Introducing GRAIN!

 

In response to the countless pushes in legislation to ban or prohibit ownership of reptiles and other exotics, more based in fear and false accusations, we have joined up with other leaders in the reptile industry to create an educational resource to continue to promote fact based respect and care for these animals.

As our community continues to grow we are overwhelmed by the positive support we have received! Below are just a few of the great examples of GRAIN supporters from around the world sharing their love and knowledge about these amazing animals with their community.

My daughter with our tortoise, Donna. I bought Donna the same month I got pregnant. These two have always been with each other. Donna is 6 yrs old and my daughter is 5. :) -Mindi SueLee

 

You can see the passion in these childrens eyes! They arent born with a fear and hatred of these animals, its given to them by their guardians, and the media!!! Lets show them the truth! EDUCATION TRUMPS SPECULATION!!!!! SHOWING PEOPLE WHAT THESE ANIMALS ARE REALLY ABOUT!!!!! NOT THE BS THAT THE MAJORITY BELIEVE!!!!This is what its about!!! Teaching the next generation about these wonderful animals, and guiding them the RIGHT WAY!!!! -Jake Klotz

 

Here's a pic from when my educational program got the cover of the local paper last year. -John Sheerin

 

 

This was one of my favorite "reptile" discussions of all time! In between shows for the kids, this 80 year old lady came up to me and started asking me questions. She had never seen an alligator, let alone most any other reptile up close. The conversation lasted about 20 minutes, and as her husband repeatedly told her that they had to go home... she didn't want to, and told him to "hush for a minute, We're talking". She walked in scared and confused, thinking that most reptiles were good for nothing, and left in love with a 6 foot alligator. -Loren Morales

 

 

Here is a little girl that wanted to hold Midnight our Black & White Tegu. This was a great show and everyone got involved! -Roaming Reptiles

 

 

Pythons are loved and kept Globally.! Country: Pakistan -Hamza Hussain Simjee

 

 

A group of Police officers we did a show for, for "National Night Out Against Crime" -Beanie Villerman

 

 

Reptiles + Education = Success -Beanie Villerman

 

My Reptiles are my Life. I wanted to share a side of reptiles that most luckily have not experienced. I have had reptiles my entire life, even as a child my parents would take me to the pet store week after week for me to purchase food with my allowance money for my animals. I would catch snakes and frogs when I was young until I was able to save enough money and gain enough knowledge to purchase more advanced animals from the pet stores. I always had the sense of responsibility for caring for my animals since the day I found my first one and I always had the support of my parents to back me up.

When I turned 13 I sadly lost my Father. Being an only child mean I had to step up and work harder at home and harder to support my reptile collection. I did everything I could from mowing lawns to washing cars in my neighborhood. When I 15 I got my workers permit and began working as much as I could while going though highschool. I was working full time by junior year. I lost my mother to a very short battle with cancer, she passed the day I graduated High school. I was forced into adult hood before I even started college. I was also now the only possible means of providing proper care for my reptiles. Losing your loved ones, especially your parents can do serious damage to an individual.

I am a fighter and I knew I had to support myself and my Reptiles, I choose to NEVER GIVE UP and continue to fight harder for what I wanted in life. I have a very strong connection with my reptiles and I was their only way to thrive. Working though college, being on my own, buying a house, and marrying my beautiful wife showed me that giving up in NEVER an option! Not for me, Not for my Dream, and NOT FOR MY REPTILES! My animals keep me moving forward in the worst times of my life. I have kept many species of reptiles and amphibians From my child hood until now. I proud to say am living my dream of breeding Reticulated pythons and supporting a large collection on my own. My reptiles have always been there for me and I have always been here for them. I wanted to share this short story because REPTILES CAN SAVE LIVES  -Shane Castello

 

 

Here is one of our shows that we did for a school here in town. We reached over 700 children and teachers. -Roaming Reptiles

 

If you have a story to share be sure to a become a fan of GRAIN on Facebook! Then share your story and share GRAIN with your friends! We are here to spread education and respect for all types of pets loved who we devote our time, resources, and lives to caring for.

 

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HR511 Weekly Update December 18 : Colette Sutherland TSK, Inc.

Earlier this month we introduced this weekly series with the opening statements from Representative John Fleming, M.D. at the Subcommittee Hearing on HR511: To Prohibit the Importation of Various Species of Constrictor Snakes on November 29,2012. Today's testimony is from Colette Sutherland's moving testimony on HR 511 bill introduced to add species of snakes to Lacey Act. 


