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 Post subject: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 9:55 am 
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Many of us as wildlife enthusiasts support various wildlife organisations including the National wildlife federation. However, they are in favor of Pythons, boas and Anacondas banned by the Lacey Act and their vice President John Kostyack
provided key witness at the hearing in support of the ban. They are trying to add 9 large constrictor species to the Lacey Act which will hurt the herp community. Please tell all your friends and ask them to remove their support for NWF. Please let NWF know that you oppose the addition to the Lacey act and pass it to all of your friends in the Wildlife community. If you are part of a formal herp organisation, a letter to NSF in opposition and withdrawal of support would be appreciated.

Here is my own message to them on Facebook:"I have supported your organization for years, but no longer wish to do so because of your support for HR511 adding large constricting snake species to the Lacey Act. The science does not support non native exotics moving beyond Southern Florida as invasives, and this bill hurts not only the pet industry and small businesses, but the zoos, aquariums and the education groups which I am a part of. I will voice my opinion to many others in the animal community to withdraw any support for your organisation."


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 10:05 am 
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Proponents of HR 511, including but not limited to the Humane Society of the United States (“HSUS”), the Natural Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species (“NECIS”), and the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) promote misinformation about pythons in the Everglades. The testimony of both Peter Jenkins Executive Director National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species and John Kostyack Vice President of the National Wildlife Federation relied heavily on information from HSUS.

http://erikanwalsh.wordpress.com/2012/1 ... xclude=281

http://erikanwalsh.wordpress.com/2012/1 ... e-hearing/

http://erikanwalsh.wordpress.com/2012/1 ... xclude=281


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 10:11 am 

Joined: July 26th, 2010, 12:26 pm
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Are you saying that they are wanting to ban exotic pets like pythons and boas? That sounds great to me. I will always be for keeping invasives down and wild populations up.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 10:24 am 
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groups like HSUS and PETA want to ban all pets, not just snakes.

No, this has to do with a harmful addition to the Lacey Act of 9 species in bill HR511 that would ban transport of large constrictors across all state lines seriously affecting animal related businesses such as the pet industry, the animal wrangling film industry, the zoos and aquariums, reptile education groups etc.

The science does not support pythons becoming established anywhere else as an invasive, they can only exist in tropical southern Florida, and the wildlife agencies already have protocols to combat them there. This is a knee jerk law that will only hurt the reptile community at large and the economy based on very faulty "science" and a few clueless senators.
National Geographic, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and many herp groups strongly oppose this bill.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 10:55 am 

Joined: July 26th, 2010, 12:26 pm
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Location: South Carolina
I just read several articles on the Lacey Act. Sorry dude, but I am all for it. No doubt that big pythons and boas will only survive in Southern Florida, Southern Texas and Southern California. However, invasives are in every state. Anything they can do to help needs to be done. Also, there is no sense in being upset with NWF, senators, Humane Society, etc. You should be upset with the thousands of irresponsible pet owners and the ones who sold them their pets, it's their fault.

Also, can you tell me what protocols they have in Florida to combat the invasives. Last I heard we were losing that battle.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 11:08 am 
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Southern Florida and Hawaii are the only states where big constrictors could possibly establish. The other 48 states this would affect do not deserve to have this bad policy affecting their economies. It could seriously affect the livelihood and economy by hurting thousands of people with animal jobs, is not sound policy. There is no reason to make this a national ban, instead it should be addressed by the Florida laws/legislation as that is the only place they actually are. Trust me I do not want nonnative exotics established either, but I do not want them to make a law that says it is illegal to take a python from Montana to Idaho or whatever. How does that help the Florida problem? I do not want to pay for very expensive federal exemption permits to show some kids an anaconda or python and teach them about snakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 11:13 am 
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Granted this is a forum about wild species, but many here also are involved in the herpetoculture community. USARK and many other herp groups strongly oppose the addition of large constrictors to the Lacey act. Not to mention the argument in support is based on faulty "science."


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 11:38 am 
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This seems like a thread for the Board Line, or at least the Captive Bred Forum.

I'm not a supporter of this particular bill, but I also wouldn't want to stop supporting any good work the NWF does just because I disagree with them on a pet snake issue. And I know that there are plenty of field herpers on both sides of this issue (as well as plenty of people like myself who might as well be agnostic).


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 12:17 pm 
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jonathan wrote:
This seems like a thread for the Board Line, or at least the Captive Bred Forum.

I'm not a supporter of this particular bill, but I also wouldn't want to stop supporting any good work the NWF does just because I disagree with them on a pet snake issue. And I know that there are plenty of field herpers on both sides of this issue (as well as plenty of people like myself who might as well be agnostic).



This.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 2:13 pm 
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Jeremy, when you cited
Quote:
the animal wrangling film industry
you just lost my support. There's an "industry" that needs to die.

