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Old 07-01-04, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reptile Ban in New York

This was fwd to me by a friend. It's from Jeff Rone.

Hello Herper,

This email is to inform you of a bill in NY that if passed will have detrimental effects on reptile breeders, commercial supply businesses and hobbyists alike. This bill has passed the assembly and the senate within New York and is currently setting on the Governors desk awaiting his signature to become law. He may sign off on it this week or may wait several months to make his decision it is imperative that we act NOW! If this bill passes they way it is currently written, it will be an all out ban on boas, pythons, monitors, crocodilians and venomous species of reptiles. There is a clause that says the state may grant permission for a permit to keep and maintain any animals listed within this bill as pets only, if you owned them prior to this bill which will take effect January of 2005 if we don't stop it. In other words if you own any animals listed within this bill and apply for a permit to keep them, IF they grant you this permit you may never breed them, you are allowed to maintain them as pets only. I live outside of the state of NY and am trying to rally everyone outside and within I can but I need you to do the same. The governor and his office will put more priority on the concerns of their residents then they will on people such as myself. Perhaps you know someone in New York who is not aware of this threat, and your help is needed to contact them about this. I urge each and every one of you to please get as active as you can. Post fliers within pets stores, get your friends to write in, call your local representatives, and contact any kind of business within the state of NY that sells reptiles or supplies. These businesses have detailed mailing list, ask them to ad a flier next time their mailer goes out. Anything you can think of to spread the word. Also please tell everyone to keep their letters professional and polite we don't want to sound like a bunch of thugs. Below are three methods to contact the Governor and oppose this bill. If you have the time I urge you to use all three methods.

This law if passed could be adopted in other states. A couple years ago NYC passed a law that banned many species of animals (reptile, mammals etc.). Last year Chicago copied and tried to pass that very same law as well. They literally copied it; Chicago deleted references to NYC and replaced them with Chicago, in a couple of spots they forgot to remove the references to NYC. So this ordinance they were trying to pass in Chicago had references to both cities within it. For the time being we stopped them there but that's just an example of how one state or city does something and the rest follow.

These laws are pushed by some folks who, though well intentioned are not cognoscente of the freedom that they are taking away from honest law abiding citizens whose animals pose absolutely no risk to anyone. Others pushing these policies are animal rights whackos that seek to remove all animals from the hands of people period. This includes domesticated animals used for food and other animal products. Make no mistake this is a direct assault on the freedoms we as Americans enjoy that are being chipped away at those who ultimately want to see a different America. An America I for one am not looking forward to living in if these people continue to have their way.

Below are several links to contact Governor Pataki to voice your concern. Please do so with a non-combative argumentative tone. The most valuable messages to the Governor will be from New York citizens. When you write please include your name and zip code as the Governor's office will want to know this information.

Here's a link to the Bill

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A02684&sh=t

Here's a link to email your opposition to the Governor

http://161.11.3.75/

Snail Mail address:
Governor George E. Pataki
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Use the below phone number, tell them you are calling in reference to bill A02684. You'll then be asked for you zip code, once given the person will log your vote into a computer.

518-474-8390

Thank you for doing your part!

Jeff Ronne

The Boaphile

http://www.theboaforum.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl

Thank you to Bruce Lowder of the NY Reptile Expo put together much of this information and wrote almost entirely the first two paragraphs of this email.
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Old 07-01-04, 09:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Scary stuff, My grandparents live in NY State, mabye I'll get their Zip code and write into this.
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Old 07-01-04, 10:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, all fauna classifieds members that did not opt out of receiving emails got that. Pretty scary.

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Old 07-01-04, 10:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Scary thought, good thing i'm here in Canada. I cant believe they'd want to do this. That part in the bill stating that you can't breed your animals if the law is passsed, that is totaly garbage. Is there anything Canadians can do to help stop this ban? Would totaly suck if the big breeders in NY would get shut down cuz of some stoopid bill.
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Old 07-01-04, 11:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Herpz03, we may be in Canada but that does not mean it doesn't affect us. New York is a major city and ultimately affects the hobby as a whole. The information to submit a opposition was posted in this thread, I urge you to do so.
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Old 07-02-04, 12:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Anyone can call in and state their opposition. All that it will show is that not only are New Yorkers against this, but so are people ALL OVER.

