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  • Urgent message from USARK

    DANGER: Python Ban Moving Fast!!!
    The Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (EPW), Subcommittee on Water & Wildlife held a Hearing on S373 aka the Python Ban today at 2 PM. Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman, presided. Senator Bond and Senator Levine were the only presenters. Senator Bill Nelsen, the Bill sponsor, was not in attendance to present on S373. The Hearing was brief and more of a formality in order to move 9 different bills forward quickly.

    Some of you that are following USARK on Twitter got the blow by blow during the hearing. Dan Ashe, Deputy Secretary of US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), testified on S373 recommending that the Bill be amended to include all 9 snakes addressed in the recent US Geologic Survey (USGS) Report on large constrictors. Chairman Cardin indicated that USFWS should approach Senator Nelson regarding amendment. Robert Ben**** of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), while acknowledging problems with the science in the USGS Report, also recommended amending S373 to include the 9 snakes.

    The representative of the Humane Society of the United States was seen urging USFWS to ask Senator Nelson to amend S373 to include 45 species of Boa and Python.
    ‘The Burmese Python is being used by politicians and special interests to railroad the Reptile Nation!’

    S373 as written would add ALL 40 species of python to the Injurious Wildlife List of the Lacey Act; the entire python genre. If amended as recommended by USFWS and TNC it would add all 4 species of anaconda and Boa Constrictor to the list. That would be 45 species in all. Although the Bill Sponsor is from Florida this is not a Florida Bill. This is federal legislation that would affect the entire country…. Including, but not limited to, Ball Pythons, Chondros, Blood Pythons, Carpet Pythons and Boa Constrictors. If passed S373 will destroy the Reptile Nation!

    It is time for a gut check. Have you done everything you can to keep this nightmare scenario from happening? If you have we greatly appreciate your support!! If you have been sitting on the sidelines hoping others will take care of this for you please stand up and help now. We need members and money to fight this legislation. You can make excuses or you can take action! There is Strength in Numbers… Protect Your Rights! In the coming days USARK will ask a lot from the Reptile Nation. This is it. It is now or never. Live or die. This industry and hobby has NEVER been so close to annihilation. Please don’t go quietly into the night.

    Next Thursday, December 10, 2009 S373 will go to ‘Mark Up’ before the Senate EPW Committee. This is where the Bill can be amended. USARK has submitted several amendment proposals. We have one week to have an impact! Get involved and get ready to take massive action. We have worked too hard and come too far to let it all go now! ONE WEEK!… Don’t Sit This One Out!!!

    ‘Get ready for a MASSIVE Grass Roots Campaign Against S373!’

    Join the Reptile Nation!

    1. Click the 'Donate Button' at the top of the page to donate to USARK. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Zoo Med.

    2. Click the 'Become a Member' link at the bottom of the page to Join the Reptile Nation. These battles are costly we need your support!

    3. Click the 'Twitter Button' at the top of the page to follow USARK for fast breaking updates.

    ***Stay Tuned For Detailed Instructions on How To Take Massive Grass Roots Action***

  • #2
    Re: Urgent message from USARK

    Ok, so for those of us who are not politically literate Who should we now be calling to try to stop this bill???
    Also bit of a side note; this will not allow trade, import/export etc. but that does not include the currently owned pets correct? Just b/c I know that with the species of concerned here in Fl that that was NOT the case. Thanks to anyone who knows these answers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Urgent message from USARK

      Senator Bond was one of the offices I could not get anything from, not even someone to pick up and act like they care. I don't like him (I'm from Missouri) but I did get a hold of a few but none that seemed to of cared too much. They did listen and let me babble though.

      Yes, let us know what we can do. I will make more calls if I can, and I do plan to join the USARK before the end of the year and contribute to the cause but is there anything else we can do in the mean time?

      I have Pythons and want some more so this is of special interest to me. If they manage to add boas that would just devistate a bunch of us. I don't think there's much that can be done about the current ones that are being held captivly there must be millions of snakes in America as pets , but, you sure would take away a lot of money from hard working people as well as take away hobby for thousands of us... lots of us who've been doing this since we were super young.

