How about that, some pet related content!
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.