ALERT: Lacey Act Amendments

Donald C

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Here we go again, folks. This is literally the same amendment to the Lacey Act that failed a while back, just round 2. Please reach out to your district House Representatives, and your state's Senators to express opposition to this amendment to the Lacey Act.

https://usark.org/23lacey/

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has again introduced a short-sighted bill to amend the Lacey Act, with the title ‘‘Lacey Act Amendments of 2023.” This bill would reverse the USARK federal lawsuit victory by reinstating the ban on interstate transportation of species listed as injurious under the Lacey Act, among other things. The bill would also create a “white list” (see #2 below). This goes far beyond large constrictor snakes. This will trickle down to hundreds or thousands of common pet species. Also, note this does not pertain only to non-native species. FWS has already listed U.S. native species of salamanders as injurious.

Briefly, the amendments will:

1. Provide that the Lacey Act bans the interstate transport of species listed as injurious. Specifically, it replaces Lacey’s current language ‘‘shipment between the continental United States’’ with ‘‘transport between the States.”
2. Create a “white list” of species that can be imported. This means that any animal (reptile, amphibian, fish, bird, mammal) that is not on the white list is by default treated as potentially injurious and is banned from importation.
3. Create a new authority allowing FWS to use an “emergency designation” that becomes effective immediately after being published in the Federal Register unless an extension of no more than 60 days is allowed. That means no due process, public input, hearings, advanced notice, etc. for injurious listings.
4.Permit FWS to not allow importation if a species has not been imported in “minimal quantities” (to be defined) in the year prior to the enactment of this Act.
The effective date would be one year after the enactment of this Act.
Read the bill text at https://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/23-Lacey-Rubio.pdf.

We will provide more details on actions to take. No bill number has been assigned yet.

In our landmark court decision, four federal judges agreed that USARK was correct and that the Lacey Act (Title 18 Section 42 of the U.S. Code) did not ban interstate transportation of injurious species based on the original language of the Lacey Act and the intent of Congress. As a result of this fight for our members and the herpetocultural community, this meant animals domestically bred under human care could be moved and sold across state lines (within the continental United States). For herpetoculturists’ concerns, this included some species of constrictor snakes and 201 species of salamanders.
 
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