Mr. Chair and members of the Subcommittee, I am Colette Sutherland and I along with my husband Dan own TSK, Inc. that was started back in 1989. Thank you for inviting me to present testimony on the H.R. 511, a bill that would add nine species of constrictor snakes to the Lacey Act.



I have been keeping and breeding various types of reptiles for the past 40 years. I have a Bachelors of Science in Zoology with a teaching option in Biology from Brigham Young University in 1985. While at the University I worked in the Herpetology department taking care of the live reptiles that were there at the time. The reptiles there included a Burmese python, common boa, Gila monster and various venomous snakes.

 

In 2000 we were approached by Dr. Mark Seward to make a video on breeding ball pythons. We agreed and the video and accompanying information came out in 2001. In late 2004 I was approached by TFH, a large animal care publishing company, and authored a basic book on ball python care for their “Quick and Easy” series. In late 2008 I was again approached by TFH to write another more comprehensive ball python book for their “Complete Herp Care” series which was published in 2009. In 2011Benson Morrill, a Utah State University graduate, used data that had been collected at our facility for close to10 years to publish his doctoral thesis - Quantitative Genetic Analysis of Reproduction Traits in Ball Pythons. In 2012 this paper was also submitted by Dr. Benson Morrill to the Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics.

With respect to H.R 5ll, I have serious concerns about the approach being taken. Listing a species under the Lacey Act by legislative fiat is not in my opinion the best course for dealing with Federal regulation of an invasive species. The listing process currently employed by the Fish and Wildlife Service while possibly in need of revision to be more expeditious at least is founded upon science-based findings. The process is open to public comment, peer review, and potential modification via the regulatory process. As you are aware the US Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year listed four species of large constrictor snakes as injurious under the Lacey Act. The Service deferred making a final decision with respect to five non-native constrictor species that the Service at that time did not believe that listing was warranted. I believe that the Service is in the best position to make such findings. I submitted comments at various stages of the Fish and Wildlife Services’ evaluation of large constrictor snakes. Additionally, as a member of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s (PIJAC) Reptile and Amphibian Committee, I worked closely with them in addressing various aspects of the regulatory listing process. Then as now I am opposed to a nationwide ban on any species whose potential negative impact at best is limited to extremely localized areas in south Florida.

According to Fish and Wildlife Service a species is evaluated on a variety of factors before it can be listed as injurious: “Such as the species’ survival capabilities and ability to spread geographically; its impacts on habitats and ecosystems, threatened and endangered species, and human beings and resource-based industries; and resource managers’ ability to control and eradicate the species. Analysis of these factors guides the Service’s listing determination. Scientific data is reviewed for factors that contribute to injuriousness and factors that reduce or remove injuriousness. In addition, other laws require that various economic analyses are conducted to determine the economic impacts of potential rulemakings”. Four of the original 9 large constrictors have already been added to the Lacey Act’s injurious species list. The remaining five, Beni anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, Green anaconda, Reticulated python and Boa constrictor are what will be discussed here.

Using the above criteria, we will look at the potential impact that the three anaconda species may have upon the Continental United States. Hawaii is left out since it is illegal to ship any snake to Hawaii and we can certainly exclude Alaska, as it is far too cold for any boa or python to survive there unless kept under captive conditions. The Beni and DeSchauensee’s anacondas at this time are not available in the pet trade nor are they currently kept in our country anywhere. Even if these 2 species did exist in the pet trade, there are no suitable climates here in the United States for them to successfully thrive according to the USGS risk assessment, let alone survive. Since there are no existing climates in the United States where they could survive that seems to preclude them from being injurious. What would be the purpose of adding them to the Lacey Act, - they don’t even exist in our country neither could they survive here in the wild.

In response to a recent inquiry regarding the status of these two species, David Barker, a noted herpetologist and author emailed me the following information on November 20:

