S.373 - A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to include constrictor snakes of the species Python genera as an injurious animal.

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  • Official: A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to include constrictor snakes of the species Python genera as an injurious animal. as introduced.

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  • chrisw 09/24/2009 8:07am

    A pet is “An animal kept for amusement or companionship.” So yes a burmese is a pet, just not as dangerous as a pet dog, but still a pet. Yes we are having a problem in the everglades due to irresponsible snake keepers. We are having a bigger problem with irresponsible dog breeders, with millions of dogs in shelters or dog pounds and thousands killed everyday. We do not need a total ban just strict punishment and fines to help pay for the irradiation of non-native species in the everglades.

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    venominme 12/05/2009 3:24am

    The pythons are there because they have replaced the native snakes that no longer thrive in the disturbed habitat. They feed on vermin that has run amuck with the declines in the native population of rattlesnakes, indigo snakes, kingsnakes, rat snakes, moccasins, coachwhips, and every other native species. If we eliminate the python, what will feed on the vermin that are making pythons fat and healthy? Is there a plan to introduce another species that will sucessfully keep the vermin in balance? Native types obviously can no longer perform this service or they would be thriving instead. What is the plan after the pythons are gone (assuming that were even possible)?

    The real snakes are the politicians who waste our tax dollars on such diverion tactics as this idiotic legislation instead of getting something done in Washington. Get us health care you losers! Heard of killer bees? These are harmless snakes, people. Stop wasting our money, please!!!

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    reptisitter 12/05/2009 9:01pm

    This is a problem that should be talked about in Florida,where it occurs so why make it a federal law.It will not be a problem in any other state.But again,we have un-scientific fear mongering going on.In reality,I think,it’s a wedge issue to again get rid of reptile keeping .all together.Nevermind that there are manufacturers and responsible breeders and and a whole industry that will be destroyed.If endangered species were really the concern here,then feral and straying cats should be classified as an injurous species as well.I have yet to see scientific evidence that ball pythons,tree pythons and other small pet species pose a danger to anybody.

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    RCampos 12/06/2009 6:24pm

    This bill lacks any legitimate scientific data. The USGS report is more science fiction than any real science. Laws of this nature should consult herpetlogists, zooologists and other experts not the advice of HSUS which would gladly ban all pet ownership. Constrictors have had millions of years to migrate from Central America to the USA and obviously never have because the climate is intolerable for their existence. The Everglades and Hawaii are the only micro climates where they could possibly exists yet this law would ban them in the entire USA. Hawaii has already made adequate laws to protect themsleves and all we need is to control populations in Southern tip of Florida not destroy a billion dollar industry in the entire country.

    If this passes it will be a travesty of justice!

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    RockRatt 12/11/2009 2:29pm

    I am a hobbyist breeder of a small boa species (Rosy Boas) also an amateur herpetologist. From what I have read in this action it is not using sound scientific evaluations to support this action of banning python species. It has VERY broad interpretations. There are many smaller (less than 4 foot) python species that would also be affected as a result.I do NOT own large breeds of Python or Boa species, yet I feel this is the wrong path for our government to take. Rich

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    RockRatt 12/11/2009 2:29pm

    To continue from above:If this goes further I hope everyone will remember WHO the sponsors/co-sponsors are and use out voting rights to remove these people from office.This is just a scare tactic due to the unfortunate Everglades issue. It is unfortunate that due to escape during a hurricane or having been let go by irresponsible owners caused such an issue. This is a issue that does need to be rectified, but this again is the WRONG course of action. I strongly oppose this in-action. I HOPE the legislature WILL look deeper into this matter and see it for what it really is. Rich