From a biological standpoint, I agree with you. Florida failed to regulate its import industry and is enjoying the consequences, but it's their shit feast alone. The snakes proposed for listing pose no credible threat of becoming established anywhere but in south Florida, and use of the Lacey Act to prohibit interstate transport on the grounds of invasiveness/ecological/economic threats cannot withstand a science-based challenge. The trouble is that the Lacey Act need not have any justification beyond "it got enough votes".


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 4:55 pm 
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Sam Sweet wrote:
Florida failed to regulate its import industry and is enjoying the consequences, but it's their shit feast alone.


The whole idea of people owning and selling gigantic snakes that get too big to be kept safely, escape, and occasionally kill dogs and suffocate kids is a shit feast. If shutting down the giant snake trade for a while is even a small step towards getting the animal industry more in order so that more parts of this country don't become dumping grounds for exotic animals, then it's fine by me.

If you want to blame someone for what's going on, blame the a-holes who sold or kept these things and let them loose. That's not the NWF's fault.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 5:17 pm 

Joined: December 4th, 2012, 6:19 pm
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The bill wouldn't ban large constrictors, only interstate transport of some, so the snakes would continue to exist in most cases and could be sold as prescribed by state laws. And really, bci's are "giants" and "dangerous" :lol: Judging by some of the responses so far, HSUS's media drive has been effective. So we're concerned that a free ranging pet (snake) will attack another free ranging pet (dog) that also attacks native wildlife and both of which could attack children. So if we ban both the dog and snake, the children will be safer?

I'm sleeping in a house full of boas, I sure hope I survive the night.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 5:30 pm 
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luv_the_smellof_musk wrote:
The bill wouldn't ban large constrictors, only interstate transport of some, so the snakes would continue to exist in most cases and could be sold as prescribed by state laws.


If it's not a ban, and the snakes can still be sold (and presumably owned), then what's all the fuss? Why are we being told to hate the NWF over this?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 5:35 pm 

Joined: December 4th, 2012, 6:19 pm
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Because mail order is a common way to ship reptiles. It's just nice to be able to ship stuff around the country. Likely boas won't be effected so this doesn't personally impact me, but I still feel it's really quite silly. It would be like saying you could keep a pit bull, but you couldn't trade with anyone outside of your state line even if that's 5 miles away and the nearest town in your state is 30 miles away. Once HSUS wins this battle, they will move more resources into preventing scientific studies, further limiting any form of pet ownership, and their other concerns.

As for the Burmese issue, I think the bigger threat to wildlife are the millions and millions of people surrounding them, but that's just me. Certainly, the snakes don't belong there, but passing HSUS's agenda will not undo that.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 6:29 pm 
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Jeremy Westerman wrote:
...seriously affecting animal related businesses such as the pet industry, the animal wrangling film industry, the zoos and aquariums, reptile education groups etc.


You make it sound like affecting the animal wrangling film industry would be a bad thing. I'm with Sam, whenever that industry dies isn't soon enough for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 8:00 pm 
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Quote:
The other 48 states this would affect do not deserve to have this bad policy affecting their economies. It could seriously affect the livelihood and economy by hurting thousands of people with animal jobs, is not sound policy.


Does anybody have any numbers to show the pet industry is really that big in these other states? And if it is, I bet the snake portion is just a fraction. Sure it sucks if you lose your job, but who is making a career at carrying giant snakes across state lines or is the boa/python importer? Seems to me there are other more lucrative jobs related to herps.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 7:26 am 
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It would be stupid to make it a federal crime to own a python and move from say, Ohio to Michigan, or any other state. Hundreds of thousands of law biding Americans own these animals. Should we unnecessarily restrict their freedoms? Southern California and Texas may be warm enough but do not have the habitat requirements for large constrictors to establish. Hawaii and Southern Florida are the only realistically possible locations, why make it a federal law that restricts freedoms unnecessarily in the other 48 states and impacts their economies? Hawaii is isolated and very strict on its importation anyway due to fear of Brown tree snakes so it is unlikely there. Florida is the only place where the problem is, it should be dealt with in Florida legislation and by Florida wildlife programs, not a blanket ban that has no scientific merit for all 50 states.

Do you really think zoos, education programs, etc. in every other state should pay for expensive federal exemption permits just because Florida has an invasive problem? Do you think that private citizens should not own a boa as a pet even though they have in this country by the tens of thousands for more than 50 years? Why isn't it already spread to everywhere possible if pet owners are responsible for invasives by your logic then?

The HSUS, PETA and other organisations have demonized pythons and other large snakes as dangerous wildlife destroyers, but the reality is house cats are far more destructive to wildlife. Where is their Lacey act addition and state to state transport ban? The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that provides income for a great many of your fellow Americans. Most reptile education programs nationwide use these animals. Should we no longer exhibit them at fairs and zoos even though we have for more than 100 years with no outbreak across the country as this bill and its backers suggest? Don't make the mistake and assume that everyone involved in the animal related film industry be it TV or movies is unethical. That includes every wildlife documentary you have ever seen and every animal program. Every animal you have ever seen on screen in TV or film was not treated inhumanely. Astonishing that you would decry the whole industry based on a few idiots like turtlemoron from Animal Planet.