To my knowledge, there has never been a live specimen of beniensis in the country (and I’ve looked). There very few records or reports of the northern yellow anaconda, E. deschauenseei in captivity in this country or Europe, and I am not aware of any in captivity in the past 30 years. Both species are given no chance of surviving in this country, according to the climate match of Reed and Rodda (2009). The green anaconda on the other hand is in the pet trade, although in very small numbers. It has never had a huge following. The very large size along with its requirement of a more specialized care has limited the number of people that can successfully raise such a species. The green anaconda could potentially live in one area of the United States and that would be south Florida, however Florida has already taken steps to prevent an introduction of this species into the Everglades. As of July 1 2010 a Florida law was passed to deal with reptiles of concern. The green anaconda is on this list and is no longer available for personal use in the state of Florida. Private citizens that owned this snake prior to this date were grandfathered in and allowed to keep their animal until it expired as long as they followed the rules set out by the law. The snake must be micro chipped and the owners are required to follow all reporting and security procedures. Commercial dealers, exhibitors and research institutions can have them, but they must adhere to strict bio-security requirements for housing and transporting the animal. In essence the state of Florida has already effectively mitigated any potential problem posed by the green anaconda. Again looking at one of the criteria used by Fish and Wildlife Service with respect to its ability to spread geographically, green anaconda can only survive in a very small portion of southern Florida where the temperature and amount of water is consistent for their survival. Since Florida has already enacted very stringent regulations regarding the keeping of this species, again what would be the purpose of adding them to the Lacey Act? Quite simply a nationwide ban is not warranted by any scientific measure.

Next is the reticulated python. Unlike the green anaconda, the reticulated pythons are broken down into three subspecies Python reticulatus reticulatus, Python reticulatus jampeanus, and Python reticulatus saputrai. The smallest of these subspecies is Python reticulates jampeanus with adult females attaining lengths between 6 – 8 feet. All of these subspecies have been bred together in captivity in an effort to produce a smaller reticulated python. Another substantial difference between the reticulated python and the green anaconda is the tremendous color variation seen in captive bred individuals, because of the number of beautiful color morphs (name given to colors and patterns that differ from the normal wild pattern and color). Like the green anaconda, the reticulated python could potentially live in south Florida as the USGS risk assessment indicates and because of this, it too is listed as a reptile of concern by the State of Florida and the same bio-security rules apply to it as do the anaconda. Once again the State of Florida has taken care of a potential problem. Since the State of Florida has effectively addressed this issue why is it necessary for the Federal government to step in when the species in question cannot inhabit any other area of the continental United States? Once again a nationwide ban is not warranted.

Finally we come to the Boa constrictor. As with the reticulated python there are subspecies of Boa constrictor that need to be taken into consideration. Depending upon which taxonomic source is used there can be 9 subspecies. There is a tremendous size and color variation among this group of snakes. One subspecies, Boa constrictor occidentalis, the Argentine boa is listed as a CITES Appendix 1 animal and cannot be imported into the United States for commercial purposes and any international trade would be limited to the zoological community. This subspecies is only kept in very limited numbers by a small group of individuals. Out of the remaining 8 subspecies, only 3 are readily available in the pet trade and one of those Boa constrictor imperator is widely kept and bred. According to USGS the only areas of potential habitat for Boa constrictor imperator in the continental United States is once again Florida and possibly southern Texas. In the instance of the Deering Estate population of Boa constrictor, in Miami Dade County, they have existed in this park for the past 40 years and have not expanded out of the park. This is the only established population of any Boa constrictor species in the continental United States and it is a surviving population, not a thriving population. This group has shown that it is not able to successfully spread beyond the borders of the park. Quite simply they do not pose a risk to the rest of the country and could be potentially eradicated from such a small geographical area. Its ability to spread has been limited, so why does this group need to be added to the Lacey Act? Again a nationwide ban is not justified.

Restoration of the Everglades is a noble objective which encompasses myriad complex issues. The word restoration is defined as bringing back to a former position or condition. The historical water drainage that formed the Everglades has been altered considerably. Due to this altering it is doubtful that the Everglades will ever truly be restored to what it once was. While one might argue that the Fish and Wildlife Services earlier listing of Burmese pythons has addressed one aspect of Everglades restoration, none of the five non-listed species being considered for addition to the Lacey Act in H.R. 511 are found in the Everglades - adding them would not add to the restoration of the Everglades. I do think that it is also important to note that many of these snakes have been in the private sector for at least 60 years or longer and I am sure that there have been escapees, and a few that have been released here and there by irresponsible owners. However nowhere else in the continental United States have these animals ever established a population, except in Florida and even at that, it was limited to only 2 species in southern Florida.

Adding the anacondas (DeSchauensee’s and Beni) to the Lacey Act would not impact any breeders or dealers at all, adding the green anaconds would affect a small number of breeders and it would impact zoos and others institutions.

