Saturday, January 21, 2012

Follow-up Letter To Legislators Opposing Python Ban

The other day I wrote my legislators about SOPA and PIPA, and tonight I sent a letter to President Obama and my Representative and Senators and signed a petition to oppose the Python ban. This is my letter;

January 21, 2012

Dear President Obama:

Dear Representative Johnson:

Dear Senator Chambliss:

Dear Senator Isakson:

I am an animal lover and it has long been a dream of mine since I was a child to have pet snakes. Finally after doing alot of reading up and talking to experts I am ready to realize that dream and now I find out that it may just be a matter of time before I lose that opportunity because several of the constrictors are being legislated against, and I hear that still others (including the one I want) are on the chopping block yet to come.

The reptile industry is a needed American Industry for which there is a huge market. It has developed and grown exponentially over the past two decades and most breeders promote responsible pet ownership through public education and one-on-one support. There are many working in that field who depend on it to feed their families. Restricting interstate stransport of their "product" will only result in putting these people out of business and placing them in debt as well as ultimately adding to the National debt.

The reptile industry creates jobs and employs and provides the necessary income to many people by serving people like me, and it contributes to our national economy, important functions which are about to be put in jeopardy. I want you to be aware of the potential impact this bad precedent will have because it strikes at the ability of Americans to maintain their jobs, family life, and this industry's contributions to our American education, enjoyment, and work ethic.

I suspect you have been approached by special interest groups that would like to end animal ownership and kill the industry that supports it by pushing enactment of the Constrictor Rule as proposed by US Fish & Wildlife Service. This rule making has failed at every turn to make the case that 9 constricting snakes should be added to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act. The science is questionable and Fish & Wildlife has failed to do a cost benefit analysis. The rule has been pushed along by mid level bureaucrats with no regard for information quality or due process. If enacted this rule would put more than 1 million Americans in jeopardy of becoming Lacey Act felons.

The Constrictor Rule, if passed will be the beginning of the end of such industry. This rule will not solve the problem that is its purported purpose (protecting the Everglades from Invasive snakes). It will hurt American business and my family. The alleged science being used to justify the rule has been called out as biased and fatally flawed by scientists from around the country, including; University of Florida, Texas A&M and the National Geographic Society. The rule was so poorly constructed that it was recently the subject of a hearing conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee examining this rule as an extreme example of government overreach negatively impacting a $1.4 billion cottage industry.

It looks very suspicious that the rule says it prohibits importing but not exporting. That tells me what's really behind it is more about the fear of breeders outsourcing to obtain their breeding stock thus sending American money overseas to the snakes' countries of origin. The initiators of this rule clearly have a hidden agenda. Any such fear is an overreaction because enough of these snakes exist in the US for breeders to obtain them from other breeders here (if allowed to ship across state lines), but such a rule would make doing so difficult if not impossible. In addition, people wanting a pet snake may not be able to obtain them in our own state, so would be unable to get one. I live in Georgia and do not know of any local snake breeders, for instance.

You yourself own a pet and I'm sure you believe vehemently in your right to keep it, so I hope you will instantly identify with my position. In these uncertain times pets of many kinds bring many of us comfort when little else does. Please make certain that I and millions of Americans can get back to work free from fear of the consequences of the Constrictor Rule.

I know that you will want to do the right thing not wasting government time and money on unecessary new laws that only restrict Americans' persuit of happiness so that our government can attend to more pressing national and international matters.

President Obama please ask the Office of Management & Budget to reverse this rule due to the failure of Fish & Wildlife to adhere to mandated guidelines and procedures required for a rule making. Policy should be based on facts and science, not opinion or partiality. This rule is in violation of at least three of your own executive orders. It is inappropriate on many levels and if passed it will reflect badly on you and your administration. Hold the writers of the rule to their stated agenda of sound science and be the voice of fairness and reason. Please stand up and refuse to let such bad decision-making stand.

The Constrictor Rule is a prejudicial, economically damaging, and ineffective. It is very similar to the bans proposed by certain states and other municipalities targeting Pit Bulls "breed-specific legislation".

This is not the way to solve the problem in the Everglades. Thousands of innocent snakes and those who keep them should not be penalized for a few errant ones that are on the loose.

Instead of making this a Federal rule/law this should be treated as a Florida problem and remedies designed only for those particular problem animals such as spaying and neutering those feral snakes to prevent their reproduction/any risk of overpopulation. This should not involve restricting the whole country from breeding, shipping, or owning these species as pets.

In addition, all stakeholders should be included in designing the solution to the problem in the Everglades; not just those who drafted this legislation. Thank you for your consideration.


Pippit Carlington

If you are an animal lover please let your voice be heard, sign the petition, and send a letter of your own by clicking on the badge in the sidebar of this blog. That will take you directly to the site through which you can contact your political officials.

You can also sign this Whitehouse petition;

 25,000 signatures are needed by February 17th  in order to get the job done!

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