  • johnstoddard 11/04/2009 7:11pm

    its not right ,,It is overly simplistic and politically driven. It is poorly thought out and sacrifices good science for political expediency. The negative economic impact for my family and business would be significant. Please oppose HR2811. Thank you for your consideration. people are going to lose jobs all over the world not just in the us,, if this passes then i am out of a jobs and for the same in the us,,, no how do you think if this passes that we all are suppose to feed and provide for our families,,, don’t do it..there are ways to fixing this problem with out people losing there jobs and one of the largest money making hobbies in the u.s. and all around the world,like i said be for there are better ways of fixing this problem,,, and no it isn’t a pandemic on the environment,, what needs to be going on is how to stop the h1n1 virus,,,

  • johnstoddard 11/04/2009 7:16pm

    and how are they how do you say it an injurious animal. that is because there are people out there that are not taking the responsibility, to care and to do what right with the animal.. come on like the lady said up above look at all the dog fight and all the wild domestic dogs running around in the us, attacking people live stock and endangered animals as well, what are you guys going to do about that i think if pythons have to go then so should dogs as well,,, were is the bill on that

  • holly0329 11/06/2009 11:10pm

    Worst amendment ever….

    I run a reptile business local to Destin, FL. I believe that public education about these magnificent species would help far more than taking an already misunderstood God created species out of the hands of the general public. I believe this amendment is attempting to do just that.

    When handled with just a ounce of respect and understanding these creatures are no more harmful than a house cat.

    I urge you to not add to the problem by supporting this amendment. It will only continue to promote a stereotypical view of snakes as being evil killers. When they are anything but.

    Instead consider public education, it will be beneficial to not only the general public, but the Pythons too. Consider how many people are killed each year by dogs compared to constrictors. We don’t ban the ownership of dogs. We create organizations to educate people, to provide a safer environment for not only the animal, but it’s care taker. the same can be applied to constrictors.

  • holly0329 11/07/2009 3:46pm

    I wanted to add to what i wrote earlier. They’ve passed ROC or reptiles of concern, the point of this is to regulate the really large species of python that are being released in Florida’s everglades. You now cannot own any of the listed reptiles of concern without a license, which costs $100 a year, and any roc over 2 inches in diameter must be microchipped.

    All this other amendment would do is limit ones ability to own pythons, as the would be classified as “injurious animals”. They are already regulating the large pythons, this would make even a little green tree python a “injurious animal”, thats just crazy. It will start there and before you know it, it will be Boas next, and then it will be illegal to even own a snake with out paying high fees.

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    kknowlton 12/10/2009 10:38am

    this bill would also add Boa Constrictors to the list of injurious animals. This bill is idiotic and not necessary. As stated, we already have legislation in place in FL that regulates large pythons. Florida is the only state where Burmese pythons have been found to survive in the wild. Why pass federal legislation for such a small problem? I know feral cat colonies that are far greater a problem and far outnumber the population of supposed burmese pythons in the everglades. Should we federally regulate feral cats as well? and why, further, pose an all out ban of the entire python genera? ludicrous…shame on you Sen. Nelson for perpetuating ignorance and to also waste taxpayers money and the government’s time on a pointless bill.

  • dangles 12/04/2009 1:25pm

    one problem with this bill (among many) is that it is based on BAD INFORMATION. the USGS reports that this bill is based on have been criticized (by scientists/biologists, etc) as BAD science. there is BETTER info out there that COMPLETELY contradicts the USGS reports (i.e. the pyron report: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080812213816.htm there is a link to the full report at the bottom of the page). but does congress care about these? no. does the HSUS care about these? of course not.

    the burms will NOT spread out of florida, thus, this is a FLORIDA problem. not a federal problem.

  • screptilelover 12/04/2009 1:35pm

    S373 would INCLUDE BOAS! This problem started in Florida. What folks are not getting is IF there is a need for such laws, it NEEDS to be on a state level. Because what would live in South Florida year round, would not have a chance to survive in the wild further north like South Carolina or even places such as North Dakota!

    Do not make this decision based on people’s fears!

