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DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

This is a discussion on DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version within the Laws/Legality and Ethics forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; Caudata.org Survey for USFWS now available. Please help us give real data to them to fight this ban: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Caudata I've ...

Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 17th January 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

Caudata.org Survey for USFWS now available. Please help us give real data to them to fight this ban: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Caudata

I've been waiting for people with more knowledge on the subject than I to come up with some kind of template letter we can write to our congress members and what to post on the federal register. As this hasn't been done yet and I am an impatient person when I really care about an issue, I'm going to do something.

The thread on the shipping ban has become long and intricate, which is fine, but if you don't have time or are intimidated by all the technical stuff and just want to help, here is what to do.

1. comment on the federal register (link below)
2. write/email your senators (link to easily find your senators and their email addys below)
3. write/email your representatives (link to easily find your senators and their email addys below)

As far as comments on the federal register and letters to congress, I think it's not as necessary to have the most perfectly written and well thought out letter as to show numbers. I posted on the federal register so far, this isn't the greatest statement in the world but it's a start. I'm also going to write some version of this to my congresspersons next.

If you wish, peruse the comments on the long thread and pick the ones you feel most strongly about and just get your opinion noted. Numbers are crucial. We need to let them know that we are a large group of constituents and voters. Thank you.

Start here with a comment (federal register)

Click here to find your local congress members.

Find your senators

Find your representatives

If you are not sure what your four digit zip code extension is and need it to find your representative, you can find it here:
zip code + 4 lookup

If you want to post what you write, or list important points you feel should be mentioned, please write them simply and concisely and post them in this thread. Thank you.


My comment (just for example) (feel free to plagiarize, use in part or whole):

The newt- and salamander-keeping hobby is much larger than you realize. Thousands of animals are sent interstate every year and many Americans support themselves wholly or partially from these sales. These diseases are not found in the pet trade. Cutting off the pet trade would increase the pressure for wild caught specimens, which is harmful to the native populations. Furthermore, hobbyists educate the public on the front lines to care for the future of these wonderful species. Many people would know nothing about these creatures without keepers and hobbyists, and the salamander pet trade. This knee-jerk ban does not help the problem but exacerbate it. We agree with an import ban; it would be wonderful if the demands for salamanders and newts could be met within the nation by small and larger scale newt and salamander breeders. It is not right to put an end to this hobby which brings joy and knowledge to so many people. There are better solutions. This plan is not well thought out or well grounded in scientific fact. Thank you.

Feb 2nd 2016: Note from John: You can see the current list of comments here. There are 121 as I write this, over half are pro ban by the way - I've read them all. You can use them for inspiration. Also, kudos to many of our members who made good, rational arguments _and_ put their name to their comment (looking at people like Charles T!).



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Last edited by John; 2nd February 2016 at 21:54. Reason: Added link to current comments.
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Old 17th January 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

Here is what I have written to my senator/representatives. Feel free to plagiarize, use in part or whole.:

First let me state that I am a real person who really raises native and exotic newts and salamanders as a hobby. It is a real hobby with thousands of participants in the US and worldwide. Maybe you have never heard of people with this hobby, but it is real, important to us, important for the environment, and educational.

We are currently in a comment period for a proposed ban on interstate and international transportation that is going into effect by the end of the month. This interim rule was unexpectedly announced and is being implemented without the usual public participation and commentary being taken into account. However, I and all those who share my hobby want to be heard and we urge our representatives and senators to oppose this and have it reconsidered.

Here is a link to the proposal/ Docket No. FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005. I would not be surprised if you had not heard of it yourself.
https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...id-fungus#h-11

Here are the points I wish to make:
The newt- and salamander-keeping hobby is much larger than people realize. Thousands of animals are sent interstate every year and many Americans support themselves wholly or partially from these sales. These diseases are not found in the pet trade. Cutting off the pet trade would increase the pressure for wild caught specimens, which is harmful to the native populations. Furthermore, hobbyists educate the public on the front lines to care for the future of these wonderful species. Many people would know nothing about these creatures without keepers and hobbyists, and the salamander pet trade. This knee-jerk ban does not help the problem but exacerbate it. We agree with an import ban; it would be wonderful if the demands for salamanders and newts could be met within the nation by small and larger scale newt and salamander breeders. It is not right to put an end to this hobby which brings joy and knowledge to so many people. There are better solutions. This plan is not well thought out or well grounded in scientific fact.