Adding reticulated pythons would be devastating to those that bred them across the United States. These breeders, some have spent decades, working with this species to produce smaller and beautifully colored reticulated pythons. Some of these individuals sell for $ 25,000.00 each. While it is true this does not represent a large number of people, these breeders employ others, pay taxes and work hard to produce very desirable specimens for serious hobbyists. This activity has grown in recent years because of the reduced size of reticulated pythons and the great of amazing patterns and colors that have been produced as our understanding of genetics has improved. Today, there are very few normally colored animals produced. Thousands of people across the United States own and responsibly enjoy their reticulated pythons. With the passage of H.R. 511 these people would no longer be able to take their pet with them if they moved from one state to another. Nor could they participate in breeding programs if interstate movement was involved. I simply do not see the benefit of adding these to the Lacey Act since the species have not, nor have shown a propensity to be an invasive species in Florida, let alone other parts of the United States.

Adding the Boa constrictor would be even more devastating to the reptile industry. Boas are produced by the thousands by commercial and non-commercial breeders throughout the United States. There is a tremendous variety of size and color, even among the normally colored specimens. Boas are one of the most commonly kept large constrictor species in the world. We added boas to our collection back in 2000. Conservatively, we have invested a minimum of $300,000 in acquiring our breeding colony. We have invested thousands in caging, supplies and maintenance of our breeding operations. We employ people to work with us, and sell our progeny throughout the United States as well as export animals to other countries


With just the talk of having boas added to the Lacey Act the value of our collection plummeted. Snakes that I had paid $25,000.00 a pair for as babies I could barely sell for $1,500.00 each as a proven breeding animal. Their progeny which had been selling for approximately $7,500.00 each prior to the proposed listing, plummeted to $1,500.00 each if I could find a buyer at all. Sales stagnated. We had to make a very hard business as well as heartbreaking decision. After trying to market our adult boas to other breeders in states that would have been allowed to export the offspring overseas it became apparent that there were no buyers. We even tried to give them away, no luck. We ended up euthanizing over 60 adult boas. We still maintain some boas, but not nearly what we once had and we were considered a medium sized operation.

In assessing the financial loss we incurred, Dan and I figured out the potential production of viable progeny had we been able to keep those breeding animals in- tact. Without augmenting the breeding stock, we conservatively estimated those 60 breeders over their natural breeding lifespan and normal birth rates could have generated approximately $2,000,000 had the market not collapsed in light of the potential nationwide ban.

I do not support H.R. 511. The Fish and Wildlife Service utilizes well established and accepted guidelines that they developed over the years to help them determine if a species is injurious. Adding species to the Lacey Act through legislative fiat completely negates the roll of the Fish and Wildlife Service in determining if a species is injurious. Circumventing the regulatory process by allowing species to be designated “injurious” without going through a science based risk analyses allows very powerful special interests to be able to convince legislators that certain species are harmful when in reality they are not. This is a dangerous precedent.

In conclusion, I remain mystified as to why the Congress believes its scientific analysis should supersede that of the Federal agency they designated to conduct the requisite risk analysis of species that might warrant listing under the Lacy Act. The State of Florida has addressed the issue; it has implemented a comprehensive regulatory process to protect Florida’s interests. A nationwide ban is not warranted and I urge that H. R. 511 not be supported.

Thank you for providing me an opportunity to submit my comments.

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HR511 Weekly Update December 10 : Brady Barr Resident Herpetologist at National Geographic Society

Last week we introduced this weekly series witht the opening statements from Representative John Fleming, M.D. at the Subcommittee Hearing on HR511: To Prohibit the Importation of Various Species of Constrictor Snakes on November 29,2012. Today's testimony is from Brady Barr, Resident Herpetologist at National Geographic Society Testimony on HR 511 bill introduced to add species of snakes to Lacey Act. 



I was compelled to speak out on this issue on a very personal basis. Over the past few years as I saw more and more erroneous and sensationalized stories in popular media concerning pythons in the southern Everglades, I became frustrated knowing the public was being grossly misinformed. I subsequently reached out to the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) to offer what expertise I might lend to the decision making process and to this hearing today. 

I feel that there are two important points that need to be considered in reference to large exotic snakes in the Southern Everglades: 1. climatic controls, 2. biological controls. The snake species referenced in this hearing are native to tropical regions of the planet, whereas the Southern Everglades is a sub- tropical climate characterized by seasonal temperature fluctuations and more extremes. These tropical snakes do not possess the behavior and physiology to tolerate cold temperatures. Low temperatures (below 15 degrees C.) result in these snakes having problems digesting prey, acquiring prey, avoiding predation, moving, essentially surviving. Furthermore, these snakes lack the innate behavior to seek refugia at the onset of cold weather conditions, resulting in quick death or a compromised immune system in which the snake ultimately succumbs. Climate data reveal that temperatures found in Southern Florida simply are not conducive to the long term survival of large tropical snakes. When it gets cold these snakes die.



