Do something about the new salamander ban proposal


Staff member
Dec 13, 2006
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Wappingers Falls, NY
United States
Well, they are at it again, and again, it is time to pull out our magic wands- because what tool is more magical than the pen?

John posted on Facebook:
"As warned, the USFWS through lawmakers have introduced a new law HR-6362 that will ban all import and interstate commerce of species deemed by USFWS as injurious. In short, it would institute the interstate ban on the 201 species of salamander for real this time, and allow USFWS to add whatever species they like to the banned species list. Time to write to your Congress people to prevent HR-6362 passing. "

Here are links with info from the horses' mouths

I posted this on her FB page:
HR6362 is a terrible idea. Short sighted. Raising newts and salamander is a hobby throughout the US. Many people's livelihood depends on it. THere have been studies and tests. THere is no BSAL in the US salamander population. What about zoos, and labs. Very short sighted and a knee jerk reaction that will make things worse for many people.

Here's what we can do.

1. Contact Gillebrand and Stefanik and tell them what you think

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)

Click here to find your local congress members.

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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.

You can use phrases and info from this site:

I quote it in its entirety:
Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act of 2018

By USARK on July 16, 2018

HR6362 has been introduced and is titled the “Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act of 2018.” The bill was introduced by Representative Elise Stefanik and there were no cosponsors upon introduction. A companion bill, S3210, was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. It also had no cosponsors upon introduction. These bills are yet another flawed approach for dealing with the problem of invasive species.

These bills would, for all practical purposes, nullify USARK’s victory in its lawsuit which determined that most interstate transportation of species listed as injurious under the Lacey Act was not prohibited, as ruled by four federal judges. It is clear that those who disagree with the federal courts and their ruling are behind these bills. The bills do much more than ban interstate transportation and we have broken down the highlights below.

The bills repeal the current Lacey Act provisions dealing with injurious species, replacing them with a much more expansive regulatory system. If adopted into law, all species currently listed as injurious under the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42) would be automatically listed under this new Act (including 201 species of salamanders and nine species of constrictor snakes). Moreover, the Act creates new, lower standards for listing new species. The law would also require the Secretary of the Interior to consider all species “not in trade” – based on regulations the Interior Department would develop – for listing within three years.

USARK is adamantly opposed to these bills for many reasons. Not only is it a supreme example of government overreach, but this and similar actions on the issue of injurious and invasive species will lead to many unintended consequences.

USARK will provide relevant updates as they become available.

LINK to HR63626 bill text:

LINK to S3210 bill text:

Bill history:

There is a history to this Act. USARK reported on prior versions which included both HR5895 (introduced by Representative Louise Slaughter) and S3278 (introduced by Senator Kristen Gillibrand) in 2016. Read that post at A similar bill was also introduced in 2013 as HR996. Read more on that bill at The original version dates back to HR5864 and its Senate companion S3606 from the 112th Congress.

What the bills do (in plain language):

Makes illegal the transportation of injurious species between states: “it is unlawful for any person… to import into the United States or transport between States any wildlife designated as an injurious wildlife…”
Creates a list of species which are “not in trade” and those species cannot be imported or transported between states unless or until they are reviewed by the Secretary;
Ambiguously defines “not in trade” species as those non-native species that are not “widely” imported or transported between states (i.e. no definition for the word widely) within the past year;
Within three years from the effective date, a list of all ‘‘wildlife not in trade to the United States’’ must be compiled and that list reviewed to see if any of those species should be designated as injurious;
Allows for an immediately effective emergency rule to add species as injurious;
Requires the establishment of an electronic database for imports of all wildlife which identifies injurious species;
States that the Secretary of the Interior possesses authority to regulate wildlife pathogens and parasites (i.e. Bsal) which currently falls under the jurisdiction of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA);
Makes less burdensome (easier) the listing of species as injurious;
Creates the “Injurious Wildlife Prevention Fund” funded by a new “user fee” (i.e., tax) on wildlife imports.

The bills would not ban the possession of species designated as injurious (contrary to the misinformation sent to us by a member who read it online). They will, however, ban their possession if it occurred in violation to this Act after its effective date. Basically, it is not retroactive (so ownership is grandfathered) and activities within any state would remain legal, unless in violation of state or local law. Nonetheless, that does not make this Act acceptable in any sense.

Also contrary to what some may have been told, this is not the creation of a white list, or a limited list of species which can be imported and/or transported across state lines. The bills do not do what HR669 would have done in 2009 (111th Congress). The bills vary greatly from HR669 and others interpreting this bill may be displaying a lack of understanding and comprehension.

The new definition of injurious species under this Act:

‘‘injurious wildlife taxon or taxa’’ means any family, genus, species, subspecies, or hybrid of nonnative wildlife that is determined by the Director (of USFWS) to be injurious in the United States to:

(i) a human being;
(ii) an interest of—
(I) agriculture;
(II) horticulture; or
(III) forestry; or
(iii) any wildlife or wildlife resources.

Legislative Prospect:

These are late introductions in the second year of a two-year Congress. Also, Congress recesses later this month and does not reconvene until September 4. There will likely be little action, if any, for some time on this bill. This Act may not get any traction at all, like similar bills.

Given the lateness of introduction and the fate of previously introduced similar bills, it is unlikely the legislation will advance before the end of the 115th Congress this December. However, anti-pet activists have and will continue to push for an end to the keeping of all of these animals (U.S. non-native species) under human care without consideration for what those species may be.
Here is a link to the bill:
Here is the thread I started last time:
Here is John's FB thread:
Last edited:
I went to Gillibrand's site and also posted.
I know these are just short comments, I just wanted to put this out there. I'll be crafting something better to write all my congresspeople etc.

I hope you will too!

THank you.
Otterwoman, thanks for posting this. Since this will likely impact keepers of many herp species besides salamanders, if anybody has additional bullet points that address some of the other herps (large, dangerous, potentially invasive, etc) likely to be affected, I would appreciate seeing them, and any other ideas you may have.
I was wondering if there is a list of first captive breedings of salamander species by members. It would be nice to include in a letter to a legislator, I think this organization is a great example of how amateurs can still contribute to science.
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