I thank you for your attention.



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Last edited by Otterwoman; 17th January 2016 at 04:08.
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Old 17th January 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

I cant seem to find the address to mail my comment in. I seem to remember reading they are only accepting mailed in hard copy comments(no emails/online comments).
Where are you sending in your comment?



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Old 17th January 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otterwoman View Post
... as to show numbers....
Towards this point many of us have friends who may not be necessarily into caudates directly but may support you or your activities. It's not too much then perhaps ask them or create a Facebook post asking friends to state simply on the comment link "I am against the ban on interstate trade." Something simple like that can easily increase numbers without creating wordy text that will confound review of the comments.

Just an idea.



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Old 17th January 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

I've sent messages to everyone I can within my power, so hopefully everyone else is doing the same. This was a hobby I was a part of a long time ago, and now that I finally was ready to get back into it of course something like this would happen :/



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Old 17th January 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

Quote:
Originally Posted by DITB View Post
I cant seem to find the address to mail my comment in. I seem to remember reading they are only accepting mailed in hard copy comments(no emails/online comments).
Where are you sending in your comment?
Update: It was in comment #87 and only had to do with the Fish and Wildlife Service.


The Federal Register site is set up to take comments.

Our Senators and Representatives are affected by emails and/or letters and/or calls. They were not referring to them when the 'no email' comment was mentioned.

To find my senator/rep emails, once I found who they were, I clicked on their name and went to their website. They always have an 'email me' button set up somewhere.



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Last edited by Otterwoman; 18th January 2016 at 12:32.
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Old 17th January 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

FYI:

http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/2016/2016-00452.pdf

This is the most current version of the proposal. At least Ambystomids are not on it....yet.


My heart goes out to you all. Even though I have not been active in the hobby for years, I was greatly disturbed to see this day arrive.


~AKA SludgeMunkey(still!)



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Old 17th January 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

Other letter drafts are here, here, and here.

(comments 87, 94, and 103)

Also here (comment 123)

These sample letters all have excellent points you can make.



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Last edited by Otterwoman; 19th January 2016 at 00:40.
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Old 18th January 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

When making comments to the Federal Register, be sure to make your comments personalized (to your situation/impact), and by all means don't just say "this is ridiculous", those kinds of comments aren't counted.

I will try to post some additional ideas for "talking points" soon... right now I'm too busy shipping and swabbing...



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Old 27th January 2016   #10 (permalink)
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Default some responses to the questions posed in the rule

I deleted some posts from this thread in order to re-focus it on responses to USFWS.

First, I will post my preliminary answers to the questions posed in the interim rule itself (the parts in italics are quoted from the rule). Then I will post some additional thoughts. Please don't copy and paste my answers, but please DO use my ideas. And feel free to expand or contradict any of this!

We are soliciting public comments and supporting data to gain additional information, and we specifically seek comment on the following questions:

(1) How many of the species listed by this rule are currently in production for wholesale or retail sale, and in how many and which States?

The majority of commonly captive-bred species are on the list of 201. Speak from your own experience. Based on what you have read and the people you know - how many of the 201 species are being captive bred and sold?

(2) How many businesses sell one or more of the species listed by this rule?
This would include places that sell wild-caught imports. Just tell them the number you know of, and/or refer to the forthcoming Caudata.org survey.

(3) How many businesses breed one or more of the species?
This would be a smaller number - just the businesses that captive breed. Just tell them the number you know of, and/or refer to the forthcoming Caudata.org survey.

(4) What species listed as threatened or endangered by one or more States would be affected by the introduction of Bsal?
Unknown.

(5) What provisions in the interim rule should the Service have considered with regard to: (a) The impact of the provision(s) (including any benefits and costs), if any, and (b) what alternatives, if any, the Service should consider, as well as the costs and benefits of those alternatives, paying specific attention to the effect of the rule on small entities?

a. Some of the costs associated with the loss of legal businesses have probably been underestimated. Another kind of cost is the loss of private sector expertise.

b. The best alternative would be a modification of the rule that would have less impact on small businesses and researchers, while still stopping the US import of species with a significant risk of carrying Bsal.