I strongly believe that this is a Florida problem, not a national problem. People in every other state have owned large constrictors for many decades with barely a mentioned incident. dangerous to people? Horses and dogs kill more humans every year in the U.S. than large snakes have ever, worldwide. Pet snake ownership numbers are about the same as horse ownership. Which animal is actually dangerous? Try to find more than 5 verified deaths in the U.S. due to large constrictors in this century or the last century. Go ahead, I'll wait. Chance of escape and damage to the local ecology? Cats and rats that man established destroy more wildlife than snakes ever could. Hurt your kids? The neighbors dog is ubiquitous and a much more realistic threat.

Large snakes are not physiologically able to survive outside a very small tropical part of the country, yet fear mongers and snake haters who are not biologists or ecologists and do not understand the scientific reality of this situation are screaming Ban! Ban! Ban! Ban them nationwide! Some of you here that have commented appear to show that same very uneducated sentiment on this matter. Sounds like ophidiophobic old women saying "eww! snakes!" just like the lawmakers behind this ill conceived law do.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 8:24 am 
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I think Scott should move this topic to the Board Line. Also, Jeremy, I don't understand your knee jerk impulse to associate ophidiophobia specifically with old women. That was emotionally fueled and inaccurate. There are probably an equal number of ophidiophobes distributed within the demographics of other age and gender sample groups. You are ofcourse against the stigmatization of snakes created by perpetuated myths and stereotypes. But I guess the same doesn't apply for old women. Yeah; they are all menopausal, irrational agoraphobic cat ladies. I have two words to tell you as an 'old lady': grow up.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 8:57 am 
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Its also a pretty transparent tactic, to "feminize" those with an opposing view - it can be assured that a good percentage will be discouraged from putting in their input.

Being remotely"Feminized" is terrifying to the insecure.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 10:34 am 
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klawnskale wrote:
I think Scott should move this topic to the Board Line. Also, Jeremy, I don't understand your knee jerk impulse to associate ophidiophobia specifically with old women. That was emotionally fueled and inaccurate. There are probably an equal number of ophidiophobes distributed within the demographics of other age and gender sample groups. You are ofcourse against the stigmatization of snakes created by perpetuated myths and stereotypes. But I guess the same doesn't apply for old women. Yeah; they are all menopausal, irrational agoraphobic cat ladies. I have two words to tell you as an 'old lady': grow up.


Agree that it was emotionally fueled ad hominem. However, stereotypes are recognizable because they unfortunately depict a real identifiable subgroup. They are poor in taste because they may reflect the speaker's bias. However, I work directly on the public interface with snakes and groups of people of all ages and I can tell you that middle aged and old aged women by far are the largest demographic in differing sex and age groups that react negatively to snakes. Is it unfair to lump all in that age group and gender in a negative fashion? Sure, I agree, but like I said the stereotype wouldn't be recognizable if it wasn't reflecting some basic accuracy. I apologize if I offended you. I shouldn't have included that part, it was inappropriate, and it probably detracted from my message significantly as that is what got commented on, instead of the salient points that are germane to the discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:12 am 
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.[/quote]

Agree that it was emotionally fueled ad hominem. However, stereotypes are recognizable because they unfortunately depict a real identifiable subgroup. They are poor in taste because they may reflect the speaker's bias. However, I work directly on the public interface with snakes and groups of people of all ages and I can tell you that middle aged and old aged women by far are the largest demographic in differing sex and age groups that react negatively to snakes. Is it unfair to lump all in that age group and gender in a negative fashion? Sure, I agree, but like I said the stereotype wouldn't be recognizable if it wasn't reflecting some basic accuracy. I apologize if I offended you. I shouldn't have included that part, it was inappropriate, and it probably detracted from my message significantly as that is what got commented on, instead of the salient points that are germane to the discussion.[/quote]

Your experiences are most likely limited to where you live and where you have done your educational outreach. You cannot make an unbiased assessment like that based on your own personal experiences. It's way too small a sample size to go by. From my own educational outreach experience, I could pass the same judgment on boys. I have noticed over the years, that girls are far less fearful of touching a snake than a boy in the same age group. So what does this mean scientifically? It means nothing. It is not an accurate representation of the general norm of a large population. Now, if we pooled and documented the experiences of many educational outreach herp people nationwide, and were confident regarding the accuracy of the data provided, then we may have a better idea and understanding of which age/gender demographic group consisted of the highest percentage of ophidiophobes. Stereotypes are a dangerous value system to go by when trying to understand a topic. Case in point: I was working with some one and we were driving around a neighborhood. She saw an Asian woman walking her pet dog and then remarked " She'll probably have him for dinner later on..." Now is this appropriate and statistically accurate to conclude that just because dogs maybe eaten by a percentile of a population that ALL individuals that are members of that population eat dogs?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:13 am 
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There is no way that this legislation will do what the legislators and interest groups say it will...It's founded on junk science under faulty assumptions. As Sam Sweet said, it cannot stand up to legitimate scientific challenge.

