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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 11th May 2010   #1
Jennewt
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Default New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

I am posting this to alert residents of New Mexico about a recent announcement from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. After requesting public comment about the rule for a couple of years, they announced a proposed revision. As of now, it is not yet the rule. The good news: they now provide a specific list of species. The bad news: they've made the procedures for getting a permit even more difficult than they were before. All herps require a permit, even those deemed to have no risk.

All non-native species are categorized into 4 groups:

Group 1 - no permit needed
  • many tropical freshwater fish
  • all plecostomus (funny, since they are a known invasive in the Southwest!)
  • "domesticated" species, including cats, dogs, ferrets, chickens, hamsters, etc.
  • livestock

Group 2 - "No known risk", but a permit is required. (WHY???)
  • most saltwater fish
  • freshwater shrimp
  • corals
  • some other tropical fish, such as neon tetras
  • several random newts/sals: crested, Hongkongs, Notos, Salamandra, T. verrucosus, Pachytriton, and a couple of others

Group 3 - "Minimal or manageable risks", permit required
  • axolotls
  • mantellas
  • most turtles
  • most alligators
  • most non-venomous snakes

Group 4 - Permit not available to the general public.
  • tiger salamanders and most other Ambystomids
  • Cryptobranchus
  • red-eared sliders
  • all dart frogs
  • most CITES-listed species

Not listed (and thus treated as Group 4):
  • most caudates, including all of the genus Cynops

Documents required for getting an importation permit:
  • Fee ($25 for 1-5 animals, $75 for 6-99 animals, $300 for >100)
  • G&F application
  • Containment or confinement plan
  • Letter from local city/county stating that the type of animal is legal to keep there
  • Vet inspection certificate OR obtaining the animal from a vet-inspected or otherwise authorized facility
  • Proof that all federal permits have been obtained (I have no idea what this means)
  • Proof that the requested species does not possess or have the immediate potential to carry contagious disease (I have no idea what this means)
  • Written agreement to any specific conditions and provisions requested by G&F after reviewing the application

I’m a fairly diligent and organized person, but even for me it would be nearly possible to get all of this together. And it all has to be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the animals being shipped into NM.

The link to the complete proposed rule:
Proposed Importation rule 2010

Actions NM residents can take, if you feel that this rule is not a workable approach to controlling invasive species:
  • Submit comments to G&F by June 4, 2010
  • Write or call to the Governor's office. The Governor appoints Fish and Game commissioners and thus has some influence on what happens there.
  • Write or call your reps in the NM state congress. They will probably be interested, but they don't have any direct ability to regulate Game & Fish.
  • Write letters to newspapers. There has been zero publicity in the press, and most people don't know this rule exists.



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Last edited by Jennewt; 12th May 2010 at 01:15. Reason: adding some details I had omitted
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Old 11th May 2010   #2
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

This is terrible!!



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Old 11th May 2010   #3
Russ Cormack
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

I'm glad I sold my land in Ruidoso!! Whose the director out there now, Ingrid Newkirk? This all getting so out of hand.



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Old 18th May 2010   #4
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

Hi,
I'm new to this, and I'm hoping you can help...I'm quite confused about what this new rule (law) means to me, the average pet owner, who might own a few on that list, one of them being the canary, of which I was quite surprised that they called it an evasive species. (All the rest I have fall into Group 1 and 2)
Do I have to get a permit for my companions? Does this mean I can no longer go to Texas and purchase inverts/fish for my saltwater fish tank? Or is it for transport and resale that this applies to.
I would appreciate any help on this matter,
Thanks,
Mare



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Old 21st May 2010   #5
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

From what I can tell, there won't be any witch hunts to find animals that have gotten into NM without permits. This rule has been on the books since 1960's but even G&F will tell you that it hasn't been enforced on pets until now. So animals in the state is already are there, and this rule has nothing to say about them.

In theory, yes, you as a private citizen are supposed to have an import permit for saltwater fish and inverts you might purchase in Texas in bring into NM. If you think this is totally insane, please speak up to your state representative, and particularly the governor's office.



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Old 6th June 2010   #6
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

Updates.

The public comment period has been extended to July 8, although this isn't stated on the DGF website at the moment.

The good news... DGF is showing a lot of flexibility in allowing the movement of species from group to group on the species list. It's quite likely that dart frogs will not end up in the banned group. Species that are CITES I will no longer automatically be in the banned group. A lot of additional herp species will be on the list.

The bad news... they are inexplicably holding firm on the requirements for an import permit. All non-domesticated animals coming in must have a vet certificate or come from an "approved provider". So far, the approved providers are not looking like the kinds of places any of us would want to buy from. The net result is that private breeders will be at a definite disadvantage selling animals to buyers in NM. No problem for big pet chains; a horrific blow to captive breeding, both for breeders and buyers in NM.



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Old 7th June 2010   #7
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

Am I correct in assuming that all stock presently owned is grandfathered in not needing permits? We have some similar restrictions here in the north where NOTHING non-native survives, and I can't fathom the reasoning used when people made up these lists. Yes, there are definitely issues re: some of the species, but someone who has a realistic and educated outlook would be able to bring some reason to the situstion. It sounds like a saying I remember reading..." a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...".



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Old 7th June 2010   #8
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

Formally, no, there is no grandfathering for currently-owned animals. But I think they realize that there are a lot of animals already here that cannot reasonably be expected to have a permit.

Here is another link with FAQs about this, which I only just discovered:
Untitled Document



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Old 8th June 2010   #9
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Default Re: New Mexico Importation Rule, NM Department of Game and Fish

What a crock, this is directed at private individuals with commercial activities able to get a bugus blanket permit. I'm sure the commercial types are all for this with the way internet commerce has affected them. And never assume they will not enforce it, UT had (has) the same type rules (old too) that they would selectively enforce if they wanted to jab someone.



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