(6) How could the interim rule be modified to reduce costs or burdens for some or all entities, including small entities, consistent with the Service's requirements? For example, we seek comment on the distinct benefits and costs, both quantitative and qualitative, of (a) the prohibitions on importation and (b) the prohibitions on interstate transport of the species listed by this rule. What are the costs and benefits of the modifications?
a. The rule should be modified to allow the import of captive-bred animals that have been tested and are negative for Bsal. Most businesses could comply with increased testing requirements for imports.
b. The interstate part of the rule should be modified to allow the transit of salamanders shipped from facilities that comply with some kind of regular testing requirements that could be developed. Most small businesses could comply with greater testing requirements for interstate transit of salamanders. The benefit would be to allow such businesses to continue. The costs would be the costs of the testing requirements. Risks to wildlife would be exceedingly small.

(7) Is there any evidence suggesting that Bsal has been introduced into the United States or may have already established?
To date, none has been published or publicized.

(8) Are there other pathways for Bsal into the United States that we should address? If so, what are they?
Illegal imports. It could cross international borders via waterways and waterflowl.

(9) Is there evidence suggesting that any of the species listed by this rule are not carriers of Bsal? If so, what species?
The ban list was created based on genera in which one or more species was shown to be able to host the disease. Most of the listed species haven't been tested. For the species that have been tested (Martel et al. 2014), the data are don't show what might happen in the wild.

(10) Is there any evidence suggesting that additional species are carriers of Bsal and should be listed by this rule? If so, what species?
Unknown at this time.

(11) Are there methods (such as thermal exposure) that would allow salamanders imported into the United States to be reliably treated to help ensure Bsal is not introduced into the United States, and how could compliance be monitored?
Unknown at this time.

(12) Should the Service add eggs or other reproductive material of listed salamanders to the list of injurious wildlife because they may also carry Bsal?
Eggs should remain unlisted, for the reasons stated in the Interim rule. The risk of eggs transmitting the disease is extremely low because they cannot harbor it. Transfer of eggs allows a path forward for the development of private sector expertise in breeding and rearing caudates, while having virtually no risk of transmission.

Dead salamanders and their parts should also be allowed for interstate transit, provided they are dried or preserved in suitable concentrations of alcohol or formaldehyde. As the interim rule stands now, it is illegal for a pet keeper or business to send swabs of their salamanders for testing, because this usually requires sending the swabs across state lines. Forbidding the transport of swabs and preserved parts is clearly counterproductive to the goal of stopping the spread of Bsal and other amphibian diseases.

(13) For the species we are listing, are the scientific and common names the most appropriate ones accepted by the scientific community?
List the errors you can find in the names of the salamanders listed. I'm not the best person to address this (has Frogeyes posted a list?).

(14) What are relevant Federal, State, or local rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the interim rule?
Answer this based on your knowledge of your own state and local rules.



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Old 27th January 2016   #11 (permalink)
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Default Additional talking points

Additional talking points. Some of this may be half-baked, but I want to throw it out here and let you all pick it apart and say what's good and what's not. Again, please feel free to use these ideas, but I don't recommend copying anyone else's words exactly.

Permanence
Whatever rule is adopted, it should be subject to periodic review and amendment/replacement at a later date. Improved methods of testing and treatment may become available that will make some of the restrictions in this rule unnecessary. The science concerning what species pose a threat to spreading this disease will become clearer, and the rule should be subject to amendment (to be less restrictive, or more restrictive) as this information becomes available.

The extent of captive breeding was greatly underestimated in the Interim Rule
The rule states that "a minimum of 338 domestically bred salamanders may be affected due to the interstate transportation prohibition." We all know that the number is much, much higher. If you yourself produced any CB salamanders, estimate how many per year. The survey from Caudata.org will hopefully come up with some numbers.