      I do thank everyone who has been actively doing anything possible to help out the cause. I've only recently heard about it but I'm willing to do all I can to help... I have some pythons with plans to get more in mid 2010 so... this would just break my heart to never get the others I've been waiting on!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Urgent message from USARK

        Originally posted by decimator View Post
        Also bit of a side note; this will not allow trade, import/export etc. but that does not include the currently owned pets correct? Just b/c I know that with the species of concerned here in Fl that that was NOT the case. Thanks to anyone who knows these answers.
        Correct. Currently owned pets are not being addressed in this bill. However, if this passes I wouldn't be surprised if it's eventually amended to include currently owned animals.

        I have a question as well. If this passes can the included snakes be sold/traded within a state, or is that being halted too? The Lacey Act prohibits the transport and trade across state lines, but it says nothing about trade within a state's borders. Correct?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Urgent message from USARK

          People will keep their currently owned snakes for awhile.

          The point is no more new Boas or Pythons the entire hobby will be in ruin.

          USARK will be asking us all to make call ins , send letters etc..

          Stay tuned they will give us direction !!

          Lar M
          Boas By Klevitz

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Urgent message from USARK


            DANGER: Python Ban Moving Fast!!!

            The Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (EPW), Subcommittee on Water & Wildlife held a Hearing on S373 aka the Python Ban today at 2 PM. Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman, presided. Senator Bond and Senator Levine were the only presenters. Senator Bill Nelsen, the Bill sponsor, was not in attendance to present on S373. The Hearing was brief and more of a formality in order to move 9 different bills forward quickly.

            Some of you that are following USARK on Twitter got the blow by blow during the hearing. Dan Ashe, Deputy Secretary of US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), testified on S373 recommending that the Bill be amended to include all 9 snakes addressed in the recent US Geologic Survey (USGS) Report on large constrictors. Chairman Cardin indicated that USFWS should approach Senator Nelson regarding amendment. Robert Ben**** of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), while acknowledging problems with the science in the USGS Report, also recommended amending S373 to include the 9 snakes.

            The representative of the Humane Society of the United States was seen urging USFWS to ask Senator Nelson to amend S373 to include 45 species of Boa and Python.

            ‘The Burmese Python is being used by politicians and special interests to railroad the Reptile Nation!’

            S373 as written would add ALL 40 species of python to the Injurious Wildlife List of the Lacey Act; the entire python genre. If amended as recommended by USFWS and TNC it would add all 4 species of anaconda and Boa Constrictor to the list. That would be 45 species in all. Although the Bill Sponsor is from Florida this is not a Florida Bill. This is federal legislation that would affect the entire country…. Including, but not limited to, Ball Pythons, Chondros, Blood Pythons, Carpet Pythons and Boa Constrictors. If passed S373 will destroy the Reptile Nation!

            It is time for a gut check. Have you done everything you can to keep this nightmare scenario from happening? If you have we greatly appreciate your support!! If you have been sitting on the sidelines hoping others will take care of this for you please stand up and help now. We need members and money to fight this legislation. You can make excuses or you can take action! There is Strength in Numbers… Protect Your Rights! In the coming days USARK will ask a lot from the Reptile Nation. This is it. It is now or never. Live or die. This industry and hobby has NEVER been so close to annihilation. Please don’t go quietly into the night.

            Next Thursday, December 10, 2009 S373 will go to ‘Mark Up’ before the Senate EPW Committee. This is where the Bill can be amended. USARK has submitted several amendment proposals. We have one week to have an impact! Get involved and get ready to take massive action. We have worked too hard and come too far to let it all go now! ONE WEEK!… Don’t Sit This One Out!!!



            ‘Get ready for a MASSIVE Grass Roots Campaign Against S373!’

            Join the Reptile Nation!

            1. Click the 'Donate Button' at the top of the page to donate to USARK. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Zoo Med.

            2. Click the 'Become a Member' link at the bottom of the page to Join the Reptile Nation. These battles are costly we need your support!

            3. Click the 'Twitter Button' at the top of the page to follow USARK for fast breaking updates.

            ***Stay Tuned For Detailed Instructions on How To Take Massive Grass Roots Action***

            Lar M
            Boas By Klevitz

            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Urgent message from USARK

              I just became a bronze member of USARK and also am spreading the word on facebook. I feel good about it to.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Urgent message from USARK

                Hey Lar or Dangles, do you have a generic letter you have written I can send to my senator here in Florida? SOmething I can copy and paste. I believe you have written them in the past but do not know where to find it. I have sent it before but will send again if I can get it from you guys.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Urgent message from USARK

                  bump it back to the top

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Urgent message from USARK

                    Do you guys think its too late to start a fundraising drive? Ive been trying to talk to the site lead for where I work but hes been an extremely busy guy all week. Today I will talk to him though and see what steps need to be taken. It has to work out...why would we have so many organizations we fund raise for if it didnt? Also I had a chance to talk to one of the top guys and lady of the NRA and he told me that with each and every mailing they send out..they mutiply their investment at a MINIMUM of 7-8 times. We have got to do something.

