If you like FISH or any other Pets you need to read this!!!!

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If you like FISH or any other Pets you need to read this!!!!

Post by Gerwin » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:08 am

The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act (H.R. 669), introduced by Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam)
Chair of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife of the House Natural Resources Committee
would totally revamp how nonnative species are regulated under the Lacey Act.
Currently, the Fish and Wildlife Service is required to demonstrate that a species is injurious [harmful] to health
and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and the welfare and survival of
wildlife resources of the U.S.
HR 669 substantially complicates that process by compelling the Service to produce two lists after conducting a
risk assessment for each nonnative wildlife species to determine if it is likely to “cause economic or
environmental harm or harm to other animal species’ health or human health.” In order to be placed on the
“Approved List” it must be established that the species has not, or is not likely, to cause “harm” anywhere in the
US. Species that are considered potentially harmful would be placed on an “Unapproved List.” Furthermore, HR
669 would essentially ban all species that do not appear on the Approved List, regardless of whether or not they
have ever been petitioned for listing or are sufficiently well studied to enable a listing determination.
Species not appearing on the “Approved List” could not be imported into the United States; therefore, all
unapproved nonnative species could not be moved interstate. In addition, trade in all such unlisted species would
come to a halt – possession would be limited and all breeding would cease. Unless those species are included on
the approved list import, export, transport, and breeding would be prohibited. Exceptions are limited and would
not be available to pet owners across the nation.
Nonnative species in the pet trade encompass virtually every bird, reptile, fish and a number of mammals
(e.g., hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets) commonly kept as pets. It is immaterial under HR 669 that the
• Vast majority of these nonnative species in the pet trade have been in the United States in large numbers
for decades, some for hundreds of years, and have not proven to be an environmental problem.
• Numerous species are raised in the United States for many purposes, pets, recreational fishing and
hunting, food, etc.
• Only a small number of species kept as pets have caused environmental problems, and this has generally
been on a very localized basis (i.e. southern Florida, Hawaii).
• Most states have exercised their authority to regulate problem species within their own borders through a
mixture of management regimes ranging from permit systems to bans.
HR669 - March 31, 2009
• The HR 669 listing criteria mandates proving a negative – that no harm has or is likely to occur within
whole of the entire United States.
• The “risk assessment” process is too limited in scope and application and should instead be a a broader
“risk analysis” that also takes into consideration socio-economic factors and mitigation (management)
measures that might be utilized by the federal and state agencies.
HR 669 would employ a 2-step process of a Preliminary and a Final Approved List along with the Services
having to promulgate regulations not only to deal with creation of the lists but also regulating all aspects of this
rather complex bill. The Service would have to complete major portions of the list and regulation process within
24 months of passage. Imagine how the Service will be able to conduct the required risk assessment outlined in
HR 669 within these timeframes when it takes on average 4 years for the Service to find a species harmful under
the current Lacey Act. The bill sets up the under-resourced Service for failure and numerous lawsuits by activist
Listing Process - To list or not to list? -- That is the question!
The listing process is somewhat complex. To place a species on the Preliminary Approved List (at some point in
time converts to a Final Approved List) the Service must make a determination that those listed species, based on
scientific and commercial information, are
• Not harmful to the United State’s economy, environment or other animals’ or human health OR
• May be harmful “but already are so widespread in the United States that it is clear to the Secretary that
any import prohibitions or restrictions would have no practical utility for the United States.”
While proponents would argue that this test would not be as rigorous as the ultimate test set forth in HR 669,
PIJAC is at a loss how one proves no harm under the alleged simplified test for inclusion on the “Preliminary
Approved List.”
To get on the ultimate “Approved List ” (accomplished within 37 months), the Service would have to complete
risk assessments, not risk analysis, using the following criteria. The assessors would have to make a determination
based on:
• Species identified to species level, and if possible information to subspecies level;
• Native range of the species (which may or not be fully known);
• Whether species has established, spread, or caused harm to the economy, the environment, or other
animal species or human health in ecosystems in or ecosystems similar to those in the US;
• Environmental conditions exist in the US that suitable for establishment of the species;
• Likelihood of establishment in the US;
• Likelihood of speared in the US;
• Likelihood species would harm wildlife resources of the US;
• Likelihood the species would harm native species that are “rare” (not defined) or listed under Endangered
Species Act;
• Likelihood species would harm habitats or ecosystems of the US;
• Likelihood “pathogenic species or parasitic species may accompany the species proposed for
importation;” and
• Other factors “important to assessing the risk associated with the species”.
Once a determination is made, the Service will place a species on one of 3 lists
• Approved List
• Unapproved List
• The “Non-list” (section 4(2)(C)) for species for which “the Secretary has insufficient scientific and
commercial information to make a determination “ whether to approve or disapprove.
User Fees
HR 669 also calls for the establishment of a user fee system for funding assessments following the adoption of the
“Preliminary Approved List.” This has been a long term desire of animal activist and environmental protectionist
organizations since they know that user fees can become cost prohibitive and virtually eliminate small interest
groups or business from participating in the process. It can easily paralyze access except for the wealthy or those
living off of tax exempt dollars who use the system to drive their agendas. Furthermore, fees are not made
available to the Service until 36 months into the process. It is not clear how the Service would implement the first
three years of work under HR 669.