Hobby breeders and small business breeders as stakeholders
Decisions at USFWS regarding the final rule should solicit input from all stakeholders, including the private sector. There is a perception among many that the private sector amphibian afficianados are detrimental to

Safety of captive breeding
Captive breeding generally has a very low risk of spreading Bsal. Despite the millions of live Asian newts and salamanders imported over the past 50 years, there are still no documented cases of Bsal detected in the wild. If such newts posed a significant threat, this disease would already be endemic. Captive breeding poses far less risk, and should be encouraged as an alternative to wild caught imports. The ban on interstate transport allows for very little path forward for the long-term viability of captive-bred colonies.

Value of captive breeding
Captive breeding has the potential to decrease demand for wild-caught animals, and thus decrease disease risk in captive population and decrease removal of amphibians from the wild. Because it stops interstate movement, the interim rule puts a stop to legal captive breeding of listed species. These 201 species include nearly most of the species of interest to hobbyists and pet keepers.

Value of private sector expertise
Private sector breeders have developed a wealth of information about captive breeding of caudates. Many are active at the local level with conservation efforts.

Caudata Culture is in the Reference list for the Interim Rule!
The Caudate Culture website has been developed almost entirely based on expertise developed in the private sector by pet keepers and hobbyists. Caudata.org and Caudata Culture have been cited in numerous books, as well as zoological and academic literature. In fact, CC is cited in the References for the USFWS rule itself!

The Caudata.org discussion forum brings together hobbyists, breeders, and professional herpetologists and researchers. The information catalogued over the years is immense.

Most pet keepers and hobbyists are also pro-conservation
Speak to your own feelings on this. Do you and other pet keepers care about wild salamanders? The leadership of Caudata.org has been opposed to mass imports of WC salamanders for a long time.

Can a native species really be "injurious wildlife"?
None of the native species listed in the rule come from areas with endemic occurrence of Bsal. If there are no documented cases of these natives carrying Bsal, either in the wild or in captivity, how can they be considered injurious?

Impact on research
By making the transport of many live and dead salamanders more difficult, research that has been advanced by the use of these materials will be decreased. Although the rule allows exclusions for research, these exclusions require a permit that imposes substantial burdens to researchers.

Impact on sustaining viable captive populations
Both for zoos and the private sector, viable long-term captive breeding requires the exchange of live animals, often across state lines. By making this more difficult for zoos, and impossible for private citizens, there will be less captive breeding.

The private sector can become more responsible in its activities
I need to think more about this… maybe the rest of you have some suggestions?

Stopping movement of salamanders won't stop Bsal, if it gets here
This argument was made by Ed here: New federal salamander regulations - Dendroboard

Encourage responsible businesses, or shut them down?
As of January 28, all law-abiding businesses dealing in captive bred salamanders have stopped selling across state lines. In all likelihood, trade in caudates will continue, but carried out by less responsible/accountable entities.



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Old 27th January 2016   #12 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

I'm going to address an additional point here; this is not a new scenario for the hobby. I just don't think a lot of people paid attention the last time this emergency ban on the hobby happened. It happened back in 2000 due to Heartwater disease risks from ticks on certain tortoises imported from Africa. The initial ban prohibited the exact same thing, banned imports, and interstate trade. Subsequent to the comment period those totoises in the US had to be accompanied by a health certificate by an accredited veterinarian.

The original ban on the tortoises can be seen here
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-200...ml/00-7014.htm

and some of the specific wording
Quote:
In addition, we are amending the interstate movement regulations to prohibit, until further notice, the interstate movement of all species and subspecies of these land tortoises. These actions are necessary because these tortoises, which are regularly imported into the United States and are common in the U.S. pet trade, have been found to harbor the tropical bont tick (Amblyomma variegatum), the African tortoise tick (Amblyomma marmoreum), and ticks of the species Amblyomma sparsum. All of these exotic ticks are known to be vectors of heartwater disease. Heartwater disease is an acute infectious disease of ruminants, including cattle, sheep, goats, white-tailed deer, and antelope. This disease has a 60 percent or greater mortality rate in livestock and a 90 percent or greater mortality rate in white-tailed deer.
Subsequent modification to the rule to allow interstate transport see
https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...land-tortoises
Quote:
The second interim rule amended the regulations by allowing the interstate movement of these land tortoises if they were accompanied by a health certificate signed by a Federal or accredited veterinarian stating that the tortoises have been examined by that veterinarian and found free of ticks. This document amends the second interim rule by allowing that certificate to be either a health certificate or a certificate of veterinary inspection and by providing that only an accredited veterinarian may sign the certificate. This action is necessary to enable the export, interstate commerce, health care, and adoption of these types of tortoises while providing protection against the spread of exotic ticks known to be vectors of heartwater disease. This action will also relieve an unnecessary burden on Federal veterinarians.
USFW felt this was a reasonable compromise so those who feel it works for the hobby can include it in their comments as a solution.

