ALERT: Colorado Proposed Rule Changes
DEADLINE TO COMMENT: May 23
PUBLIC HEARING: May 24
There are proposed rule changes which will affect many herpers and other animal keepers/businesses through the Department of Agriculture under the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA). PACFA is not new, but it will be more actively and broadly enforced than it has been previously. This affects qualifying keepers and breeders of ALL pet/companion animals as enforcement will be much greater than before.
All owners, breeders and businesses with concerns should contact officials now, even if amendments for your species are not currently proposed. Now is the time to propose changes and address problems with the law.
NOTE: Herp keepers were not regulated under PACFA previously, but the proposed changes add definitions so that PACFA will now regulate them. PACFA was enacted in 1994 and already regulates dog, cat, rodent, other mammal, bird and fish breeders, as well as animal-related businesses.
Find the full ACTION ALERT with more information at www.usark.org/action-alert-colorado.
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Injurious Wildlife Legalities
This is an important reminder to all herpers regarding species listed as injurious under the Lacey Act, especially those attending and vending reptile shows across state lines. Keep it legal!
REMEMBER: Species listed as injurious cannot be imported into the U.S. or transported across state lines, according to the current interpretation of the Lacey Act by FWS. Not only does this include nine species of constrictor snakes, but now also includes 201 species of salamanders per the interim rule effective as of January 28, 2016 (see "Salamander Injurious Listing" section below for full details).
USARK and the Reptile Nation await a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the court awarded injunctive relief removing the authority of FWS to prohibit interstate transportation of two species of snakes listed as injurious. Last summer, the Court ruled in favor of USARK, granting our members injunctive relief. FWS has filed an appeal on this decision in an attempt to overturn the preliminary injunction.
NOTE: You also cannot sell a listed species with knowledge there will be a violation as this could lead to accessory or conspiracy charges.
We encourage all show promoters to remind their vendors before each show of these regulations. The information should also be available for all attendees.
A sample responsible buyer agreement verifying that buyers are knowledgeable of all city, county, state and federal laws can be downloaded at www.usark.org/library/sample-responsible-buyer-agreement.
All species listed as injurious are illegal to transport across state lines unless you meet one of the two qualifications below:
1. For reticulated pythons and green anacondas ONLY: Transportation and shipment across state lines are legal if you have received your membership verification letter from USARK. Every time you personally transport these TWO species across state lines, you should have a printed copy of this letter on your person and easily accessible should an FWS agent request to see it.
You can find all the details on this verification letter and court ruling at www.usark.org/2015-blog/7182/. Injunctive relief only applies to those USARK members who were current on or before April 8, 2015. Even with this letter, there may be other prohibitions, such as no shipments into Texas or Florida. See link for full details.
2. Interstate transportation is legal if you have received a permit from FWS allowing movement for bona fide research, education, etc. That permit can be found at www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-42.pdf.
Herp species that are listed as injurious:
- Reticulated python
- Green anaconda
- Burmese python
- Indian python
- Northern rock python
- Southern rock python
- Yellow anaconda
- DeSchauensee’s anaconda
- Beni anaconda
- 201 species of salamanders: List at www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/pdf_files/List-of-Salamander-Species.pdf.
- Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)
As always, part of being a responsible member of the herpetocultural community includes knowing any city, county, state and federal laws applicable to the species you keep or sell. This includes knowing the laws in places you travel to, and through, for shows.
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