On Monday, January 11, USARK filed our brief in the Appellate Court. We have again presented solid, substantially-backed arguments, as well as pointing out the overreach used for these listings.
Below is an excerpt from our brief:
"For instance, in 1974, a FWS representative testified before the House Committee on a then-ongoing FWS Lacey Act rulemaking:
Mr. DINGELL. Now, what about the problem of exotic species that are already in this country?… I have read these new rèsumès, and I do not find that you address yourself very extensively to populations of these which are already existent inside the United States….
Mr. PARSONS. As far as the regulatory aspects of your question, there is no restriction that we find in section 42 of the Lacey Act to interstate shipments, with the possible exception of restrictions from areas off the continental United States, such as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Hawaii…. The restrictions, Mr. Chairman, apply to importations.
Mr. DINGELL. How about the offspring of these populations in this country?
Mr. PARSONS. The offspring of those populations that are here would be treated likewise.
Mr. DINGELL. You are going to treat these as essentially a separate strain, as some kind of domesticated species?
Mr. PARSONS. That is right. The restrictions apply to imported animals and their offspring, and not to animals already in the United States."
Thank you to everyone who has supported us and has been following the lawsuit which began in December of 2013.
Read the USARK brief at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Doc-1592898-USARK-Appeal-Brief.pdf.
Background information of the Constrictor Rule can be found at www.usark.org/2015-blog/7081/.
The current remaining briefing schedule is below.
• Government reply due February 1, 2016
• Deferred appendix due February 8, 2016
• Final briefs due February 22, 2016
Following submission of the final briefs, the Court will schedule oral argument, although there is not a set deadline for this action. USARK will keep you posted as updates become available. We appreciate your continued support as we battle overreaching legislation on the local, state and federal fronts.