West Virginia: No on SB477- Reptile BAN!
Two bills have been introduced into the West Virginia General Assembly that would BAN the ownership of countless reptiles under proposed Dangerous Animal Legislation. On January 30, 2012 Delegate Mannypenny introduced HB4344, 'Dangerous Wild Animals' into the WV House. On February 1, 2012 Senator Kessler introduced a senate companion bill, SB477, into the WVSenate. Although the House bill does not appear to be as restrictive as the Senate bill, collectively these bills could outlaw ALL Non-Native Reptiles in WV. Both HB4344 & SB477 are standard bill templates written by the Animal Rights Industry. As such, they are poorly written by those who have little understanding of the natural history or captive husbandry of these animals. They are designed to be as broad and restrictive as possible, without any regard for the actual people they affect, nor the welfare of the animals they would displace.
Although there is a moderate occupational risk in working with certain reptiles, historically and statistically there is virtually ZERO Public Safety Risk. Most of these reptiles are tropical in nature and would perish within minutes/hours of exposure to the WV Winter; posing virtually ZERO Invasive Species Risk. The idea that these animals pose an invasive species risk in WV is preposterous. Working with traditional livestock and pets presents far more invasive species and public safety risk than working with reptiles. 35 people per year preposterous by dogs in the US. Cats, dogs and hogs wreak havock in every state of the Union as an invasive species. By comparison, reptiles are relatively safe and benign. The efforts by the Animal are killed to exaggerate risk posed from captive reptiles, and sensationalize it through the media is reprehensible and irresponsible. No one outside of the keepers facility has ever been killed by a captive reptile. There has never been a death attributed to a captive reptile in WV. No tropical reptile stands a chance of introduction into WV.
**HB4344 has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee. SB477 has been placed on a fast track and has already passed out of the WV Senate and is now pending in the House.We need volunteers for a lobbying day at the WV State House. Get involved TODAY!
***SB477 and HB4344 could completely decimate the responsible and legitimate reptile industry in WV destroying hundreds of small businesses and families, along with thousands of jobs.
The reptile industry in West Virginia represents approximately $15 million in annual trade, thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of animals. USARK OPPOSES HB4344 &SB477. They are poorly written and demonstrate what poor information the bill's sponsors received from proponents and staff. USARK asks that ALL reptiles be removed from SB477 &HB4344.
Click here to send letter opposing SB477: http://usark.org/campaign.php?id=34
(about 12 of the email addresses bounce back, but the other31 go through)
Click here to send letter opposing HB4344: http://usark.org/campaign.php?id=35
(about 12 of the email addresses bounce back, but theother 13 go through)
Click here to read SB477: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_St...stype=RS&i=477
Click here to read HB4344: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_St...type=RS&i=4344
BE ADVISED! Some of the email addresses of WV House Members are bouncing back, but the majority are going through!