Texas House Bill 2326 (HB2326) and Senate bill 840 (SB840) update the taxonomic nomenclature for the already regulated Burmese python. Note the next paragraph for the explanation. It adds any hybrid of the listed species. The new law will be effective on September 21, 2021, if the bill passes. The bill would allow for the penalty of a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor for a second offense. Lastly, the current law is amended and makes it illegal to release any nonindigenous snake, not just the species listed. No keeper should ever release any species of non-native animal into the wild!
This is being done as an update to the regulation under the Texas Park and Wildlife Commission for the taxonomic classification of this species. The current law includes Python molurus. This species previously included both the Indian python and the Burmese python as they were subspecies of Python molurus. They have been elevated to full species. So, Burmese pythons were originally included and TP&W is just updating the regulation to match the scientific classification.
Below is the list of species included in the regulation that requires a TP&W permit. There are two permits available: one for possession and one for commercial business This is already law! The bill just adds the Burmese python and hybrids to the list. Bold text is the new language:
(a) The commission by rule shall establish permits that allow permit holders to possess or transport in this state a live nonindigenous snake, including a hybrid of any kind, that is:
(1) venomous; or
(2) constrictor that is one of the following:
(A) African rock python, Python sebae;
(B) Asiatic rock python, Python molurus;
© Burmese python, Python bivittatus;
(D) green anaconda, Eunectes murinus;
(E) reticulated python, Python reticulatus; or
(F) southern African python, Python natalensis.
The bill also adds this text:
© If it is shown at the trial of the defendant for a violation of this subchapter or a rule adopted under this subchapter that the defendant has engaged in a commercial activity without holding a required permit and the defendant has been previously convicted of a violation of this subchapter or a rule adopted under this subchapter, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
Find House bill details at https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=HB2326.
Find Senate bill details at https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=SB840.
If you are unaware of the current law, you can find all of the information at https://tpwd.texas.gov/faq/business/permits/nonindigenous_snakes/index.phtml.