OK everyone just take a deep breath…. we need to look at this problem objectively. This is not the time to panic, it is not the time to get emotional, but it is time for thoughtful, deliberate action!
If you have been listening to USARK for very long, you knew that this was coming. Many were of the opinion that HR6311 was dead. USARK warned that although it was dead for 2008 it would be reintroduced in 2009. Now we have the newest version, HR669. Now the question becomes: What is the Herp Community going to do about it?
Let’s look at the history of HR669:
It began in 2007 with a petition from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to USFWS to add Boa, Python and Eunectes to the ‘Injurious Wildlife List’ of the Lacey Act. That was followed by a Notice of Inquiry published in the Federal Register calling for public comment in early 2008. This constituted the first step in a ‘potential’ Rule Change to the Lacey Act. This process is under way and can take up to 4 years to effect an actual Rule Change. It is not over. This is still being processed by USFWS.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Defenders of Wildlife, unhappy with the pace of progress with a ‘potential’ Rule Change to the Lacey Act, convince a group of US House members to introduce a bill based on a report written by Defenders of Wildlife called Broken Screens. In July of 2008 HR6311 is introduced into the US House of Representatives. Marshall Myers of PIJAC is present and makes an eloquent point by point rebuttal of the Bill. Because of so many other pressing issues HR6311 dies in the Natural Resources Committee it was assigned to.
USARK warns that even though HR6311 is dead for the legislative session it will be revived in 2009. USARK initiates a petition against HR6311 October 2008.
January 2009 HR6311 is reintroduced as HR669. A group of 10 House members co-sponsor HR669 and it is assigned to the House Natural Resources Committee.
Facts about HR669:
- If passed HR669 would end the import, purchase, sale, trade and breeding of many reptiles and amphibians including boa, python & eunectes. The following is an excerpt from the Bill.
SEC. 6. PROHIBITIONS AND PENALTIES.
(a) Prohibitions- Except as provided in this section or in section 7, it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to—
(1) import into or export from the United States any nonnative wildlife species that is not included in the list of approved species issued under section 4;
(2) transport between any State by any means whatsoever any nonnative wildlife species that is not included in the list of approved species issued under section 4;
(3) violate any term or condition of a permit issued under section 7;
(4) possess (except as provided in section 3(f)), sell or offer to sell, purchase or offer to purchase, or barter for or offer to barter for, any nonnative wildlife species that is prohibited from being imported under paragraph (1);
(5) release into the wild any nonnative wildlife species that is prohibited from being imported under paragraph (1); or
(6) breed any nonnative wildlife species that is prohibited from being imported under paragraph (1), or provide any such species to another person for breeding purposes.
There are 10sponsors for this Bill. That means this is serious. They want to pass this Bill. Some of sponsors have strong relationships to the HSUS.
HR669 has very little basis in scientific fact. There is no evidence to suggest that banning any of these animals will have any positive effects on the economy, environment, or human or animal species health.
What is certain is that passing HR669 would add to our country’s economic decline and devastate American families and small businesses.
Your voice can make the difference in the defeat of HR669!
What can I do IMMEDIATELY to keep HR669 from passing?
- Click sponsors name from list below and that will take you to their email portal.
- Fill in subject field with ‘OPPOSE HR669’
- Cut and paste sample letter into body of email adding your own comments (or write your own letter).
- Be brief, be polite, be articulate and DO NOT BE DISRESPECTFUL! This is extremely important!! If you can’t do this don’t bother to make contact.
- Let them know how HR669 would effect you and your family.
- Fill in your personal information.
- Click SUBMIT button.
- Send a separate email to [email protected].com with HR669in your in subject line so we can track the number of people participating.
- Del. Bordallo
- Rep. Napolitano
- Rep. Kind
- Rep. Grijalva
- Rep. Kildee ** NO EMAIL
- Rep. Klein
- Rep. Hastings
- Rep. Abercrombie
- Rep. McGovern ** NO EMAIL
- Rep. Miller
Sample Letter: Cut & paste letter.
Subject: Oppose HR669number
(Del or Rep Name),
I oppose HR669. This Bill is not based in science, but in the ideology of powerful special interest groups. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that banning the import, sale and trade of any of these animals will have any positive effect on the economy, environment, or human or animal species health.
In fact, if passed it would destroy many families and businesses. It would have a decidedly negative impact on an already ailing economy by destroying a vital and growing industry at a time when our country is in need of jobs and growth. The USFWS has just made changes to the CITES export permit process which would allow quality captive bred animals to be more easily exported to international customers. Passing HR669 would negate all the work USFWS has done for over a year. This Bill is a disaster to American small business and families in a time of economic hardship.
(tell in your own words- what you do and how passing this bill would hurt you and your family)
Please do not pass HR669.
- This is just the first step in a proven formula of grassroots politics used by groups such as the NRA and HSUS. Be ready to take the next step soon.
- Educate yourself to the process.
- If you haven’t already signed, please sign our Petition Against HR669.
- Don’t forget to email [email protected] when you’re done so we know how many stood up and did their part.
***Please do this now and pass it on to everyone on your email list!!
Join USARK! There is Strength in Numbers… Protect Your Rights!