How about that, some pet related content!

The bill currently in committee in Congress, HR 669, seeks to ban all non-native species from the US , and claims that it’s for the good of the economy

Lest you should be confused as to what that covers, that’s all tropical fish, most reptiles, most birds, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and ferrets.

It is not set in stone, but Section 3 of the bill states the factors that need to come up in committee to determine what animals would be banned by this bill. It states:

[...]whether the species has established or spread, or caused harm to the economy, the environment, or other animal species or human health in ecosystems in or ecosystems that are similar to those in the United States;[...]

But here is the definition of non-native species as defined in the bill:

(5) NONNATIVE WILDLIFE SPECIES- The term ‘nonnative wildlife species’–

(A) except as provided in subparagraph (C), means any live species or subspecies of animal that is not a native species or subspecies, whether or not born or raised in captivity; [emphasis mine]

Furthermore, Section 7 states that citizens would need permits

[...]for scientific research, medical, accredited zoological or aquarium display purposes, or for educational purposes that are specifically reviewed, approved, and verified by the Secretary[...]

and only those purposes are stated.

It does not matter if not all of the animals that are included in the definition of non-native are actually put into the unapproved list. The fact of the matter is that all detrimentally invasive species are already illegal to own. Are you willing to trust congress to include all species of fish, birds and reptiles already sold in pet stores in the approved list? As well, it puts an enormous amount of pressure on zoos, animal sanctuaries, and other organizations to keep a large amount of animals that are clearly not domesticated–and may not even allow them to be bred while in captivity. We even already have an Invasive Species Council.

So why is this bill sitting before congress when it’s not needed?

HSUS, which is fully agaist the ownership of exotic pets, and PETA, which is against everyone, are backing this bill. Even if only a fraction of species in its scope are ultimately included, they have their foot in the door, and it is more legislation and problems for pet store owners and millions of federal funds poured into something ultimately purposeless except to activist groups. The bill is ultimately not constructive in the prevention of illegal animal imports in the United States.

No HR 669 has more information on this subject, and a form letter you can fill out to send to your congressperson.

EDIT: Just a little more of my thoughts on this. I am not saying that dangerous invasive species should not be kept out of the United states, but this bill states that we should populate a list of what is a dangerous invasive species right now as though we don’t already know which ones are (Zebra Mussel comes to mind, which I have seen notices for when I lived in Missouri), or at least have an Invasive Species Council aready monitoring that.


Discussion (28) ¬

  1. dragonnutds

    that sucks, govement just love taking away our right, where i live there i somthig that wont allow smoking in any restarant, wether the owner wants to or not. i hate smoking but the owner should have the right to choose. ps, i hate peta.

  2. RayvenWolf

    I can hear the furious typing of reptile owners across the country now, more than a few of them I know. And come on this is typical PETA and HSUS. I mean come on HSUS is suing petland for christ’s sake. Don’t they get enough money from people who are under the impression that they are in fact donating to actual humane society shelters? What POSSIBLE reason if there for HSUS to sue a petstore chain in a class action lawsuit? If people who have bought from these craptacular stores want to sue that’s their perog but HSUS needs to butt out.

    This whole bill is ridiculous. Congress has better things to be considering NOT whether or not non mainstream pets 99% of which have not had any sort of impact on the environment should be own. It’s as stupid as an incident up here in Maine where they wanted to take the koi fish from an Asian restaurant last year or the year before. There was ZERO chance these fish would end up in the wild but it took going to court to get F&W to back off.

  3. CyberCorn Entropic

    Wouldn’t humans qualify as an invasive and destructive nonnative species? Perhaps even the worst such species of all? (At least the variants descended from Europeans, Asians, and Africans.) Let’s also add horses, most dog breeds, cats, cattle, sheep, goats, wheat, apple trees, etc. Why, carried to its logical conclusion, this legislation could utterly destroy the US’s economy. Hmm.

    The idea that nonnative species are detrimental to the economy is hokum designed to capitalize on recent economic fears. The legislation would be virtually impossible to enforce and a waste of taxpayer money (better to waste our money on marginally more useful things). Basically, this is a classic case of a bunch of activists trying to throw their weight around instead of fight for a worthy cause.

  4. Draco_2k

    Politicians never cease to seek new ways to be retarded, do they.

  5. thewhitedragon

    the problem is, you think this targets only “ohh, mary cant have a pet” type of arguments, when its in fact something to prevent the “ohh , mary got bored of his SNAKE, so let’s free it in the wild!”
    this is what causes a lot of damage to native species.
    just look at cnn.com and the news about phytons and anacondas being released in the everglades, where they can eat anything and never get treatened, since they have no natural predators to keep them at bay. the eco cycle will be destroyed.

    • Rick Griffin

      Which is why Florida needs stricter laws on the ownership of pet species. Florida is nearly tropical and its environment CAN support a number of invasive species that are detrimental to it.

      But this law is not banning these animals from Florida. It’s banning these animals from the entire US, including locations that couldn’t possibly support tropical animals if released into the wild by a stupid person.

      Furthermore, it’s already illegal to release these animals into the wild. Let’s try to enforce the laws already on the books rather than creating new unnecessary legislation.

  6. Willem

    Well, I see both merit and total crap in this bill. I can see how preventing certain species from entering the country can do great good for the economy, but that’s exactly it. CERTAIN SPECIES. By haphazardly banning any pet that isn’t a cat or dog, your just invoking the wrath of the public. In my opinion, this bill needs to be put on the shelf until we know just what species are harming the economy, then take action.