For the record, I fully oppose the legislation and I think anyone even remotely interested in laws based on science should....but that's my opinion based upon what the science says.

This debate won't end...some agree with the legislation because they don't think it's a good idea for laypeople to buy and sell large constricting snakes (no matter the qualifications and experience)....some disagree because the premise under which the legislation was proposed has been shown to be factually deficient and scietifically unsound.

Anyone could take this a myriad of different ways (from over reaching government control, to infringement of citizen rights, to unlawful restriction on interstate commerce, etc....). None of that will change the fact that any or all of these will likely get brought up here in some fashion...

I do believe that if the industry had done a better job of regulating and policing itself (i.e. NOT selling burms to 12 year old kids at reptile shows), it wouldn't find itself in this position. Anytime someone delegates creation and enforcement of conduct to disinterested third parties that do not hold a vested interest in the results, it's never good.

- Kris


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:14 am 
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Jeremy Westerman wrote:

However, I work directly on the public interface with snakes and groups of people of all ages and I can tell you that middle aged and old aged women by far are the largest demographic in differing sex and age groups that react negatively to snakes. Is it unfair to lump all in that age group and gender in a negative fashion? Sure, I agree, but like I said the stereotype wouldn't be recognizable if it wasn't reflecting some basic accuracy.


I also work directly with .. oh yeah.. the public interface In a different geographic and it is striking how little negativity I experience in peoples responses to my snakes. Days and days go by with nothing but positive, highly interested comments. But I am digressing a little.

I think your reason for using that analogy was a more manipulative one than "being accurate with recognizable stereotypes"

And thats what flaw derailed your post. Underestimating the perceptions of your readers. Personally couldnt care less about the sexism part.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:33 am 
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jonathan wrote:
I'm not a supporter of this particular bill, but I also wouldn't want to stop supporting any good work the NWF does just because I disagree with them on a pet snake issue...

I agree wholeheartedly. If you are only willing to support an organization that shares 100% of your own views, then it's going to be an organization that has but one member - you, all by your lonesome. Consider the NWF's overall body of work, not just their take on this or any other single issue, to decide whether they're doing a good job representing your interests. They look pretty darn good to me.

And they're being done a considerable disservice to be lumped with HSUS and PETA, too.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:46 am 
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gbin wrote:
jonathan wrote:
I'm not a supporter of this particular bill, but I also wouldn't want to stop supporting any good work the NWF does just because I disagree with them on a pet snake issue...



And they're being done a considerable disservice to be lumped with HSUS and PETA, too.

Gerry


Thats the same type of fear tactic - presenting NWF in simile to disliked entities.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:59 am 
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Nobody wants to look like a Peta Clown in a dress!

Right?! Ive seen it before. Its very tricky, and works well in group formats.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 12:33 pm 
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gbin wrote:
jonathan wrote:
I'm not a supporter of this particular bill, but I also wouldn't want to stop supporting any good work the NWF does just because I disagree with them on a pet snake issue...

I agree wholeheartedly. If you are only willing to support an organization that shares 100% of your own views, then it's going to be an organization that has but one member - you, all by your lonesome. Consider the NWF's overall body of work, not just their take on this or any other single issue, to decide whether they're doing a good job representing your interests. They look pretty darn good to me.

And they're being done a considerable disservice to be lumped with HSUS and PETA, too.

Gerry

Very true Gerry, one should weigh pros versus cons before removing support for a dedicated wildlife group such as NWF and I have, their support of this bill is a very heavy straw to break a camel's back.

They are NOT being lumped with HSUS in error or at "considerable disservice," they deserve it. Their entire presentation on pythons in the 'glades referred to HSUS "research" with completely unscientific indefensible views that are groundless, preposterous, and outright misinformation.

"Proponents of HR 511, including but not limited to the Humane Society of the United States (“HSUS”), the Natural Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species (“NECIS”), and the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) promote misinformation about pythons in the Everglades. The testimony of both Peter Jenkins and John Kostyack relied heavily on information from HSUS." -Erika N. Chen-Walsh Nov, 2012

Like Azatrox and Sam Sweet have noted, their position advocating for this bill to pass is flawed, is not based on sound science, but when has that ever stopped a law? This groundless law based on faulty logic is moving forward. They want to add all 9 large constrictor species to the Lacey Act which will do absolutely nothing to mitigate or solve the Florida problem and will only restrict freedoms of hundreds of thousands of snake owners and impact them financially for no reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 12:52 pm 
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luv_the_smellof_musk wrote:
Because mail order is a common way to ship reptiles. It's just nice to be able to ship stuff around the country.



Yes, so lucrative and convenient it is to ship "stuff".