Concerning the second point, biological controls; I offer the example of Alligators -- a top predator and keystone species in the Everglades, and one of the largest non-marine predators on the planet. However, populations in the Everglades grow more slowly, are undersized, and take longer to reach sexual maturity, than populations elsewhere. These conditions are likely due in part to a lower food base and poorer quality diet found in the Everglades. The Everglades is tough place to live, especially for large predators. The Everglades in many ways is analogous to a desert, largely because it is a bio mass poor ecosystem. In this respect, alligators have a difficult time finding large prey to consume. I conducted the most comprehensive alligator diet study to date, in Everglades National Park from 1992 - 1997. Flushing the stomachs of over 2000 alligators, and in excess of 600 adults, revealed that snakes are by far the most important prey by mass. Fifty-five percent of consumed prey mass by adult alligators is snakes, that is over half of everything alligators eat in the Everglades is snake. In a prey deficient ecosystem alligators are essentially surviving on snakes in the Everglades. It can logically be inferred that inclusion of a top prey item (snakes) into an already prey deficient system, will result in predation on the introduced exotic species by the alligators of the Everglades, making them not only a keystone species, but also a natural biological control to introduced exotic snakes.

In summary, the climatic controls (low temperatures experienced in Southern Florida) and biological controls, chiefly alligators, among numerous snake predators in the Everglades, will control any population of large exotic snakes in southern Florida, and thereby does not warrant the inclusion of the nine snake species to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act.

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HR511 Weekly Update December 3 : Representative John Fleming, M.D.

Just as we thought talks on further banning reptile ownership were complete HR511 has been picked up to add the final species to the Lacey Act banning a total of 9 snake species from interstate transport. Because these proceedings can often be complex and confusing we will be dedicating one blog post a week to the research, arguments, and ways you can get involved in HR511 and the protection of your freedoms.

We will start this series with the opening statement by the Honorable John Fleming, Chairman, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs at the Subcommittee Hearing on HR511: To Prohibit the Importation of Various Species of Constrictor Snakes on November 29,2012.

 

 

Good morning, today, we will hear testimony on H. R. 511, a bill introduced by the distinguished gentleman from Florida, Congressman Tom Rooney to list nine species of constrictor snakes under the Lacey Act.

 

Let me say at the outset that I compliment my colleagues from the Florida delegation for their tireless commitment to restoring the Florida Everglades. But I have concerns that H. R. 511 will end up destroying hundreds of small businesses without providing any real benefit to the Everglades.

 

By way of background, there are several key dates in this discussion. The first was on June 23, 2006, when the South Florida Water Management District petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list Burmese pythons on the Lacey Act. The next important date was on January 20, 2010, when the Secretary of the Interior proposed to administratively list nine species of constrictor snakes.

 

Before announcing a decision, however, the State of Florida implemented a law as of July 1, 2010, prohibiting the importation and personal possession of seven species of snakes including Burmese pythons.

 

Finally, after an exhaustive analysis by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the U. S. Small Business Administration of more than 56,000 comments, the Secretary of the Interior announced on January 17th of this year that four of the nine species – including the two species that have established populations in the Everglades – would be treated as ‘injurious wildlife.” It is now a violation of federal law to import and to move these four species in interstate commerce. Upon making the decision, Secretary Salazar noted that it was intended to “strike a balance” between economic and environmental concerns.

 

We are now being asked in H. R. 511 to go far beyond the recommendations of the South Florida Water Management District, the State of Florida and the Fish and Wildlife Service by listing all nine species of constrictor snakes.

 

It is important to remember that millions of Americans own and have legally acquired constrictor snakes. They weren’t smuggled into this country. While some of these Americans are simply content to have a Boa constrictor as a pet, many others have created small businesses which breed them, feed them, provide equipment for them, sell them at pet stores, promote them at trade shows, provide veterinary care for them and other activities which contribute millions to our economy.

 

According to an economic analysis undertaken by the Georgetown Economic Services, the Boa constrictor, which was not listed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, “Accounts for 70 percent of all imports and 70 to 80 percent of all revenues generated by these nine species.” The Service estimated that the annual decrease in economic output of these snakes ranged from $42 million to $86.2 million. In addition, the House Committee on Oversight held a hearing on the proposed listing of the nine species and concluded in their report that “Over the first ten years, combined loss could be between $505 million and $1.2 billion”.