  • SMcKenzie 12/04/2009 2:32pm
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    + 16

    Just the fact that this bill is supported by a radical animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States, which seeks to end ALL animal use/ownership, should tell you something. This is just another part of their long-term agenda to do away with ALL pet ownership/breeding. It won’t stop with snakes. Snakes are just easy targets because groups like the HSUS and PETA can take advantage of the public ignorance and fear of them to garner support. The issue of “invasive snake species” is a Florida one, limited to the extreme southern part of that state, and Florida has already put measures in place at the state level to address this. The USGS “report” is a fine example of false science at its worst, and is being widely attacked by the true scientific community for its bias and false logic and lack of scientific merit. It should hold no more credence with lawmakers than a Hollywood B movie as a source of factual information.

  • KDolan 12/04/2009 3:10pm

    This bill is extremely flawed. As written, it states little if any facts at all about all pythons and boas.

    This is a radical step by an organization thats ethics have been called into question by the American Media. This bill only serves to cause more issues. The bill is overly simplistic and has not been reviewd by any respected scientists who specialize in the fields this bill mentions.

    Please oppose this bill and help work towards a factual and actual solution for a specific problem instead of blanketing an entire class of animals, most of which could not survive more than several days in the wild anywhere in the United States.

  • natsamjosh 12/04/2009 3:32pm

    This bill is ludicrous. There is no credible science behind any of it. There is 30 years of empirical evidence proving Burmese pythons will get sick and die if temps dip below around 60 for more than a few days. The USGS report is garbage, and it was not even peer reviewed! Burmese pythons can be formidable animals, but they are not dangerous to the public. A python in the Everglades will not attack anyone, unless it is provoked. How many times in the history of mankind has a large constrictor unprovokedly attacked a human being?? There is also no credible science showing the pythons are negatively affecting indigenous wildlife. They are cold blooded (ie, don’t eat much), and they also are eaten by plenty of indigenous animals (gators, bobcats, other snakes including protected indiogs, birds of prey, herons ,etc. At best, this is an issue for the state of Florida to deal with.

  • aquick 12/04/2009 3:42pm

    I find it interesting that there is only one species that is an issue here—the Burmese Python; yet the language of this amendment is so vague that this could ban upwards of 40 species of snake, including tiny little anthill pythons; for no apparent reason. Bill Nelson is a puppet to the HSUS and PETA, knowing so little about the issue himself and relying on these terrorists for all his misinformation. Wake up people who support this bill—stopping trade in a species is not going to solve the invasive species issue—banning pythons from import/trade is not going to make them disappear from the Everglades anymore than banning Zebra Mussels made them disappear from the Great Lakes. Forget that this bill is about snakes and just think for God’s sake……even groups like The Nature Conservancy, who support this kind of legislation, question the science behind it and the reasoning for banning all pythons!

  • Helleri 12/04/2009 3:47pm

    Ridiculous, pythons are not pets? Are goldfish? Cats even for that matter (as they will eat you if you die anywhere near them). Politicians have no basis in deciding matters of this nature. I can assure you Mr. Nelson couldnt tell a burmese python from a boa constrictor. Furthermore the “research” for this WAS SLAMMED by not only peers in the reptile community but wildlife researchers worldwide. Its discriminatory and prohibition NEVER has stopped a single thing it banned, only increased profits and demand (alcohol, drugs). This bill attacks over 14 million reptile keepers, the rodent industry, and pet stores in general. Flawed, ill concieved and used for political gains and nothing else.

  • LarM 12/04/2009 4:17pm

    Please Please Do Not ruin my life and the lives of thousands of Americans. This Bill if passed would Ban the Import and sale across state lines of more than 40 species of Pythons and now looks like Boa Constrictors as well. This will destroy a 3 Billion dollar a year industry and leave many thousands
    of families with no ability to provide an income for themselves.
    Environmentally none of these species pose any threat anywhere in the U.S., possibly with the exception of extreme South Florida.
    I’m not entirely convinced the Burmese Python or any other Boid species actually does pose a threat to the Everglades. I have not seen convincing peer reviewed science to back that claim yet.
    Let alone the pseudo science set forth by the USGS report on the Spread of Pythons in the U.S., or Broken screens for that matter. These are both contrived reports that can be easily debunked by true
    peer reviewed scientific means !