                    I am one of the top fundraisers averaging over $250 AN HOUR raised when the average person is around $40-60...some days I am up over $600-800... Do you guys think its too late to get it started? IF not let me know and I will get things rolling.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Urgent message from USARK

                      I just joined USARK as a student member.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Urgent message from USARK

                        Originally posted by follow View Post
                        Hey Lar or Dangles, do you have a generic letter you have written I can send to my senator here in Florida? SOmething I can copy and paste. I believe you have written them in the past but do not know where to find it. I have sent it before but will send again if I can get it from you guys.

                        We yesterday I took the Letter Chris (Dangles) wrote for HR 2811 and I
                        added some info to it from Chris's other response and some added info.

                        I'm planning on sending & faxing it to my Dem sen again with the
                        added extra info links.

                        Personally I believe faxing a letter gets it through to the Sen better and quicker than snail mail.
                        Because snail mail takes months to go through the extra added security
                        to keep the Gov Officials safe from chemical attack etc...

                        You can use any part of it you like, this is not a final Draft
                        So look it over and add or delete etc...

                        Also the spaces in the Letter are formatted to fit in a Microsoft word Doc
                        with Margins set at Top & bottom 0.6" and both sides set at 0.8"
                        its a five page Doc so kind of long because of the info
                        The first part is Chris's Letter that's the main part

                        one added point the forum shortens Links.You'll have to click on the Link and at the link
                        destination then recopy the full link out of the address bar .


                        Please oppose S373

                        Also known as "the python ban," S373 would add all snakes from the genus 'python' to the Lacey Act, which would, in effect, ban all importation, interstate transport, sale or trade of these snakes. It has also recently been amended to include boa constrictors and anacondas.

                        This bill is backed by the Humane Society of the United States, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the South Florida Water Management District.

                        Please don’t let the big names of the proponents of this bill fool you into thinking their claims are legitimate. Their reasoning for such legislation is based on a less-than scientifically sound United States Geological Survey (USGS) study that claims the Burmese python in particular could spread to inhabit the southern third of the United States, and that the other aforementioned “giant constrictors” may pose a similar threat.

                        These claims are false.

                        Anyone who keeps such “giant constrictors” could tell you that they require VERY specific temperature and humidity levels to thrive and successfully reproduce in captivity. In the wild, there are many additional factors that need to be considered in order to make an educated assertion concerning the viability of any of the species becoming established.

                        To illustrate this, a recent study done by researchers at the City University of New York used 19 different variables (compared to the 2 the USGS study used) that would contribute to the long term survival of Burmese pythons. It was determined that, in all likelihood, the Burmese python could not survive long-term much farther north than southern Florida.

                        That makes this a problem for Florida to deal with. The U.S. Senate is not the place to settle this; it should be handled within the State of Florida.

                        The only effect this needless legislation would have for the other 49 states is to put hard-working Americans out of a job, and decimate a now-thriving 3 billion dollar per year industry.




                        I need to further address S373 “ the Python ban “ now amended to include all 9 large Constrictors including boa constrictor
                        I’d like to fully explain the situation further here.

                        The Non-Native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act (HR669) was a bill that would have IMMEDIATELY banned ANY species not native to the US, regardless of the potential (or lack there-of) for establishment. As of this past summer, that bill died in subcommittee due to being very poorly written and over-reaching.

                        S373, on the other hand, only addresses Pythons. However, there has also been pressure by supporters to ammend the bill to include Boa Constrictors. This particular bill would add Pythons (and, if ammended, Boa Constrictors) to the Lacey Act, bypassing the scientifically-based assessment process normally used to add species to the list established by the Lacey Act. For support, proponents of S373 rely on two reports issued by the USGS that claim the Burmese python, among others, has the potential to spread and become established throughout the southern 1/3 of the US.







