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Old 02-13-17, 12:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

Hi all, I'm new to this forum, I own a baby (5 month old) female albino burmese python. I know that the Lacey Act Constrictor Rule prohibits us from moving these snakes interstate (across state lines) and I was wondering 3 things- 1) what would the fine/penalty be if someone were to transport 1 burm or banned snake interstate? 2) How can we fight this law? and 3) Is there a chance of this law being ever revoked? Any info helps and is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-13-17, 01:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

Moving them across state borders would make you a felon.

For felonies:

Felony. In order to impose a felony criminal penalty, the government must show that the
defendant “knew” or was generally aware of the illegal nature of the plant, fish, or wildlife,
although not necessarily the specific law violated. Felony violations, in addition to a
“knowing” scienter or mens rea requirement, require either proof that the defendant
knowingly imported or exported plants or wildlife, or “knowingly” engaged in conduct
during the offense that involved the sale or purchase of, the offer for sale or purchase of, or
the intent to sell or purchase plants or wildlife with a market value of over $350. A defendant
found guilty of a Lacey Act felony shall be fined not more than $250,000 for individuals or
$500,000 for organizations or twice the amount of the gross gain or loss, or imprisoned not
more than 5 years, or both, for each violation.

For misdemeanors:

Misdemeanor. In order to impose a misdemeanor criminal penalty, the government must
show that the defendant “in the exercise of due care” should have known of the illegal nature
of the plant, fish, or wildlife in question, although not necessarily the specific law violated. A
defendant found guilty of a Lacey Act misdemeanor shall be fined not more than $100,000
for individuals or $200,000 for organizations, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both,
for each violation

Found here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_hea...nloads/faq.pdf

We can fight this law by supporting USARK in their fight to keep the newest species from being permanently added and POTENTIALLY reducing the scope of the Lacey Act's power so that keepers may be able to transport their pets again.

From my understanding, no, there is little hope of having it repealed, only changing the interpretation.
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Old 02-13-17, 03:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

Man, that law is ridiculous.. You're talking a burm here, which is likely CBB in the states.
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Old 02-13-17, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

I second the above. I'm pretty sure Illinois bans owning any constricting snake over six feet because it is "capable" of killing or injuring a person. Sure they are, but so is a black lab.

Does this mean I can't keep a corn snake if it happens to top six feet? Thats ridiculous.
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Old 02-13-17, 08:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

here's a good website from USARK discussing their efforts and what this law means for herpers.

USARK Constrictor Rule Update: April 4, 2016
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Old 02-13-17, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper7 View Post
I second the above. I'm pretty sure Illinois bans owning any constricting snake over six feet because it is "capable" of killing or injuring a person. Sure they are, but so is a black lab.

Does this mean I can't keep a corn snake if it happens to top six feet? Thats ridiculous.
I doubt this. I know there are burms for sale here out in the open.
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Old 02-15-17, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

Thanks all, I agree this law is ridiculous and thank you bigsnakegirl785 for the info but would the fine be that large if someone was to move only one of these "injurious snakes?"
What really upsets me is the ridiculous science used to decide which snakes should be considered "injurious." I just checked and you are more likely to die by lightning or by a vending machine than from one of these constrictor snakes. Another question- if someone was to illegally move one of these snakes over state lines, would there really be a way of knowing if they moved it or for the authorities to find out? Just out of curiosity
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Old 02-16-17, 05:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

It would appear that you are glossing over the "felony" part, which requires at least one year + 1 day in prison, loss of voting rights, loss of access to a wide variety of occupations, and having to disclose to all future employers that you are a felon.

The size of your fine may vary court by court. The thing to keep in mind, what many courts care about is not the amount of harm you're causing but whether you were intentionally breaking the law. In this case, yes, you would absolutely be violating on purpose, so expect to be out the entire $250,000.

As for how you get caught, FWS reads reptile forums like this one. A simple subpoena will get all the information needed to find you. Or, you might have an ex that knows your story and reports you. Or you might have a neighbor that finds out about your snake and wants it gone.

Large constrictors should only be owned by responsible reptile keepers. People that purposefully break the law are by no stretch of the imagination responsible.

If you move, sell your snake, then buy a new one once you're settled in to your new state. We all care about our snakes but we need to follow all applicable laws, even when they're "dumb" laws.
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Old 02-16-17, 11:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Fine for Transporting Burmese Python Interstate?

Well said. Thank you for your words Chairman. As usjally they are well thought out and concise!
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