    Please let level heads prevail say no to S 373

  • LarM 12/04/2009 4:20pm


    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
    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.”

    Please let level heads prevail say no to S 373

  • ReptiRacks 12/04/2009 4:53pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    We are a reptile caging company and fully oppose S373 as written and needs to be amended to the 9 large snakes only. We also have a passion for keeping reptiles and has been for the past 18yrs +.This Bill if moved in full as written will destroy our business completly as well as 10’s of thousands of other companies and private people who also share our love for their pets will loose all they invested into the hobby overnight and send thousands broke overnight. You think the ecomony is bad now you have no idea how big this hobby is and how it impacts all of the USA not just reptile owners but manufactures, suppliers who make packaging,products,Meds and all their suppliers who they purchase from and tons more all for reptile keeping reptiles as pets.It affects more than just reptiles and owners.Your concerned about the problem in FL and we agree on the large constrictors and having permits and microchips but all boas and pythons come on lets think this through.

  • Comm_reply
    LarM 12/04/2009 5:27pm

    Big 9 Constrictors

    the Burmese python, northern African python, southern African python, yellow anaconda, boa constrictor, the reticulated python, green anaconda, Beni or Bolivian anaconda, and Deschauensee’s anaconda

    So as you can see if you support “the big 9” that also includes Boa Constrictors

    I am against any amendment to include “the big 9”

    Nothing can be gained from this Bill as formerly written or revised to only ban import of Burmese Python.
    Nothing gained the Bill has no good purpose.

    It won’t stop any problem real or imagined in Southern Florida

  • Comm_reply
    JLTerry 12/05/2009 7:01am

    Why would you even suggest banning the Big 9? I would never support such a company that would desire to see me loose the ability to breed and sell my snakes. How many customers do you expect to loose if boa constrictors are banned?

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    DRSparktrician 12/05/2009 8:23am

    I find it to be highly disturbing that you feel that it is okay to ban my pets. Is it because you do not build cages that will suit my animals? Large specimens have been kept in private collections for at least 30 years and they are becoming more popular every year, yet the statistics do not indicate that there is any need for legislation:


    Cry me a river all you like about ignorant keepers, some times criminally negligent, that occasionally hit the news. In spite of these morons the statistics remain almost completely irrelevant. Consider me a customer lost.

  • Comm_reply
    GARRIGA64 12/10/2009 6:56am

    Lets unite as a group versus finding a scapegoat to ensure one sector survives. In the end, these are special interest groups gunning for our collective right to have reptiles, don’t be fooled into thinking any portion will be spared. There’s no scientific justification to any of these bands and there are agends fighting to claw slowly at full removal of our industry as well as any industry that support animals as pets. Unite and don’t devide.

  • Biohazzzard 12/04/2009 4:53pm

    Poorly written and pushed due to ignorant closed minds. There would be detrimental impact economically to many individuals as well as more laws that would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. Bills that are to be passed on this subject should be written using sound science and with economic impact in mind.

  • albinoturtles 12/05/2009 1:19am

    What is wrong with the bill besides effectively putting thousands out of business, and making thousands have no place or thing to do with their animals if it does go through is it is based on bad science.
    I live in Miami Fl whee burmese are “Everywhere” and we have snake hunters going out daily for fun to try to find them, and only found 6?
    Anyways besides the point, it is blamed on irrespoinsible snake owners. This is false as well. The main population, the original burmese found, etc, are all RELATED genetically. They are all siblings, cousins, dads, moms, etc of each other. There are no droves of people driving 45 minutes to let go a snake. They are giving them away on craigslist and leaving them at my store where I can gladly accept them.

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