According to the Defenders of Wildlife "For far too long the pet, aquarium and other industries have imported live
animals to the United States without regard to their harm…" Defenders, the Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are part of a coalition pushing hard for passage of this bill without
A HEARING has been scheduled for April 23 and the pet industry needs to be heard load and clear prior to the
hearing! The anti-trade elements are hard at work to stop activities involving non-native species.
A copy of HR 669 can be found on PIJAC’s website in the “Breaking News” and the “HR669 Forum” sections of
the www.pijac.org. Read the bill carefully since it could shut down major segments of the pet industry virtually
PIJAC POSITION -- PIJAC supports the underlying intent of HR 669 to establish a risk-based process in order
to prevent the introduction of potentially invasive species. It has been clear for quite some time that steps are
needed to enhance and improve the current listing process for species shown to be injurious under the Lacey Act.
In addition to much needed appropriations to fund staff and other ancillary support aids, the Lacey Act needs to
be modernized to make the process more timely, efficient and transparent. However, HR 669 falls far short of
accomplishing this objective.
CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMITTEE (see contact information below) by
• emailing or faxing your opposition to HR 669 to their offices in Washington DC urging them to amend
the bill
• ALSO contact their district offices
o voice your opposition
o and request a meeting with the representative when they are back in the District
It is also important to organize like-minded people in your district so several of you can visit with your
representative at the same time.
A few talking points:
• The approach taken in HR 669 will adversely impact trade and other activities involving nonnative
species without utilizing a scientifically valid approach – even in the limited instances in which sufficient
data are available on the biology and range of species, it will be virtually impossible to prove that they
could not establish and spread in some portion of the US. Thus, it will be nearly impossible to get species
on the “Approved List” unless they are so widespread in the country already.
• The degree of uncertainty that will result by applying the “as if” criteria will result in virtually every
species ending up on the list for which there is insufficient information to make a decision DESPITE THE
FACT that most of these species have been in trade, recreational use, farming, etc. for decades with only a
small percentage of species being problematic and then in localized situations
• A one size assessment process fits all species is not plausible – what may be harmful in Hawaiian waters
would not be harmful in Kansas or the deserts of Arizona or Texas.
• HR 669 overly simplifies the complexity of the issue; bans all species unless they can get on an approved
list; the criteria for the Approved List are not realistic; the lists are biased towards those entities that can
afford to engage in the process – undoubtedly the USFWS will be paralyzed by activist animal rights and
protectionist environmental organizations petitioning for species to be unapproved;
• The USFWS does not have the capacity to implement the provisions given limited staff, money, and
unrealistic timeliness; and the unintended consequences of a sloppy bill could actually be to facilitate the
mass release of animals, and/or their mass euthanasia.
• HR 669 does not take into consideration the socio-economic complexity of the issue. Stakeholders
dependent upon access to non-native species include diverse interests: pet industry, sports fishing,
federal/state hatcheries, agriculture, biomedical research, entertainment, hunting, food aquaculture.
Currently, thousands of non-natives species are both imported and exported, as well as captive raised (in
some instances farmed on ranched) within the United States. While most of these species are never
intended for release into natural environments, some of these species (e.g. oysters, trout, bass, deer, game
birds) are managed by government and private entities throughout the US.
• HR 669 calls for a risk assessment when, in fact, a risk analysis process is warranted. A risk assessment
only considers biological indices related to potential invasiveness, while a risk analysis considers both
these, as well as socio-economic factors, including potential management options. A risk analysis can
enable strategic decisions to be made, such as enabling certain species to continue in trade/transport if the
risks of invasion could be sufficiently management (e.g. d HR 669 treats the entire United States as if it is
a single ecosystem and ignores the historic definition of invasive species that applies to a specific
ecosystem, not the political boundaries of the United States as an ecosystem.
• Setting criteria in statute removes flexibility that could be achieved through rulemaking since a “one-sizefits-
all” process is not appropriate for all taxa, regions of the country, proposed usage of the species, etc.
• Deadlines are unrealistic. While we recognize the rationale for placing timeframes on USFWS, deadlines
cause lawsuits; deadlines mandate action for unfunded mandates; two (2) years is unrealistic to conduct
an assessment (even a rough screen) of literally thousands of species (1) imported, (2) raised in US for
local markets as well as exports, and (3) imported as well as raised in US.
• Animals owned prior to prohibition of importation (Section 2(f)) is major departure from current
prohibitions under Lacey Act. HR 669 would allow possession of “an animal” if prove legally owned
pre-launch of assessment. There is no indication as to what it takes to prove legality? Nor would one
know when an assessment of a particular species was launched.
• Assuming that more than a handful of non-native species end up on an approved list, enforcement of a list
of species that have been in trade for decades will be more difficult than a dirty list. It is well established
that only a small percentage of the species in trade have been shown to be “invasive.” The ornamental
aquarium industry, for example, deals with more than 2,500 species of freshwater and marine fish. A
handful of species have been found to be a problem in Southern Florida, but not elsewhere in the US;
some found to be a problem in Hawaii are not a problem in Kansas.
