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Saturday, April 11, 2009

What in the Hell are People Thinking? HR669

I would guess that they're not thinking. This is bad legislation ALL AROUND. Please watch!


D. A. said...

Have you actually read the Proposal? It proposes a system to determine what non native animals are causing harm and, even with all the harm nonnative animals and plants do, the act still allows permits to own. It is sensible, but unfortunately, most of the public is not educated about the issue invasive species. This video is propaganda on par with what the animal rights groups put out. Invasives species cost our society more than any amount of money the pet industry provides. Dogs and cats make up the majority of pets and won't even be affected. What do we do about all the "beloved" pets released in the wild that just die, spread disease, or disrupt ecosystems? Pythons, iguanas, cuban anoles, parakeets, are just some examples of pets that shouldn't be released, but they have been and have done plenty of damage in FL alone. So should people be able to own them? A permitting process allows the tracking of these animals and discourages illegal use. Will it be a cure-all? certainly not, but it is a step in the right direction since too many pet owners can't seem to be responsible with their pets.
I love dogs and Brett's art, which led me to this blog, but for all the ranting against hypocracy, you display your own. With all the supposed support for science and evolution on this blog, how about adding ecology? Without intact and functioning ecosystems, there won't be people and dogs. Non-native invasive species are just one of the many ways we are hammering our own life support this planet.

Jess Ruffner-Booth said...

This law is well-intentioned but it attempts to find a blanket, country wide solution to a regional problem. Under this law, the 'safety' of the imported species has to be proven. If a species could possibly become a problem in Florida, for instance, it would be prohibited in in the entire country. In pets, we see this kind of thing all the time, specifically with mandatory spay neuter legislation. Yes, there are areas of the country, notably the south, with overpopulation problems. That is a regional problem, let that region do the research and come up with a solution to that specific problem in their specific area.

We used to keep reptiles, boas and pythons, and I am well aware that many of the advances in husbandry and captive breeding have come from the private sector, not zoos, not educational institutions. This bill would make that kind a thing good deal harder, especially with new species, and when you make things too difficult, or too expensive, people tend not to do them (we see this all the time in breeding regs, as well.) Also, the establishment of the list of 'approved' species after the passage of the bill is a huge red flag. IME, that is a typical way to try to avoid controversy by the sponsors; legislators don't like controversy. Obviously it's backfired on this bill. We see this in kennel regulation bills, establishing the regs after the bill is passed. If this bill passes, you can expect to see a lot more of these videos as some commonly kept species are not fast-tracked onto the approved list. There really is no reason not to include a vast number of commonly kept animals on a preliminary approved list right now, and it would actually show good faith on the sponsors part that this bill is not going to run wild and make your kid's pet hamster illegal. You can also expect to see HSUS, who doesn't approve of keeping any kinds of reptile at all, lobbying for all reptiles to be included on the unapproved list.

Yes, invasive species are a problem. This bill, while well-intentioned, is way too broad, and once again, attempts to apply one solution to something that is very regional, with presumably regional solutions that may not include outright banning of species. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Sorry if you think we're hypocrites. You are welcome to move right along and not come back again.

Jess said...

GrrlScientist has a good analysis of this bill and why it's not a good idea over on ScienceBlogs:

I guess she's a hypocrite, too.

Sciroccopteryx said...

The problem is not with the intent of the bill, merely the execution. I'm all for keeping non-native animals out of ecosystems, but they've already gone and excluded some of the most harmful- cats, dogs, pigs and rabbits.

If you're really so foolish as to believe species on the exempted list aren't abandoned by their owners, you should check out my friend's neighborhood, where some idiot decided to release a bunch of rabbits when he moved.