Everyone please let them know that you oppose this bill.
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Old 07-02-04, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jjnnbns
Anyone can call in and state their opposition. All that it will show is that not only are New Yorkers against this, but so are people ALL OVER.

Everyone please let them know that you oppose this bill.
If i give them my zip code here in Texas will they let me vote?
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Old 07-02-04, 01:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Its not voting when you call either way. Just a poll on the phone to see what peoples responses are. Yes you can give them your zip code from Texas
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Old 07-02-04, 06:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I'm in the middle of reading it right now, and the only major problem I've seen so far is the inclusion of 'Boidae' in the defintion of 'wild animal' at the beginning. They specify certain monitor types (and left out others that could have been there), but throw in all of the boids? That's either ignorant or lazy, or perhaps both. There's no logical reason to prohibit rosy boas, ball pythons, etc.

Other than that, from a herp point of view, it prohibits venomous reptiles (which are already prohibited in NY state under an existing law, unless you have a permit), some big monitors, and crocodilians.

There are significant exemptions possible, including not just the usual AZA accredited zoos, but licensed exhibitors of wildlife (under the Animal Welfare Act), and even licensed reptile exhibitors (under this Act, but I haven't gotten too that part yet).

It also exempts people travelling through the state, so it doesn't have much effect on shipping/transporting into other jurisdictions, including Canada.

It allows people with pets to keep them, except for in certain circumstances. No it doesn't allow them to breed them. The point is, they don't want people breeding (and then presumably selling or giving to others as pets) crocodilians, venomous snakes, etc. This isn't surprising, and I think it is not unreasonable. As I said above, what is unreasonable is the inclusion of all boids. I would focus on getting them to specify the prohibited boids (as they've done with monitors). My suggestions: Burmese and Indian Pythons, Reticulated Pythons, Rock Pythons, Green Anacondas, and perhaps some of the longer Australian stuff.

I'll go and read the rest of the bill now...

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Old 07-02-04, 06:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Okay, I finished reading it.

It does appear a bit unreasonable that if you are given a permit for an animal you already own, you can't dispose of that animal (i.e. sell, trade, give away) to someone outside of NY state where it could legally be possessed. As I interpret the law, that wouldn't be allowed- it can only be surrendered to the state, SPCA, etc.

Also, it is a little unnerving that regulations to be followed by licensed exhibitors, and people who had things previously, must be followed but are yet to be developed. Hard to know if it is a problem when it is not yet written! However, keeping in mind the animals in question, I think it is still way better than an outright ban, and I don't mind tough requirements for ownership of said creatures.

I do think it is unreasonable to license reptile exhibitors and then tell them they can't take the animals they're licensed for into schools. And strangely enough, this applies only to venomous snakes and boids, but not the monitors or crocs. If regulations exist to allow licensing, than the regulations should include whatever is deemed suitable to allow them into schools. Otherwise, it would follow that it is considered too dangerous for the animals to be exhibited where there are groups of kids in a controlled and disciplined setting. Why then, would it be considered safe enough to have them at the mall, or a birthday party?

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Old 07-02-04, 08:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's my comments to the state (some of it cut and pasted from the above posts):

Hello,

Though I live next door in Canada, I feel obliged to comment on Bill 26804, which could affect the operations of our program and similar programs in your state. I feel reasonably qualified to make these suggestions, as I am a university educated biologist, authorized by the province of Ontario to keep protected species and as a wildlife custodian (rehabber), and since I have spent the last 10 years performing conservation education programs about reptiles and amphibians. I am also a USFWS licensed importer/exporter, and bring animals for use in our programs into Canada through New York state.