 

A witness at that hearing, Mr. David Barker of Texas, an internationally recognized authority on constrictor snakes stated that “This misguided regulations will destroy an entire industry, comprised almost exclusively of small and micro businesses. In short, if this rule goes into effect, it will destroy my life’s work and investments for no rational reason”.

 

During the course of this hearing, I hope to learn why the current Florida state law and recent Interior Department ruling seem, in some people’s minds, insufficient in addressing the Everglades problem. More specifically, does H. R. 511 protect current breeders, pet store owners and small businesses who trade these species in Louisiana, Michigan, New York and Washington State.

 

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Photos for a Cause

Does your reptile love the camera? Do you love the camera?

Jurassic Parties, The Reptile Zoo and Prehistoric Pets would like to invite you to use your photography skills to support the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) A conservation, education and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting reptiles & amphibians for our future.

 

USARK represents and aims to protect the rights of the reptile community in legal hearings from Washington D.C. across the United States.For those not familiar with reptiles photos sometimes speak louder than words creating an instant connection with the viewer. USARK is seeking photos for various materials and presentations to continue accurately representation of their temperament and the thousands who love and care for them

 

 

The three categories of pictures requested are:

1) Positive, safe interactions between humans and reptiles;

 

2) Show us your set ups! Reptiles in great, well designed, SAFE, clean, and appropriate enclosures;

 

 

 

3) Reptiles in their natural environments.

Please send your photos to erika@silverdogs.com with a permission letter. (We have included a basic sample letter below) If you have any specific restrictions on your permission please include them in this letter and they will be honored by USARK. No photos provided by members will be used in any merchandise or offered for sale.

Copyright Holder

Name:

Address:

Phone:

Email:

 

I, _____________________________ give the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)

permission for the unlimited use of the attached photograph(s) on its website, brochures, pamphlets and educational materials.

 

 

For more information visit www.USARK.org

The US Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) is a science and education based advocacy for the responsible private ownership of, and trade in reptiles. We endorse caging standards, sound husbandry, escape prevention protocols, and an integrated approach to vital conservation issues. Our goal is to facilitate cooperation between government agencies, the scientific community, and the private sector in order to produce policy proposals that will effectively address important husbandry and conservation issues. The health of these animals, public safety, and maintaining ecological integrity are our primary concerns.

This post has been shared from the Official USARK Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/USARK-United-States-Association-of-Reptile-Keepers/93475517723)

 

 

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Destory the Gauntlet!

After many long years of precariously working in the famed Prehistoric Pets gauntlet it's time for destruction has come! 

 

 

By removing the gauntlet not only are we making more room for expansions to The Reptile Zoo, but also expansions for Prehistoric Pets breeding and caretaking faciliites! 

 

 

The large reticulated pythons who were previously housed in the gauntlet are already enjoying their new digs inside the top secret addition! Breeder and all around Go-To Man Tim O'Reilly has been in charge of the renovation while founder Jay Brewer is visiting Prehistoric's African fans at the SOS Reptile Expo.

 

 

As always Tim did not let Jay down! This part of the renovation and relocation was finished ahead of schedule with only the best precision!

 

 

 

Tim and Jay have taken this rennovation opportunity to re-think and re-design these new enclosures from top to bottom. This is just part of the Prehistoric way! We are always re-imagining re-building and planning for our next big move!

 

 

 

Check back in the next couple months to see what progress we've made and maybe what babies will be the first to be produced in the newest top-secret addition to Prehistoric Pets!

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Guest Blogging from Across the Pond

 



Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will be staying out at The Reptile Room for a week (be available there the 3rd-7th). For those who don't know, I am the sales manager from Prehistoric Pets in California- and we have loads of super high end animals in stock over there right now- some of which can ONLY be seen in person there, or at our shop in Cali.

I am really hoping that many of you will stop by- The Reptile Room has constructed a new VIP room for the high end animals, and it will be open to the public for the whole time I am there. I'm really hoping to have some great discussions regarding the most cutting edge genetics, ideas for new breeding projects, and whatever else you would like to pick my brain about.


It should be a great environment, a lot closer to many of you than any European shows, and I will be willing to sell anything you are interested in at show pricing. The most important thing to me is really just to make some good conversation with great people, and give you a more personal idea of who you would be dealing with if you ever were to get anything sent out there from us.


