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MENSAN's avatar

Have you heard about, or read the text of H.R. 669?

Asked by MENSAN (459points) December 12th, 2009

This bill, currently under review (and being fought by loads of people) will prohibit non-native animals from being kept by private USA citizens as pets. This means that most parrots and reptiles not native to the USA could no longer be imported into the USA and become pets. Take a look at the proposed legislation and see what you think of it:

There is a fear that you would be required to get rid of your CURRENT non-native pets, because there would be no so-called “Grandfathering” provision to this bill, should it become law.

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21 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I wouldn’t have to give up my grizzly bear or timber wolf, then? Well, in that case, okay; bring it.

MENSAN's avatar

I’m not sure about that, but a friend of mine in WV says no matter what happens, he’s not giving up his Monongahela Monster.

juwhite1's avatar

I actually think it is ecologically wise to do this to prevent any further invasive species from wreaking havoc on our natural habitat (that goes for plants, too).

dpworkin's avatar

It’s a great idea. It puts an and to the cruel traffic in endangered birds and unsuitable reptiles.

Snarp's avatar

I think we should absolutely not allow the importation of exotic pets. This legislation has been a long time coming, and I hope it passes. I wouldn’t sweat a grandfather provision, there will be enough work stopping new animals from coming in without trying to hunt down all the exotic pets already here. In fact I would be surprised if the law was effectively enforced at all.

augustlan's avatar

I find it very difficult to believe they’ll be confiscating people’s current pets (unless they are otherwise dangerous). I’m sure it won’t pass without a Grandfather Clause.

Snarp's avatar

Then again, I think only domesticated dogs and cats should be allowed to be kept as pets, so I’m a bit stricter.

ragingloli's avatar

Noooo, I want to keep my Anaconda!
The neighbours have already bought their third dog!

juwhite1's avatar

I couldn’t get by on only dogs and cats! I have quarter horses, miniature horses, exotic chickens, ducks, fainting goats, a rabbit, AND my dog. I love them all, they are all well cared for, and none of them are imported. I also have a Scottish Highland steer, but he’s not a pet. His name is Gunabee because he’s “gonna be” dinner when he’s all grown up (really great, grass-fed beef). Anyway, I wouldn’t want to get too carried away with the restrictions on pets and animals. I just don’t want any new foreign species being introduced into our ecological system… there have been some really detrimental effects from some of the prior animals we’ve brought here as pets.

Snarp's avatar

@juwhite1 That’s livestock, not pets, so I have no problem with them. I believe that all of the animals you mention are commonly (relatively) kept as livestock, so assuming that no local restrictions prevent you owning livestock, they’re A-OK by me.

dpworkin's avatar

@juwhite1 I am envious. In Manhattan I was allowed to have up to six chickens. Here in the little rural town of Philmont, surrounded by farms and orchards, the town fathers, in their wisdom, prohibit town residents from keeping any livestock at all.

Snarp's avatar

I started reading the text. There is a grandfather provision:

“This Act and regulations issued under this Act shall not interfere with the ability of any person to possess an individual animal of any species if such individual animal was legally owned by the person before the risk assessment is begun pursuant to subsection (e)(3), even if such species is later prohibited from being imported under the regulations issued under this Act.”

juwhite1's avatar

@pdworkin – That’s awful! Not even chickens? I thought most towns at least allowed a minimum number of chickens! I think I’d move! I love having my animals, eating meat that I know hasn’t been pumped full of hormones, arsenic (in the case of chickens) and antibiotics. I loveletting them live a good, happy, natural life rather than cooping them up. I also love having farm fresh, free range eggs. I can’t imagine being told I wasn’t allowed to do that! Thank goodness Chickens are domestic and won’t fall under this legislation!

dpworkin's avatar

People bitched about the roosters. What a bunch o’ maroons. I still get fresh eggs and know my meat by name, but that’s because my neighbors farm.

ragingloli's avatar

Since rural areas are loosing people, they probably want to force the remaining men to focus their sexual drive on women instead.

ccrow's avatar

@Snarp what about budgies? Or goldfish?

jaytkay's avatar

Read the bill, please don’t spread misinformation.

The bill is not a blanket ban on all non-native species. The Fish and Wildlife service has to assess the risk of each species to decide if a ban is in order. It applies to “species that will cause or are likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to other animal species’ health or human health.”

There is a grandfather clause, nobody is going to take your pets away.
“This Act and regulations issued under this Act shall not interfere with the ability of any person to possess an individual animal of any species if such individual animal was legally owned by the person before the risk assessment is begun pursuant to subsection (e)(3), even if such species is later prohibited from being imported under the regulations issued under this Act”.

Blondesjon's avatar

Shouldn’t Washington be working on bringing home U.S. soldiers and fixing our broken economy first?

In fact how about we fix a few of these problems first, before we concentrate on Billy’s iguana:

Health care
Gay Rights
Any other number of things that don’t involve my tax dollars being spent on pet policing.

dpworkin's avatar

Imagine how many dollars are being wasted by the fact that Burmese Pythons, once pets, are damaging the Everglades and now have to be hunted down one by one. And Asian Carp threatening the Great Lakes. And the ongoing damage that the Zebra Mussel is doing to the environment. No one is suggesting pet policing. What is being sought is a protocol to prevent environmental disasters like these.

Snarp's avatar

@ccrow I might be willing to make an exception for certain fish and birds, but only if they are captive bred.

Bottom line: If it’s not domesticated, it’s not a pet. If it’s livestock, it’s not a pet. That limits your options dramatically. I’m sure there are plenty who would disagree with me, but there are no domesticated reptiles, and no reptiles that should be pets. Ditto for amphibians. Nor are ferrets domesticated, etc.

But mainly, we shouldn’t be capturing any wild animals to make them pets, whether fish, bird, reptile, amphibian, mammal, whatever. And we shouldn’t be bringing in animals to this country that could become invasive. And @pdworkin is dead on here, people buy these things as pets, probably not even knowing how unscrupulous the importer was, then release them to the wild when they get to be a problem, next thing you know we have a population of Burmese Pythons eating every last thing in the Everglades. And they are far from the only example. Florida’s ecosystem has been devastated by foolishly imported species that thrived in the subtropical climate and became invasive. Strict import rules are the least we can do. I’ll be writing my congressman to support this bill.

Snarp's avatar

@Blondesjon No doubt the government should be working on those things. On the other hand, this is a bill that ought to be crystal clear (except I’m sure some dealers in exotic pets will be lobbying hard against it), bipartisan, and easy to pass. Why not get something done that will actually accomplish something instead of bickering endlessly about health care until you end up with a compromise bill that is practically useless.

The same could apply to any of your issues, and I think they’re all important, but they’re all virtually impossible to reach any consensus on, and even if you could, the likelihood of actually having any impact on homelessness, for example, is slim.

We shouldn’t stop passing important laws that should have been passed decades ago just because we are bogged down fighting over controversial legislation until nothing is left of it but a convoluted and ineffective compromise.

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