• Promulgation of regulations implementing the HR 669 process will be complex and doubtful if can be
achieved within prescribed timeframe, especially if USFWS is to simultaneously conduct thousands of
assessments on species already in trade.
ACT NOW – Also alert your employees, friends, neighbors, competitors, and any other like-minded people
and urge them to take time to respond to this unworkable approach to dealing with f an issue of concern to
all of us.
If you have questions or wish to express your views to PIJAC, please contact Marshall Meyers or Bambi Nicole
Osborne by phone at 202-452-1525 or via email at bambi@pijac.org or marshall@pijac.org.
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans & Wildlife
187 Ford House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/226-0200 (Tel.)
202/225-1542 (Fax)
Madeleine Z. Bordallo (Ch)(NP-Guam)
427 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-5301
202/225-1188 (Washington Tel. #)
202/226-0341 (Washington Fax #)
120 Father Duenas Ave., Suite 107
Hagatna, GUAM 96910
671/477-4272 (District Tel. #)
671/477-2587 (District Fax #)
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
1502 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-2726 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-4580 (Washington Fax #)
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd. – Room 4-104
Honolulu, HI 96850
808/541-2570 (District Tel. #)
808/533-0133 (District Fax #)
Henry Brown (R-SC)
103 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-3176 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-3407 (Washington Fax #)
1800 North Oak Street, Suite C
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843/445-6459 (District Tel. #)
843/445-6418 (District Fax #)
5900 Core Avenue, Suite 401
North Charleston, SC 29406
843/747-4175 (District Tel. #)
843/747-4711 (District Fax #)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
1110 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-3601 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-5632 (Washington Fax #)
2675 N. Ventura Road, Suite 105
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
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301 E Carrillo Street, Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805/730-1710 (District Tel. #)
805/730-9153 (District Fax #)
William Cassidy (R-LA)
506 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-3901 (District Tel. #)
202/225-7313 (District Fax #)
5555 Hilton Avenue, Suite 100
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
225/929-7711 (District Tel. #)
225/929-7688 (District Fax #)
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
1032 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-7751 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-5629 (Washington Fax #)
51 South University Ave., Suite 319
Provo, UT 84601
801/851-2500 (District Tel. #)
801/851-2509 (District Fax #)
Donna M. Christensen (NP-Virgin Islands)
1510 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-1790 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-5517 (Washington Fax #)
Nisky Business Center
Second Floor, Suite 207
St. Croix, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00802
340/778-4408 (District Tel. #)
340/778-8033 (District Fax #)
P.O. Box 5980
Sunny Isle Shopping Center, Space 25
St. Croix, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00823
340/778-5900 (District Tel. #)
340/778-5111 (District Fax #)
Diana L. DeGette (D-CO)
2335 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-4431 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-5657 (Washington Fax #)
600 Grant Street, Suite 202
Denver, CO 80203
303/844-4988 (District Tel. #)
303/844-4996 (District Fax #)
Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (NP – American
2422 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-8577 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-8757 (Washington Fax #)
P.O. Box, Drawer X
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA 96799
684/633-1372 (District Tel. #)
684/633-2680 (District Fax #)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
240 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-2635 (Washington Tel. #)
202/226-4386 (Washington Fax #)
1640 South Stapley, Suite 215
Mesa, AZ 85204
480/833-0092 (District Tel. #)
480/833-6314 (District Fax #)
John Fleming (R-LA)
1023 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-2777 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-8039 (Washington Fax #)
6425 Youree Drive, Suite 350
Shreveport, LA 71105
318/798-2254 (District Tel. #)
318/798-2063 (District Fax #)
Southgate Plaza Shopping Center
1606 Fifth Street
Leesville, LA 71446
337/238-0778 (District Tel. #)
337/238-0566 (District Fax #)
Doc Hastings (R-WA)
1203 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4704
202/225-5816 (Washington Tel. #)
202/225-3251 (Washington Fax #)
2715 St. Andrews Loop, Suite D
Pasco, WA 99301
509/543-9396 (District Tel. #)
509/545-1972 (District Fax #)
302 East Chestnut Street
Yakima, WA 98901
509/452-3243 (District Tel. #)
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Dale E. Kildee (D-MI)
2107 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
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432 N. Saginaw Street, Suite 410
Bay City, MI 48708
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Saginaw, MI 48607
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Ronald James Kind (D-WI)
1406 Longworth House Office Building
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205 Fifth Ave. South, Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601
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131 South Barstow Street, Suite 301
Eau Claire, WI 54701
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715/831-9272 (District Fax #)
Frank M. Kratovil, Jr. (D-MD)
314 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202/225-5311 (Washington Tel. #)
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102 Turpins Lane
Centreville, MD 21617
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443/262-9713 (District Fax #)
Douglas L. Lamborn (R-CO)
437 Cannon House Office Building
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415 Main Street
Buena Vista, CO 81211
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Frank J. Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
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67/69 Church Street, Kilmer Square
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Nick Joe Rahall, II (D-WV)
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Robert J. Wittman (R-VA)
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