Many key breeders in the UK are working with genetics they have gotten from us on direct imports over the years, but never before has the opportunity been given for anyone at any level of the game to get directly involved with some of the front runners of the Retic game, as they now are able to through our partnership with The Reptile Room (I hope that doesn't sound too prideful- but I guess being an American I can't always help it, and you certainly expect it anyhow- haha).

I really hope to see you all there! -Garrett Hartle, Prehistoric Pets

 

 

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Faces in Support of Reptiles

Hundreds of visitors enjoy The Reptile Zoo and all of it's creatures each week, over 16,000 reptile presentations completed by Jurassic Parties alone, and thousands of reptiles are responsibly kept as pets across the United States, but somehow these people, these faces, are overlooked and demonized for their support of reptiles. At The Reptile Zoo we are ready to put a face to these supporters of the reptile community and use these faces to garner support for the protection of these species.

On The Reptile Zoo's Twitter and Facebook pages we will be posting a daily image of people from every walk and stage of life who have benefited from their interaction with these beautiful creatures. Below are just a sampling of the photos to come. We invite you to join our mission by posting your pictures, sharing your stories, and spreading the support for reptiles and their keepers.

To view all of the photos please visit www.Facebook.com/TheReptileZoo


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Python Ban: The Answers to Living Under the Lacey Act

 

 

Prehistoric Pets has long worked with a wide variety of species of large constrictors, over a span of many years. During that time, we have come to an intimate understanding of the animals we have worked with, their temperature and environmental needs, personalities, reproductive and feeding capabilities. With this background and some additional research it becomes clear the animals recently added to the Lacey act are neither capable of living outside of their current establishment in the Everglades or pose a reasonable threat to humans.

Today the listing of of 4 large constricting snake species as injurious under the Lacey Act officially goes into effect. At Prehistoric Pets we have had many customers, friends, and fans who have been calling in to find out exactly what this means to them. To provide a clear answer to the most commonly asked questions, today’s blog will highlight the most important changes with links to the government agencies where further resources and information can be found.

 

 

Q: When is the rule in effect?

A: Today, March 23, 2012

 

Q: What animals are included?

A:  Burmese Python, North African Python, Southern African Python, Yellow Anaconda, their eggs and hybrids.

 

Q: What does the listing entail?

A: No importation or interstate transport of the included animals.

 

Q: Is it still legal to own, breed, and display these animals?

A: Yes, if there are no further restrictions in your area of residence, these animals may still be kept for pets, display, and breeding, but at no point can move across state lines.

 

Q: If I move to another state can I bring my listed pet?

A: No. There is absolutely no interstate transport of the 4 listed species within the United States for personal purposes. All interstate transport of the listed species will result in penalty under the Lacey Act.

 

Q: What options do I have as an owner of one of these animals who is relocating to another state?

A: There are some options as provided by the Department of Fish and Wildlife below.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s Pet Pathway Toolkit: www.petpathwaytoolkit.com

Habitattitude www.habitattitude.net

 

Q: Can these animals be rescued from out of state?

A: No. Rescues may only care for animals currently within their state.

 

Q: Can these animals be purchased online or at trade shows?

A: Only if their original location is within your state. For example to purchase a Burmese python from Prehistoric Pets you must live within the state of California. If you live in the state of Colorado you will be unable to purchase a Burmese python from Prehistoric Pets and instead must locate a Colorado based breeder.

 

Q: Can these animals be exported out of the country?

A: Yes, if there are no US stops during transport. For example if a shipment from Los Angeles International Airport is headed to London’s Heathrow International Airport the flight cannot make a stop at John F Kennedy International Airport, this would be considered interstate transport between California and New York and furthermore a violation of the Lacey Act. NOTE: This listing also adds these animals in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listing requiring CITES export permits.

 

Q: Are there any exceptions to the ban on importation or interstate transport?

A: There are only 4 exceptions to this rule which all must receive authorized and permitted approval BEFORE transport. These exceptions are medical (not veterinary), scientific, zoological, and education.

 

Q: Can I perform educational presentations outside of my state?

A: Yes, if the correct permitting requirements completed BEFORE transport. See below. NOTE: Please allow at least 60 days for permit processing.

 

Q: What steps are required to meet permitting requirements?

A:            1. Application Form 3-200-42 (www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-42.pdf)

                2. PERMANENT Housing in Double Escape-Proof Containment at ALL TIMES

               
Q: What does PERMANENT Housing in Double Escape-Proof Containment mean?

