Copied from Tikall's journal, I've been passing this around on tumblr. As many of you know, I am a member of the herp community and own several snakes. Believe me when I say these bans are serious. The HSUS is nothing more than a watered down version of PETA - in the end they don't want you to be able to keep any
animal, exotic or
domestic. Please read the text below, read the links, read up on the situation and then (hopefully) kick off a letter to your congressmen. Every little bit counts.
This is a big deal, guys. This bill can ban everything from betta fish to chinchillas. All of my pets would be on this list, and they're harmless!
CLICK HERE to email your congressmen: [link]
The text below is pasted to give you a better idea of the nature of this bill:
Send a letter to your congressmen with this form to stand against HR996!
If you are an animal lover or keeper, you NEED to do this. Don't even think twice. Sign it. This is not a petition. Your signature gets a letter sent to your state's congressmen, in email or if you so choose, as a physical letter as well, so do not pass over it because you think petitions are worthless. These are your babies this bill is targeting. Your birds, your fish, your reptiles, your amphibians, even your precious fuzzy sugar gliders and chinchillas.
HR996 is the re-written form of HR669, but rewritten means nothing but bringing it back to threat status. It is still as harmful as ever, aiming to take exotics away from the people who love them, certain to put many out of work, demolish millions of dollars of revenue, criminalize exotic pet owners for doing something simple like taking their pets with them, and risk the lives of every animal that does not make the white list. All species are treated as guilty until proven innocent, so you can guarantee not many will make the white list, and even fewer will be permanently banished to the black list for a reasonable purpose.
For the full proposed bill: [link]
Think this could actually do some good against invasive species? Think again. If this bill was actually to deal with invasive species by adding them to a black list criminalizing their importation and interstate transport, it would be redundant. We already have the Lacey Act for that, and it operates in a more sensible manner: innocent until proven guilty. HR996 is a bill targeted specifically at taking exotic pets away from the people who love them.
Note that there is absolutely no mention of what is to happen to any animals that don't make it on to the white list already in-country, nor mention for the keepers that already maintain such species. You can expect that the animals will NOT be protected, and that the very moment the opportunity would arise, they would be put to death.
If you are a reptile lover, it is ESPECIALLY up to you to step up to the plate. If you remember the HR669 fiasco, you will also remember that the death of the bill only gave rise to the years-fought and only wounded, not defeated, Python Ban. We are the BIGGEST targets. Our beloved pets are among the most misunderstood, and unlike insect or rodent-like pets they are assumed to be a murder happy public menace by the ignorant masses. We already lost our burms, condas, and rock pythons in the wake of HR669's original form. LET'S NOT LOSE ONE MORE SPECIES.
As with the Python Ban and HR669, you can expect HSUS to be lobbying with all their might for this to pass. They have already proven they are not against tossing money and penning fiction disguised as scientific study to try and get their way. Not aware of what a sack of crap HSUS is? Educate yourself here: [link]
Do not assume that the sheer stupidity of this bill and its intentions means it will fail even if you don't lift a finger. We already have seen that presented the right way, bans CAN happen. Learn from the Python Ban. Take action.
Even if you don't keep exotics, you should still be concerned about and stand against the rights of others being stripped in ignorance and the lives of animals being endangered for nothing but baseless fear.