animals, including pets, our side worked to educate rather than practice scare tactics…

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/3334231926658737/.

ALERT: New York AB2054

Read the full alert at https://usark.org/2021_ny_ab2054/.

Assembly Bill 2054 was introduced on 1/14/21 and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation. While the bill, as introduced, may not have overreaching consequences for herpetoculture, it is important to be aware and informed.

The bill would provide that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation must create an animal importation ban list by December 31, 2022. Initially, the list would include all bats, rodents, and primates (unless the species is listed as exempt). The Department may include other species if it determines that “prohibiting the importation into the state is necessary to protect public health and safety, native wildlife or fish, or agricultural interests of the state.”

A second portion of the bill covers “live animal markets.” The market definition is “a retail food market where, in the regular course of business, animals are stored alive and sold to consumers for the purpose of human consumption.”

AB2054 will need to be monitored to address possible unjust species listings. For example, banning the importation of all rodents is beyond problematic but there would likely be species exemptions. The same bill was introduced late last session as AB11144.

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/3615810541834206.

Find A Vet

Need a good herp veterinarian? The Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) can help. ARAV provides a free Find-A-Vet service at http://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661.
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https://usark.org/2021-alerts3/