                        Recently, the USGS studies have been discredited by a group of herpetologist and biologists who specialize in reptiles.

                        Another, much more thorough study, published by reseachers from the City University of New York, directly contradicts the claims made in the USGS studies. This study shows that the Burmese Python cannot, in fact, become established any farther north than the Everglades National Park, and DOES NOT pose a threat to any other ecosystems. *

                        In summary, S373 is an attempt to use the legislative process to circumvent the already-established scientific process to protect native environments from non-native species. S373 is NOT based on sound scientific practices and would needlessly destroy hundreds of thousands of small businesses and many more jobs. The problem with the Burmese Python is isolated to Florida, and thus should not be addressed at a Federal level.*

                        If S373 survives the stage it is in right now, I would urge you to vote NO on this baseless, unscientific, needless legislation.*

                        I also want to direct you to extremely important information links below . These links contain important scientific based information one needs to understand in order to reach an informed decision on the proposed S373 Legislation



                        Thank you for taking the time to address my concerns.*

                        For these reasons, I would urge a 'no' vote when S373 comes before the Senate for a full vote.

                        Thank you for your time and service.

                        Respectfully,









                        Directly below are the important information links . These links contain important scientific based information one needs to understand in order to reach an informed decision on the proposed S373 Legislation












                        Here are links to extremely helpful documents that clearly dispute the USGS report and other claims that large Pythons threaten other areas of the U.S. besides extreme South Florida.
                        -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Pyron/Burbrink/Guiher Report

                        Claims of Potential Expansion throughout the U.S. by
                        Invasive Python Species Are Contradicted by Ecological
                        Niche Models
                        R. Alexander Pyron1,2*, Frank T. Burbrink2, Timothy J. Guiher1,2
                        http://usark.org/uploads/Pyron%20et%...n%20claims.pdf
                        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        On Burmese Pythons in the Everglades
                        Questions Posed and Answered on the Issues of Pythons
                        in South Florida and in Captivity
                        David G. Barker and Tracy M. Barker
                        http://vpi.com/sites/vpi.com/files/O...compressed.pdf
                        Another paper written by the Barkers
                        The Tympanum
                        Barkers
                        Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 43(3):45-47, 2008
                        http://usark.org/uploads/Tympanum.pdf
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        USARK's Archives containing many informational Documents
                        USARK - Archive
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Invasive species definition by law

                        Is the Burmese python an invasive species?
                        No. We have it on presidential authority that the Burmese
                        python in Florida is not an invasive species. They
                        can be correctly identified as an “exotic species,” or an
                        “established exotic,” a “non-native species,” or even an
                        “alien species.” They are not by legal definition an invasive
                        species.
                        Presidential Order 13112, signed into law by President
                        Bill Clinton on February 3, 1999, and titled Invasive
                        Species, provides the following definition [Section 1 (f)]:
                        “invasive species means an alien species whose introduction
                        does or is likely to cause economic or environmental
                        harm, or harm to human health.”

