USARK in Washington to Fight for Us

Jul 27, 2013
USARK
by Cindy Steinle

USARK - Earlier this week, USARK President Phil Goss traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with House and Senate Congressional offices to express our opposition to the latest attempt by the USFWS to change the rules in support of their misguided efforts to list the remaining five constrictor snake species as injurious under the Lacey Act. Working in conjunction with the House Natural Resources Committee, USARK was instrumental in gaining the signatures of key committee members on a letter to FWS Director Dan Ashe, opposing the categorical exclusion waiver for Lacey Act listings. In addition, while in Washington, USARK and PIJAC joined forces to meet with the Small Business Office of Advocacy (SBA) to develop and coordinate a strategy to fight back against this blatant USFWS attempt to circumvent the rules. As a result of this strategy session with SBA, USARK, through its Washington, D.C. legal and legislative counsel, has been in touch with the Office of Management and Budget to request their review of the proposed waiver and the impact it will have on small breeders, hobbyists, businesses and pet owners across the country.

More details concerning USARK’s latest visit to Washington will be shared soon. Right now, of utmost importance is for the herp community to use the two USARK Action Alerts below and share them. There are two issues demanding immediate action. The first alert addresses a USFWS proposal to list any species as injurious without full due process afforded under the law (i.e. no scientific support, no research, no economic impact study, etc.). This categorical exclusion affects a huge portion of the pet community (reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, small mammals, etc.). The second alert concerns a push by anti-pet groups to add 5 species of snakes (including all boa constrictors and reticulated pythons) as injurious, which would make interstate commerce, interstate transportation and importation all illegal. Anti-pet groups want no pets. Big snakes are just their first target. Support the entire herp community and stop them now! Share these alerts with all pet owners. All information can be found at the links below. The time to act is now, Reptile Nation!

Action Alert 1: http://usark.org/action-alert/usfws-categorical-exclusion-2/

Action Alert 2: http://usark.org/press-releases/action-alert-no-to-adding-species-as-injurious/

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