We at Blackthorn Dragons wanted to take a second out of our lives and address an that we feel extremely passionate about as reptile keepers and also as American citizens.
We highly encourage you look into the America COMPETES act of 2022, specifically, the LACEY Act Amendments and find out more about how this affects not only us fellow reptile enthusiasts and small business owners, but also affects THOUSANDS of Americans who own any pet outside the scope of your traditional cats, dogs, and livestock.
"This issue is not just about reptiles, or birds, or fish, or amphibians, or mammals. It is about all of them! If you own an animal other than a dog, cat, or traditional farm animal, your species could be treated as injurious. If you have an animal interest business, this will likely affect you. Even business in domesticated agriculture species could be afflicted as shipments with any animal description may see increased inspection. This escalated scrutiny may also decrease the number of ports allowed for shipments." (USARK Newsletter, 2022)
How does this affect me?
- This act could place any animal species that is considered non-domesticated as an "injurious species". This puts pretty much ANY species of animal up for grabs and at any moment can be listed as "injurious". This will take a major toll on breeders, hobbyist, educational programs, zoos, aquariums, resesrch facilities, and thousands of pet owners!
- This act prevents interstate travel with any animals placed on this list of injurious species to include seeking veterinarian care or moving from state to state.
- These amendments take place at federal level. This makes it much more difficult to challenge and the consequences that come with violating these laws will be at the federal level, which is much more severe.
What has alreay happened?
America COMPETES act 2022 has just passed the house of represenatives and is on it's way to the senate. While this Act is written to help the American Economy and to implement more measures to protect wildlife while curbing illegal wildlife trafficking, it takes on a "one solution fits all" and we do not agree with this.
Why is this important?
This completely violates American freedoms, puts thousands of small businesses at risk, prevents American citizens from participating in hobbies they enjoy, and affects thousands of pet owners.
We as Americans should not put a ban on something just because bad people are making bad decisions, we should instead be teaching responsible ownership of animals, plants, and insects. Putting a ban interstate travel with animals does not stop ILLEGAL activities from happening, it only prohibits what responsible pet owners are allowed to do. In the end, the only people affected with the LACEY Act amendments are us, while the illegal activities continue to happen.
How can you help?
We have always said we are just 2 women wanting to make a difference, but we know change is made when we all work together and on a bigger scale leting our voices be heard.
Best avenues of approach:
1. Reach out to state senators:
The best way to be heard is to reach out to state senators in the form of a letter: USARK has a pre-written letter (linked below) that you can use as is or that you may edit. Remember to always be respectful, professional, and handle the situation with the utmost tact.
The following is from the USARK website:
Find and contact your two (2) U.S. Senators:
- Go to this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm
- Choose your State.
- Click “Contact” under a Senator’s name.
- Fill out the contact form. (You may need to click a second link such as SHARE, CONTACT, or EMAIL.)
- Repeat for your second Senator.
- You can find phone, fax, and mailing address details for Senators on their websites (after clicking “Contact”).
2. Sign petition and let your voice be heard: Change Petition
3. SPREAD THE WORD!
Help us share the word, share information, share resources, and encourage others to speak up! We have linked the change petition you can
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out!
USARK . (n.d.). America COMPETES act of 2022. USARK. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://usark.org/2022lacey1/
S.626 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Lacey Act amendments ... S.626 - Lacey Act Amendments of 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/626/