                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





                        ------------------------------------------------------
                        Letter To Congress:
                        24 November 2009
                        U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary
                        The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security
                        2138 Rayburn House Office Building
                        Washington, DC 20515
                        Dear Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Louie Gohmert:
                        We write in regard to the recent Congressional hearing on HR 2811. As scientists who have worked with reptiles including those cited in HR2811, we express our reservations regarding the document recently released by USGS as an “Open-Report”, titled Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor.
                        Simply put, this report is not a bona-fide “scientific” paper that has gone through external peer review. Part of this report is fact-driven, described by the authors as “traditional library scholarship.” By the authors’ admissions, there are surprisingly little data available regarding the natural history of these species. In their attempt to compile as much information as possible, the authors draw from a wide variety of references, ranging from articles published in peer-reviewed professional journals to far less authoritative hobbyist sources, including popular magazines, the internet, pet industry publications, and even various media sources. While such an approach is inclusive, it tends to include information that is unsubstantiated and, in some cases, contradicts sound existing data.
                        As scientists whose careers are focused around publishing in peer-reviewed journals and providing expert reviews of papers submitted to these journals, we feel it is a misrepresentation to call the USGS document “scientific”. In fact, much of this report is based on an unproven risk assessment model that produces results that contradict the findings presented in a recently published scientific paper that used a more complex and superior model (see: Pyron R.A., F.T. Burbrink, and T.J. Guiher. 2008. Claims of Potential Expansion throughout the U.S. by Invasive Python Species Are Contradicted by Ecological Niche Models, PLoS One 3: e2931. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002931). Unfortunately, the authors of the USGS document limit their reference to this scientific work to an unsubstantiated criticism. To the contrary, this alternate model is validated by its relatively accurate prediction of the natural distribution of the species in question (something the USGS model does not even attempt). Furthermore, despite its conclusion of a limited potential distribution of Burmese pythons in the United States, the model presented by Pyron et al. accurately predicts the presence of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
                        The USGS model likely provides a gross overestimate of potential habitat for these snake species. People throughout the United States keep pythons as pets, yet the only known breeding populations in the United States are in the Everglades. Such a wide distribution of potential sources of invasion, but only a localized invasive event, suggests that factors beyond those used in the USGS model are critical to limiting the suitability of habitat for pythons. The authors even state that climate is only one factor of several that affect the distribution of an animal, yet they develop a model that only uses overly simplistic climatic data (e.g., the climatic data did not take seasonality into consideration).
                        We are further concerned by the pervasive bias throughout this report. There is an obvious effort to emphasize the size, fecundity and dangers posed by each species; no chance is missed to speculate on negative scenarios. The report appears designed to promote the tenuous concept that invasive giant snakes are a national threat. However, throughout the report there is a preponderance of grammatical qualifiers that serve to weaken many, if not most, statements that are made.
                        We fully recognize the serious concerns associated with the presence of persistent python populations in southern Florida. As top predators, these animals can and will have a dramatic impact on the community of wildlife that lives in the Everglades. Inaccurately extending this threat to a much large geographic area is not only inappropriate, but likely takes needed focus away from the real problem in the Everglades.
                        In conclusion, as written, this document is not suitable as the basis for legislative or regulatory policies, as its content is not based on best science practices, it has not gone through external peer-review, and it diverts attention away from the primary concern. We encourage the USFWS and USGS to submit this document to an independent body for proper and legitimate peer review. Additionally, we encourage the Committee to review this document, not as an authoritative scientific publication, but rather as a report currently drafted to support a predetermined policy.



                        Signed:
                        Elliott Jacobson, MS, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM
                        Professor of Zoological Medicine
                        University of Florida
                        Dale DeNardo, DVM, PhD
                        Associate Professor School of Life Sciences
                        Arizona State University
                        Paul M. Gibbons, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
                        President-Elect, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
                        Interim Regent, Reptiles & Amphibians, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
                        Director, Exotic Species Specialty Service
                        Animal Emergency Center and Specialty Services
                        Chris Griffin, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
                        President, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
                        Owner and Medical Director
                        Griffin Avian and Exotic Veterinary Hospital
                        Brady Barr, PhD
                        Resident Herpetologist
                        National Geographic Society
                        Endangered Species Coalition of the Council of State Governments
                        Crocodilian Specialist Group
                        Warren Booth, PhD
                        Invasive Species Biologist
                        Research Associate
                        North Carolina State University
                        Director of Science
                        United States Association of Reptile Keepers
                        Ray E. Ashton, Jr.
                        President
                        Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute
                        Robert Herrington, PhD
                        Professor of Biology
                        Georgia Southwestern State University
                        Douglas L. Hotle
                        Curator of Herpetology/Conservation/Research
                        Natural Toxins Research Center
                        Texas A&M University
                        Francis L. Rose (Retired) , B.S., M.S. (Zoology), PhD (Zoology)
                        Professor Emeritus
                        Texas State University
                        Edward J. Wozniak DVM, PhD
                        Regional Veterinarian
                        Zoonosis Control Division
                        Texas Department of State Health Services
                        -------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Lar M
                        Boas By Klevitz

                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Urgent message from USARK

                          and for the record, anyone is welcome to use my letters as templates for your own... here are links to the threads with them in it...

                          just be aware that some are from the HR2811 campaign and need to be edited to be applicable to the S373 campaign. you will also need to add your own salutation and signature at the top and bottom (respectively)


                          http://www.redtailboas.com/forum/ind...m-senator.html

                          http://www.redtailboas.com/forum/ind...r-re-s373.html

                          http://www.redtailboas.com/forum/ind...-done-yet.html

                          http://www.redtailboas.com/forum/ind...essperson.html

                          http://www.redtailboas.com/forum/ind...eparation.html

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