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 1:56 pm 

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Quote:
I do believe that if the industry had done a better job of regulating and policing itself (i.e. NOT selling burms to 12 year old kids at reptile shows), it wouldn't find itself in this position. Anytime someone delegates creation and enforcement of conduct to disinterested third parties that do not hold a vested interest in the results, it's never good.


I know a 45 year old man who set his Red-eared Sliders free in a farm pond in Laurens SC. I also know a 38 year old man who set free one of those man made corn snakes, I think it was called a "Cremecicle"? He let it go around Greenwood SC. Don't tell us that it is just the kids who are irresponsible. The whole pet trade is irresponsible. The only positive aspect of the pet trade is that captive breeding takes pressure off of the wild populations. Even that may not be true as people still flock to the National Forest to collect.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 2:33 pm 
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I know a 45 year old man who set his Red-eared Sliders free in a farm pond in Laurens SC. I also know a 38 year old man who set free one of those man made corn snakes, I think it was called a "Cremecicle"? He let it go around Greenwood SC. Don't tell us that it is just the kids who are irresponsible. The whole pet trade is irresponsible. The only positive aspect of the pet trade is that captive breeding takes pressure off of the wild populations. Even that may not be true as people still flock to the National Forest to collect.

When did I infer that only "the kids" were responsible? I didn't...truth be told, in the example (and it really was only an example) I gave, I hold the seller more responsible than the kid buying the snake....I could cite a litany of things that the industry could have and should have addressed yet failed to do so. I just mentioned the first one that popped into my head.

We may disagree as to the relative benefits of the herpetoculture industry, but I thought my example was quite clear in terms of who I felt bore the lion's share of responsibility...

- Kris


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 2:57 pm 
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Jeremy Westerman wrote:
... one should weigh pros versus cons before removing support for a dedicated wildlife group such as NWF and I have, their support of this bill is a very heavy straw to break a camel's back.

I reckon we're each entitled to order and weight our own priorities to suit ourselves. I think you're mistaken, Jeremy, but I recognize your right to be so. :beer:

Jeremy Westerman wrote:
They are NOT being lumped with HSUS in error or at "considerable disservice," they deserve it...

Were we to spend some time at it, I'm sure we could find many ways in which NWF and HSUS or PETA - or NWF and any other organization we care to consider - are alike, and many ways in which they differ. It should take a heck of a lot more than a single similar view to lump them together as I felt you did above, particularly in light of both their profound differences and the fact that these differences are often deliberately ignored in the modern American political landscape. I'm sure you're well aware of the dishonest, manipulative efforts of some to tar animal conservation and animal welfare groups with the same brush as animal rights groups in order to falsely discredit the former groups ("Ahh, they're all just a bunch of tree-hugging wackos, one and all the same!"), as Kelly pointed out above. Why on earth would you want to aid such efforts?

To be clear, I too think NWF has made an error here, and a compounded one at that. But, have you considered trying to contact them to point out this error? No, I don't think that it'll make any overall difference, either, but you can never tell for sure. At least it might encourage them to more critically examine the evidence surrounding issues they choose to take up, anyway.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 3:56 pm 

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Kris, I was not calling you out or picking at you. I was just giving an example of your example. All I am trying to say is that the whole pet trade is a huge mess. Whatever they do will not please everyone. As long as what they do is in the best interest of the wildlife and wild places than I am all for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 4:56 pm 

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I support a wide variety of conservation organizations, local, national, and international. I will still give the same amount this year, but NWF will not receive a check from me. I'm too small to make a difference and I understand I won't always agree with everything any organization does, but backing getting in bed with radical, animal rights groups, that oppose the use of animals for food, science, or companions is beyond redeemable.

My love of animals came in part from my keeping them as a youngster. Keeping reptiles helped fuel a desire to see them in the wild, seeing them in the wild fueled a desire to keep them, keeping and observing them taught me what they needed to survive, learning what they needed to survive helps me conserve them and volunteer with organizations who are doing what they can to make a difference, keeping reptiles puts me in contact with other keepers who I can inform of these organizations activities and get them to volunteer and donate, etc. Wildlife will disappear fastest when we are ignorant of their needs and disassociated with them from our everyday lives. We need to keep a regular connection between people and wildlife, pets are just one way we do that. We do need to control our pets. I am full on for requiring cats be kept indoors and certain snakes being chipped and locked where likely to become invasive, but not in support of people who think we shouldn't treat disease because it might require the use of lab rats or that snakes feelings are being hurt by being kept and bred in cages.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 5:25 pm 

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Location: South Carolina
luv_the_smellof_musk wrote:

Quote:
I am full on for requiring cats be kept indoors and certain snakes being chipped and locked where likely to become invasive, but not in support of people who think we shouldn't treat disease because it might require the use of lab rats or that snakes feelings are being hurt by being kept and bred in cages.


I had no idea that all of this was about hurt feelings for keeping snakes captive. I thought it was about irresponsible people who sell pets that are set free by their irresponsible keepers.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 6:24 pm 
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luv_the_smellof_musk wrote:
Once HSUS wins this battle, they will move more resources into preventing scientific studies,


I would sure like to see more snake research.