There are also some papers out that demonstrate that Bsal is relatively easy to clear from infected animals. See Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature : Scientific Reports

Blooi, Mark, et al. "Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature." Scientific reports 5 (2015).

http://www.amphibians.org/wp-content...onSheet181.pdf

Pereira, Kenzie E., and Amphibian Die-offs. "BATRACHOCHYTRIUM SALAMANDRIVORANS."

Treatment of urodelans based on temperature dependent infection dynamics of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans : Scientific Reports

Blooi, Mark, et al. "Treatment of urodelans based on temperature dependent infection dynamics of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans." Scientific reports 5 (2015).

All of the above are free access.


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Old 27th January 2016   #13 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

FYI, the land tortoise action was taken by the USDA, and did not involve the Lacey Act. The Injurious Species listing is by USFWS and uses title 18 of the Lacey Act. The latter prohibits import and interstate shipping, but not interstate transport.

To refresh on the taxonomic issues:

Plethodon ainsworthi is a synonym of P.mississippi
Triturus hongkongensis is a synonym of Paramesotriton hongkongensis [they discuss this name, but it requires a special sort of failed competence to NOT figure out the correct name]
Tylototriton himalayanus is omitted
"Triturus" vittatus is Ommatotriton vittatus. This genus has not been tested, and by the listing criteria should be removed. Scientific accuracy requires valid and current taxonomic sources, not government rubber-stamped ones which are decades out of date.
Ommatotriton ophryticus is implied. Previously considered a subspecies of "Triturus vittatus, but it is neither that genus nor that species, and by the listing criteria should not be listed.
Usage of Hydromantes sensu lato is acceptable. The mention of Speleomantes for only one species is odd at best.

As Ed [and I] previously mentioned, another treatment method is available, and the onus would be on the importer and exporter to obtain testing or treatment, as necessary, for import to be permitted.



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Old 27th January 2016   #14 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

FrogEyes, what happened with the genus name Hypselotriton? I think they should at least mention it somewhere as a synonym, lest a clever importer tries to avoid the ban by importing Hypselotriton orientalis.



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Old 27th January 2016   #15 (permalink)
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Hypselotriton is a more recent change than Speleomantes, and it's clear that whoever reviews the species list has done a very lazy job of checking into current taxonomy. However, the best current data indicate that Hypselotriton is sister to Cynops, meaning it's not strictly necessary to split the two. For the purposes of this thread, since Hypselotriton has three subgenera [one unnamed] and an additional name with a confusing history, it was simpler to just stick with the broader concept of Cynops. As both are likely vectors, there's no practical reason to separate them here.



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Old 28th January 2016   #16 (permalink)
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Old 29th January 2016   #17 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

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Originally Posted by FrogEyes View Post
FYI, the land tortoise action was taken by the USDA, and did not involve the Lacey Act. The Injurious Species listing is by USFWS and uses title 18 of the Lacey Act. The latter prohibits import and interstate shipping, but not interstate transport.
FrogEyes, what is the difference, practically speaking, between interstate shipping and interstate transport? Does the latter imply that it is legal for a person to hand-carry one of the listed species across state lines? That would be a gaping loophole...



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Something was pointed out, which I missed and which is an obvious point of confusion:

"Paramesotriton labiatus - spotless stout newt" is on the list. This is a valid species of Paramesotriton, not a Pachytriton. It has been otherwise known as Pachytriton C and Paramesotriton ermizhaoi. "Spotless stout newt" is not the right common name. All valid named Paramesotritons are listed, including this one.