  7. RockstarRaccoon

    Don’t worry, it’s too stupid to pass….

    • R-One

      We’re talking Congress here… our government makes domesticated turkeys look intelligent (birds that can drown in puddles…), the dumber the bill, the higher odds of it passing. With luck, it’ll get shoved aside for a while in favor of other bills, or, should it reach the desk, Obama will veto it as a waste of money he’d rather see used elsewhere. But don’t hold your breath – this is actually stupid enough to have a decent chance of passing. = (

      • The Anti Stupid

        I agree with most of what you said but I will have to agree to disagree with the “Obama will veto it” part. With some of the haphazard and rediculous ideas he’s already implimented i would die of a heart attack if he vetoed something this stupid, it’s right up his alley to let it pass. Anyhow, this isn’t about the stupid moron in the big seat so I’ll leave it at that.

      • Fetch

        there are bills from the 1930s that have yet to be passed.
        Heck, part of a bill from 1789 that was passed but did not become law until the 1992.
        What was supposed to be the 2nd Amendment instead is the 27th. That’s where is was on the list of 12 amendments, of which 3-12 become 1-10. 1 dealt with the number of Representatives, and has never been ratified.

    • Becvar

      Most people thought Prop 8 in California was too stupid too pass….then it did. Are you going to let this one pass through complacency, too? I know I’m not.

  8. Astrofenn

    Well isn’t that all cat and dog owners stuffed too then? and what about any farm animals? what are they gonna eat if they take away all non native species?

  9. crys

    we shall jsut have to prove that they are already so common, that the biospehere will be unaffected by them..
    that said, I;m all for declaring PETA a terrorist group.

  10. Akwolf

    what the crap. How is this solving the economy, I want proof this is good. Limiting options to what people can do does not sound democratic at all. There are too many new programs flying out and they are all being sent out too fast for anyone to really know what each one is doing, obviously this one even has a code name HR 669 which could be easily looked over if any normal citizen wanted some information of what it was at first look

  11. Timotheus

    And once again the poor old domestic ferret gets it right in the hammock as a potential wild and feral creature out to destroy the ecosystem. Nevermind that ferrets have been domesticated household pets for as long as cats at least and have been depicted in domestic scenes on bronze age Greek pottery and found mummified in Egyptian tombs. They’re wild, savage creatures who will revert to their primal state if let loose in the wild and decimate the local fauna (provided the local fauna comes in bags and cans and lives in a food dish). Cats, dogs, and ornamental hedges pose a greater threat to the environment by going wild than ferrets do, but I’m sure the house rule features them prominently. One of the sponsors wouldn’t be from California would they.

  12. Goleus

    Native species should stay in their native places. bringing exotic animals into a habitat strangely effect it, usually hurting it. And then if you ever want to move these species back then you have to start um re-introduction programs etc, etc. It’s a big process, ITT- me and my bro had a ferret and it lived for quite a long time and died, but it was one we got at a pet store. We were planning to get a sugar glider but we’ve heard so many bad things about them. Also about re introducing animals to their original habitat… It’s not fun to have to be mean to a baby seal so it knows to not get attached to humans and be settled into it’s new space.

    Unless it’s Domestic, It shouldn’t be moved from it’s original occasion unless you have an exotic animal license or something to take care of such pets, in other words then sure, I’ve had a baby squirrel for awhile and they’re considered Exotic animals and aren’t allowed to be kept as pets but she acts like a cat, and is completely nice.

    • Goleus

      Also brather not have any pets anyways so it doesn’t exactly effect me directly. Watching things you love die before you is sad.

  13. falconthefox

    Question, is a house cat or common dog a native species in the united states?

    • Rick Griffin

      It doesn’t matter; there is a list in the bill that states what all species will most definitely be excluded and dog and cat are among them.

  14. Emerald Link

    Wouldn’t this affect zoos as well? Practically, if not all zoos have non-native animals.

  15. tahrey

    Never mind cats and dogs …. horses are particularly non-native in both american continents, right?! Rats, also.

    what a load of old nonsense.

    • Becvar

      Horses? They are very much native. Native americans were riding them LONG before European explorers arrived. Rats were also native, it’s the Norway rat that was invasive.

      • Kirron

        Horses are technically native, but the ones we see today are not. The original native horses all died out way before Native Americans could domesticate them. They weren’t reintroduced to America until the Europeans came.

  16. Becvar

    The problem here is that this is an attempt by special interest groups to get very irresposible legislation passed under the guise of stopping invasive species. The potential damage to the exotic animal industry, and our ECONOMY as a whole, is enormous! Imagine the damage if sudden;y you put every mom and pop pet store, PetCo, PetSmart, and every other pet chain OUT OF BUSINESS. Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost and BILLIONS of dollars gone from the national economy, just like that. Not to mention the boom in the exotic animal black market, which would make conditions for animals being brought into the country WORSE.

    All in all, this is a terrible bill as it is currently written. It does have the potential to be a good thing, but only with heavy revision and oversight be people who are not “activists” like PETA and HSUS.

    On the bright side, the initial push in congress has floundered, with the bill being defeated, but NOT GONE. It will be presented again in the future, revised, but probably still bad. So everybody needs to be ready to email, snail mail, and call their reps as soon as something else comes up. http://www.nohr669.com is a great resource to keep track of things and find all the info you need to make sure your representatives know where the people think this bill should be shoved. After all, it’s their job to do what WE want, not what special interest groups want.

  17. Gaara1357

    not the ferrits!!!!!!

    • Gaara1357

      sorry, meant ferrets

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