But, be careful what you ask for luv musky!

The information revealed in future studies may not be exactly what you bargained for!


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:16 pm 

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I for one, definitely support the ban on large constrictors...aren't people tired of seeing enough of them yet? They are seriously everywhere , so sick of seeing all these ugly, man made morphs of this or that. het/albino/snow blah, blah, blah... *yawn* I feel like it's a pretty straight forward debate...So would you rather have the Florida everglades ruined? Or maybe the swamps of Louisiana ?... or a keep a snake that will grow too big for you to even hold by yourself, that you will most likely keep in a cage way too small for the animal...aww :cry: poor snakey.. :roll: please.. that also eats a ton, and has the potential to kill other pets, small children,and oh yeah... native herps?. These snakes never belonged here to begin with, they should be "zoo" only animals really. People always dump them...hmm wonder why??


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 4:32 am 
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jared68nova wrote:
I for one, definitely support the ban on large constrictors...aren't people tired of seeing enough of them yet?


This sounds to the casual observer like the impetus for knee-jerk legislation in practically ANY situation (not just herps): "I don't like X, I don't see why anyone else would like X, therefore we should ban X."

Quote:
So would you rather have the Florida everglades ruined? Or maybe the swamps of Louisiana ?... or a keep a snake that will grow too big for you to even hold by yourself, that you will most likely keep in a cage way too small for the animal...aww :cry: poor snakey.. :roll: please.. that also eats a ton, and has the potential to kill other pets, small children,and oh yeah... native herps?. These snakes never belonged here to begin with, they should be "zoo" only animals really. People always dump them...hmm wonder why??


A cursory review of this response reveals several logical fallacies (in order): false dilemma, appeal to consequences/slippery slope, ad hominem, appeal to fear, appeal to nature, and hasty generalization. I think there are actually a few others tucked in there!

:?


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 5:42 am 
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"I had no idea that all of this was about hurt feelings for keeping snakes captive. I thought it was about irresponsible people who sell pets that are set free by their irresponsible keepers."

I'll simply point out that the release of captive animals into wild areas is ALREADY illegal in a great number of jurisdictions....(I know it is in Arizona).

Granted, the irresponsible owner that bought the animal from the irresponsible dealer probably didn't do their research regarding the laws beforehand....they most certainly didn't do their research with regard to the future needs of the animal, and that's a big reason why they cut it loose to begin with....It gets too big or too unpredictable and they just can't handle it.

That said, there are already mechanisms in place to address the unlawful release of captives into the environment. Since this is so, it would appear that the substantive issue is one of enforcement (or the lack thereof) rather than law creation.

-Kris


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 5:53 am 
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I for one, definitely support the ban on large constrictors...aren't people tired of seeing enough of them yet? They are seriously everywhere , so sick of seeing all these ugly, man made morphs of this or that. het/albino/snow blah, blah, blah... *yawn* I feel like it's a pretty straight forward debate...So would you rather have the Florida everglades ruined? Or maybe the swamps of Louisiana ?... or a keep a snake that will grow too big for you to even hold by yourself, that you will most likely keep in a cage way too small for the animal...aww poor snakey.. please.. that also eats a ton, and has the potential to kill other pets, small children,and oh yeah... native herps?. These snakes never belonged here to begin with, they should be "zoo" only animals really. People always dump them...hmm wonder why??

People release them because they are unprepared for the future responsibility of keeping an animal when it gets 10 feet long and is stronger than they are...They don't bother to find out that it is already illegal to just dump their ill conceived cool pet when it gets to be more than they can handle....But that's only one side of the coin....The OTHER side of the coin is that you have dealers and breeders that are all too willing to sell an uninformed person this animal without bothering to ensure that the potential buyer is able and committed to caring for the animal long term...They see the cash, and that's enough for them. No, not ALL breeders or dealers are like this, just as not ALL potential buyers are impulse buyers....Some people that privately keep large constrictors are knowledgeable, experienced, responsible hobbyists who should have every right to do as they choose.

And therein lies the rub. We hear about the issues in the Everglades, and you'd think that anyone who ever owned a python took a group trip down there to dump their animals...The reality is, you never hear about the responsible keepers that quietly do what they do and don't make news. There's a bias here that can't be ignored. There are far more people that keep these animals with nary an issue than those that decide to dump them. But we don't hear about (or from) them, so we think that those we DO hear about must be representative of the big constrictor keeping folks....Not necessarily so.

And as far as ruining the Everglades, the pythons are here to stay....I'd be more concerned with some of the other environmental issues occurring in south Florida than I would about burms destroying the ecosystem....Unless you choose to believe media reports that burms are indeed eating every mammal in sight. If that's the case, then I can't help you.

- Kris


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 6:42 am 
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azatrox wrote:
There are far more people that keep these animals with nary an issue than those that decide to dump them.