Pachytriton is not on the list, nor is any of the seven valid species listed by any name. The animals previously known as Pachytriton labiatus are now Pachytriton inexpectatus, with pet trade animals mainly being Pachytriton granulosus. It would not be surprising if these all get added to the list at some point, but they're not there yet.



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Old 29th January 2016   #19 (permalink)
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FrogEyes, what is the difference, practically speaking, between interstate shipping and interstate transport? Does the latter imply that it is legal for a person to hand-carry one of the listed species across state lines? That would be a gaping loophole...
In the law, "shipping" is defined by the use of a common carrier, and for example is limited to include things like FedEx, USPS, UPS, DHL, etc. You pay someone else to transport your package [along with packages from other senders].

"Transport" is not so limited in definition.

Title 16 for the Lacey Act prohibits "transport" of any plant or animal which was obtained in violation of a law or is a "prohibited species". This applies to all species, including injurious ones. Possession of an injurious species is not automatically illegal, although it may be in some states.

Title 18 for the Lacey Act prohibits "shipment" of any injurious species.

As long as nothing in Title 16 is violated, it's not illegal to "transport" injurious species. Know the laws of the states you enter or leave. Title 16 allows transport through states where possession is ILLEGAL, if the species is en route to a destination where it is legal.

USFWS consistently says it's illegal to transport injurious species (since zebra mussels are often illegal to possess, they ARE illegal to "transport", but that's because they're illegal to possess, not because they're injurious species). Legal analysis says they're wrong, but there haven't been any court cases on the matter. Nor are there likely to be, since it's quite clearly not in USFWS favor. They're better off causing people to believe it and fear prosecution, than going to court and having the interpretation going clearly against them. Since the same Act uses both terms clearly and separately, a court is likely to determine that there is no ambiguity or confusion, and congress intended to use the two terms according to their legal definitions.

from 16 USC 3371 - 3378
(a) The term “fish or wildlife” means any wild animal, whether alive or dead, including without limitation any wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, coelenterate, or other invertebrate, whether or not bred, hatched, or born in captivity, and includes any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof.
(g) Prohibited wildlife species--The term “prohibited wildlife species” means any live species of lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, or cougar or any hybrid of such a species.
(k) The term “transport” means to move, convey, carry, or ship by any means, or to deliver or receive for the purpose of movement, conveyance, carriage, or shipment.

from 18 USC 42
Bold added by me - only inhumane or unhealthy "transport" is prohibited
(a)
(1) The importation into the United States, any territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States, or any shipment between the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States, of... [remainder omitted by me]
(c) The Secretary of the Interior within one hundred and eighty days of the enactment of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 shall prescribe such requirements and issue such permits as he may deem necessary for the transportation of wild animals and birds under humane and healthful conditions, and it shall be unlawful for any person, including any importer, knowingly to cause or permit any wild animal or bird to be transported to the United States, or any Territory or district thereof, under inhumane or unhealthful conditions or in violation of such requirements. In any criminal prosecution for violation of this subsection and in any administrative proceeding for the suspension of the issuance of further permits—

(1) the condition of any vessel or conveyance, or the enclosures in which wild animals or birds are confined therein, upon its arrival in the United States, or any Territory or district thereof, shall constitute relevant evidence in determining whether the provisions of this subsection have been violated; and

(2) the presence in such vessel or conveyance at such time of a substantial ratio of dead, crippled, diseased, or starving wild animals or birds shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the violation of the provisions of this subsection.


Parts of the Lacey Act are only a tiny part of 18 USC, and I haven't tracked down a relevant definition for "shipping", although all of this is discussed in a legal briefing which has previously been linked.



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Old 30th January 2016   #20 (permalink)
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Default re: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERSTATE BAN NOW: easy version

Thank you for the thorough response, FrogEyes. If I understand what you're saying correctly, since this regulation is under Title 18 of the Lacey Act, it should theoretically be legal to personally transport or hand-carry one of the 201 listed species across state lines. E.g., an individual could go to a reptile expo in a neighboring state, buy some newts, and bring them back to their home state as long as the species in question is not illegal in that state or in the state where they were purchased. Does that sound correct?



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