Regarding 2.2E(5), reptiles included within the definition of 'wild animal'- various monitor species are specified, which I think is great, however the inclusion of the entire family Boidae is not warranted. There are many species within the family Boidae which are small, quite safe, and very reasonable pets. Many are already very common as pets, and if you prohibit them you will have a lot of work ahead to license all of the owners of 3' long ball pythons, 2' long rosy and sand boas, etc. Also, because there is no logical reason to prohibit these animals, this creates a situation where many people will simply choose to disobey the law. I suggest that you replace the family 'Boidae' with either of the following:

"snakes of the family 'Boidae' or 'Pythonidae' that routinely exceed ten feet in length at adult size" (or substitute 8' if you must, but that is not very biologically defensible in terms of safety)

OR

"Indian Pythons (Python molurus molurus), Burmese Pythons (Python m. bivitattus), African Rock Pythons (P. sebae), Reticulated Pythons (P. reticulatus), Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)"

The latter is more in keeping with the tack taken already by specifying the monitor species, and also avoids interpretation regarding the adult length of dwarf forms (which sometimes don't remain 'dwarfs'). I recommend the latter approach. It covers the species considered to be capable (though rarely) of being dangerous to humans.

Regarding 5.6, it does appear a bit unreasonable that if you are given a permit for an animal you already own, you can't dispose of that animal (i.e. sell, trade, give away) to someone outside of NY state where it could legally be possessed. As I interpret the law, that wouldn't be allowed- it can only be surrendered to the state, SPCA, etc. There is no logical reason not to allow this, and it would reduce the workload of your SPCA offices! However, I suppose if the permitted person transports the animal outside of NY state and then gives it away, they might not be subject to the provisions of this bill. I'm not sure, not being a lawyer, nor a resident of the US and therefore more familiar with the laws of the land. Regardless, if someone can no longer care for their animal properly, they should be allowed to dispose of it to either another licensee or a person in another jurisdiction. Perhaps the approval of the state could be required if the state wishes to exercise some control over this.

In addition, some people under the age of 21 may own some of these animals. Their parents would have to become the licensees. There should be a mechanism for a license to be transferred to a person from parent to child, when the child becomes 21 (assuming, of course, they can comply with the regulations). This parent/child transfer would also solve the problem of what to do if the licensee predeceases the 'wild animal'!

It is a little unnerving that regulations to be followed by licensed exhibitors, and people who had animals previously, must be followed but are yet to be developed. It would be hard to determine if something is a problem when the regulation governing it is not yet written! However, keeping in mind the animals in question (assuming that the boid inclusion is revised), I don't mind tough requirements for the ownership of said creatures.

I do think it is unreasonable to license reptile exhibitors and then tell them they can't take the animals they're licensed for into schools (5.6, lines 39-42). And strangely enough, this applies only to venomous snakes and boids, but not the monitors or crocs, which to me are more likely to be a problem! If regulations exist to allow licensing, then the regulations should include whatever is deemed suitable to allow them into schools. I don't make a point of taking a massasauga rattlesnake into schools in most of Ontario, but I certainly do take one (in a suitable locked enclosure) if I'm going to a school in the areas where rattlesnakes are found in the wild! It is important to be able to educate the kids about what they might find in their backyard, and in NY state, that may include massasaugas, timber rattlesnakes, and copperheads. It can be done quite safely, and the regulations should address this rather than simply prohibiting it in the bill.

Thank you for your time, and the opportunity to comment on this bill. I welcome further discussion of these issues if you are interested.

Sincerely yours,

Jeff Hathaway
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Old 07-02-04, 06:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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those laws are just stupid.
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Old 07-02-04, 06:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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All I have to say as long as there are irresponsible idiots in this hobby more and more cities, states and country's will face these types of bills. I find it sick that one day this might not be a hobby because of ignorant idiots.
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Old 07-05-04, 07:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree with you, Nuno, but that is why I think we need to make sure such laws are written as reasonably as possible.

And Bud, can you elaborate on why such laws are "stupid"? To me (not to mention the bulk of society) it is hard to make a case for a law against anyone just being able to own a cobra being "stupid".

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