The Humane Society of the United States is backing a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule banning the trade in large constricting snakes and opposing a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the agency’s action. In the rule, the FWS designated constricting snakes as “injurious” under the Lacey Act, forbidding import or transport in the interstate exotic pet trade.
Lawyers for the HSUS filed a “friend of the court” brief, explaining that the exotic pet trade has severe negative impacts on snake welfare and conservation. The brief also explains that federal law authorizes restrictions on such trade to protect human health and safety, agricultural interests and native ecosystems that can be destroyed by the escape or release of these non-native predators.
Despite the devastating consequences large constrictors have on the environment, the United States Association of Reptile Keepers filed suit to overturn the rule, and asked for an emergency injunction to block it from taking effect.
A hearing on plaintiff’s request for an emergency injunction is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7 at 2 p.m. before Judge Randolph Moss in the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia. The HSUS’ brief is available here (PDF).
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- Media Relations