- Kris


How do you know this? Did you take a survey?

I actually have some professional input on this. Not just about large constrictors, but other reptiles as well.

My entire focus as an insider in a world I admittidly cringe to call an industry, has evolved to address this factor. I try to help people stay enthused about the animals they already own, rather than selling them another. It works most of the time , actually.

Although superficially I appear to be a cynic, my real life m.o is to be of service. I do what I can, and what I wont do, I dont.

Its not all altruistic. I have my own motive of wanting to experience less moral injury. That means I accept less financial gain.

Sometimes in life we have to make choices and sacrifices especially if we find ourselves standing in front of them, right before our very eyes.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 7:01 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
azatrox wrote:
There are far more people that keep these animals with nary an issue than those that decide to dump them.


How do you know this? Did you take a survey?


I would say it could be fairly easily determined by checking numbers of large constrictors sold, by species even, vs. negative reports, e.g. police reports, news stories, etc. of "snakes on the loose," etc.

As azatrox points out, the problem has several points at which change could be effected:

At the general-public level: we don't need more laws, we need enforcement of existing laws.
At the herp-breeder level: we need you to be more discriminating (and I mean that in a good way) about who is allowed to purchase your stock.
At the herp-buyer level: we need you to fully understand what is involved with your prospective purchase--adult size, longevity, liability, etc.

The herp community can do little but educate the public, and advocate legislatively, the first point.

As to the second two, a plan of action could be developed and implemented by national and/or state herp organizations (e.g. USARK).

Buyers could get "certified" as a "knowledgeable buyer" (or something to that effect), so a breeder can ask for the certification number of the prospective client and be reasonably assured the buyer knows what he/she is getting into.

Sellers could get "certified" as "USARK (or similar) Approved" by agreeing to adhere to a code of ethics/best practices. Such a certification could be displayed on the seller's web site and buyers could choose to support such buyers over those who choose NOT to be part of a collective solution.


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 7:17 am 
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chris_mcmartin wrote:
Kelly Mc wrote:
azatrox wrote:
There are far more people that keep these animals with nary an issue than those that decide to dump them.


How do you know this? Did you take a survey?


I would say it could be fairly easily determined by checking numbers of large constrictors sold, by species even, vs. negative reports, e.g. police reports, news stories, etc. of "snakes on the loose," etc.




I respectfully disagree. The scenario of aquisition and relinquishment cant be accurately, neatly discerned by media reports and epitomes of police or even animal control involvement situations.

Its Topical.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 7:32 am 
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azatrox wrote:
... There are far more people that keep these animals with nary an issue than those that decide to dump them...

I readily believe this, but here's the thing that has me at least partway on the fence on this particular issue despite my strong general tendency to promote individual freedom and enterprise: The introduction of invasive exotics presents a situation where just a few people misbehaving can readily and irrevocably mess things up, not just for everyone involved but for the affected environment as well.

And there are certainly those few people in our hobby. We talk most often about ignorant or uncaring folks dumping unwanted pets, and the argument is often made that such people aren't going to travel a long distance just to rid themselves of some unwanted animals. I agree with this argument (though at least some people can be expected to live in areas where their dumped pets could thrive). But unfortunately we have a special, overriding case here in the herp hobby. Back when I lived in northcentral FL I ran into more than a few idiots there who, yes, spoke of deliberately making trips down to the Everglades to release animals of this or that exotic herp species in the actual hope they would become established there. Heck, they travel all over to field herp, anyway, and "Wouldn't it be cool if 'X' species really took off down there?!?" Did these miscreants actually do it? I don't know, but I have to believe at least a few of them did. And I know that at least a few like-minded people established populations of various things such as tokay geckos near their homes in northcentral FL.

So I lean toward supporting regional bans of species with particularly injurious potential in the areas in question (and pythons certainly qualify as such in south FL, regardless of how many mammals a person is willing to believe they're whacking), and where the risks appear great enough I could support a national ban, too.

Sometimes a few rotten apples can indeed spoil the whole barrel. :(

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 8:03 am 
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gbin wrote:
So I lean toward supporting regional bans of species with particularly injurious potential in the areas in question (and pythons certainly qualify as such in south FL, regardless of how many mammals a person is willing to believe they're whacking), and where the risks appear great enough I could support a national ban, too.
Sometimes a few rotten apples can indeed spoil the whole barrel. :(
Gerry


I understand taking whatever measures necessary to prevent establishment of nonnative exotic invasives, but you yourself just said "where the risks are great enough." Florida has a problem, we all agree on that. Is the risk great enough to warrant restricting freedoms and hurting the economy in any other state?
The risk is real in Florida and perhaps Hawaii, it is absurd elsewhere in the country. By banning interstate travel for all large snake owners and eliminating commerce for business owners it could actually create a problem where there is currently none. I need to move to X but I own this snake now what? I don't want to be a felon. I own a breeding, education, etc. business that was just destroyed by lack of scientific insight into the physiological reality of big constrictor habitat requirements, now what? We end up with a lot of unwanted/devalued large snakes ready for dumping, that's what. Sure they will all die in the first cold snap but not before pythons loose in neighborhoods makes the news all over the country.