A: Under permit requirements all applied animals, including their offspring, must be kept in double escape-proof containment at ALL TIMES. Double escape-proof containment, just as it sounds, is defined as housing the animal in a secured area, within another equally as secured area. In regular housing this would mean in a locked cage within a locked room/building. During transport this would mean in a container within a larger secured container. If the animal is to be handled during an educational presentation it must be within a room with a closed door, which is within another room with a closed door. NOTE: This housing requirement is not only required during the permitted activity but for the life of the animal AND ALL OFFSPRING.

 

Q: What are the penalties for violating the Lacey Act?

A.   “Violations of the Lacey Act provisions may be prosecuted through either civil or criminal enforcement actions.  With respect to potential criminal penalties, a two-tiered penalty scheme exists, creating both misdemeanor and felony offenses, distinguished by a defendant’s knowledge of the underlying law.  For a Lacey Act violation to be a felony, the defendant must have knowingly imported or exported fish or wildlife or plants in violation an underlying law or regulation, or knowingly engaged in conduct during the offense that involved the sale or purchase of, the offer for sale or purchase of, or the intent to sell or purchase plants or wildlife with a market value of over $350 knowing that the fish or wildlife or plants were taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of an underlying law or regulation.  A misdemeanor penalty requires that the defendant “in the exercise of due care” should have known the fish or wildlife or plants were taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of an underlying law or regulation. “ 

“Felony criminal sanctions are provided for violations involving imports or exports, or violations of a commercial nature in which the value of the wildlife is in excess of $350. A misdemeanor violation was established, with a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to 1 year, or both. Civil penalties up to $10,000 were provided. However, the Criminal Fines Improvement Act of 1987 increased the fines under the Lacey Act for misdemeanors to a maximum of $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for organizations. Maximum fines for felonies were increased to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for organizations.

Those enforcing the Act are authorized to carry firearms, make qualified warrantless arrests for felony and misdemeanor violations of any law of the U.S. when enforcing the Act, search and seize under Attorney General guidelines, issue subpoenas and warrants, inspect vessels, vehicles, aircraft, packages, crates, and containers on arrival in the United States from outside the United States or prior to departure from the United States.” 

 

Sources:

http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2012/pdfs/ImplicationsoftheInjuriouslistingforthe4constrictorsnakes.pdf

http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/LACEY.HTML

http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2012/pdfs/FoursnakesQsAs11612.pdf

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEsQFjAE&url=http://www.fs.fed.us/global/aboutus/policy/tt/illegal_logging/Lacey_Act_amendments_public_summary.doc&ei=Ie9sT-mIKKSxsgLOiK2bBg&usg=AFQjCNGZjhxeb3UmdQ1KqzxzaZzgk-E0kw

 

 

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Prepare Yourselves for NARBC at Tinley Park, IL

Today is our final prep day before Jay and Garrett head out to the Tinley Park NARBC: North American Reptile Breeders Conference this weekend! We will have 2 tables full of great python morphs to look at, and if the price is right to take home! Wonder what we're bringing? Here are just a couple glimpses into what you can expect this weekend.

 


The list is full of pythons including burms and rock pythons which are part of the "python ban" that goes into effect March 23. That means if you don't live in California this will be one of your last chances to pick up one of the 4 species from Prehistoric Pets. And of course there are plenty of industry leading retics on the list as well!

 

The Friday Summit is a place to not only hear from some of the industries top professionals but also BOTH of our voices in Washington PIJAC & USARK. Prior to the panel discussion we will hear from USARK and PIJAC about the most current legislation facing us, and what they are doing to fight it. Come prepared for the panel discussion loaded with questions, as the night is an open forum of Questions and Answers. When you leave Friday night you should know EXACTLY what you can do to better help in the fight against this onslaught of legislation our hobby and industry face. We hope to see everyone come out and participate in what we feel is THE MOST IMPORTANT HERP MEETING EVER. New legal issues will always be on the horizon so we will all need to be united in one voice or our hobby/industry are doomed........come out and HELP UNIFY THE INDUSTRY!

Friday, March 16th  Outside Main Exhibit Hall

7:00 PM Ben Siegel - Burmese Python Initiative
7:15 PM Andrew Wyatt – USARK President
7:45 PM Mike Canning – PIJAC President

USARK Summit at NARBC

If you plan on visiting this weekend's show be sure to stop by and say hello at our booth, but more importantly please make sure to attend the USARK summit on Friday night!

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