Like many others have said we already have laws that cover the concerns of people who want to prevent invasives, we just need them inforced. If any new laws are necessary it is in Florida not on a Fedral level that will inadvertently affect people nationwide.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 8:41 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
I respectfully disagree. The scenario of aquisition and relinquishment cant be accurately, neatly discerned by media reports and epitomes of police or even animal control involvement situations.


"Epitomes"="anecdotes?" ;)

I read azatrox's assertion as a general trend, not something requiring accurate numbers. I think comparing sales figures to adverse reports would support the assertion as a general, though not quantifiable, trend.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 8:46 am 
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Jeremy Westerman wrote:
I need to move to X but I own this snake now what?



This problem already exists. It exists even when people are simply moving to the other side of town, with much smaller taxa.

I am approached with this issue constantly. None of my input will be speculative.

The identified "given" reason is "I cant have it where Im moving"

But more often, engaged,closer examination has revealed it is because when people change residences they often get rid of many things, furniture, etc and want to have less hassle a live animal to transport.


There are exceptions to this. Some people realize that if they have a lifestyle that includes animals as a core value, they are more limited in their time, and living situ, as well as opportunity for vacations and future location of residence.

I am going to repeat what I said above, that what I share IS NOT SPECULATIVE

Also : There ARE animal owners that make life decisions with the permanent ownership of their animal a basic priority.

I know that freedom today for most people seems to mean "Getting to have it all.." though.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 10:02 am 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
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Very interesting discussion here. Props to all for keeping it just that.

Kelly Mc wrote:
There are exceptions to this. Some people realize that if they have a lifestyle that includes animals as a core value, they are more limited in their time, and living situ, as well as opportunity for vacations and future location of residence.

I am going to repeat what I said above, that what I share IS NOT SPECULATIVE

Also : There ARE animal owners that make life decisions with the permanent ownership of their animal a basic priority.

I know that freedom today for most people seems to mean "Getting to have it all.." though.


I recently bought a house and in the shopping process completely drove my wife nuts because I was making comments on where my outdoor enclosure would go or where I would be able to best accommodate my display tanks, while she was looking at the transition from the kitchen to the common area to the bedroom area (I still don't get what that even means) or if the appliances were included.
Off topic I realize, just a bit of side humor.

-Thomas Wilder


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 10:24 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
There are exceptions to this. Some people realize that if they have a lifestyle that includes animals as a core value, they are more limited in their time, and living situ, as well as opportunity for vacations and future location of residence.


These are excellent considerations which could be incorporated into my aforementioned certification process. It doesn't GUARANTEE that people won't be idiots, but they won't be able to say "I didn't know..."

"You want to buy a Burm? Email me a scan of your competency card with 'large constrictor' endorsement."

I'm one of those people who has to take my employment into account when choosing whether to acquire additional animals--because I must move frequently, I don't feel comfortable taking on amphibians, for example. I have US natives which lend themselves a little more easily to cross-country travel. I've slept with my animals in my sleeping bag, for example, when I thought it might get a little to cold at night in Idaho. I can't eat anything but drive-through to avoid cooking them in the car, either.

These might seem like common-sense considerations for most of us "seasoned herpers," but might not be so obvious to someone new to the lifestyle. And I say "lifestyle" purposely, because herps and related concerns seem to permeate much of my brain space. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 10:27 am 
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With regard to the topic at hand, the core issue is this:

What affect (if any) would listing these 9 species as injurous have with regard to a) public safety and b) exotic introduction prevention?

At this point, pretty much all of the legitimate scientific inquiry has concluded that the introduction and continued survivability of these animals is pretty much confined to S. Fla and possibly HI. That means that due to a variety of factors, the idea that these animals could somehow escape and colonize the rest of the US is more appropriate for B rated horror movies than any real legislative consideration.

With regard to public safety, I could list a luandry list of things and animals that kill and maim far more people annually than do large constrictors. Large constrictors just aren't a large enough public safety issue to justify a transport ban....They just aren't....I could probably pull some numbers re: large constrictor fatalities and injuries per annum, but I think it's a pretty well accepted idea that these animals are not public menaces to those that know better.

This bill does not ban ownership, breeding, selling, etc....only transport across state lines. THAT'S the germane issue here, and the claims by the proponents of the bill are not supported by empirical data or legitimate science.

Ergo, it is unnecessary legislation because it will not accomplish what it sets out to accomplish to any measurable degree.

- Kris


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 Post subject: Re: Unsupport National Wildlife Fed. they support python ban
PostPosted: February 19th, 2014, 11:13 am 
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The core issue, if we are to stay in strict perimeter of the topic, is whether people should not support or withdraw support from the NWF, because of their position on this particular issue.


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