WE NEED YOUR HELP - WHETHER YOU OWN AN "EXOTIC" ANIMAL OR ANY OTHER ANIMAL. HR 669 IS SET FOR HEARING ON 4/23/09. WE ALL NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO KILL HR 669 NOW.
THE ISSUE - WHAT IS HR 669? - WHAT WILL IT DO?
"ONE GENERATION AND OUT" is not just limited to purebred dogs and cats. Now our "non-native" species" are targets of the animal prohibitionist agenda. Under HR 669, "non-native" basically means if a species of animal didn't live in the US before the arrival of Columbus it is "non-native", and if HR 669 passes, most non-native species of animal (i.e., exotic animals) won't remain in the US much longer. That means your exotic pet bird, reptile, fish, or mammal.
HR 669 is a very serious and harmful animal prohibition proposal. HR 669 is not needed to protect our environment. HR 699 is the legislative equivalent of a nuclear bomb that is aimed at the entire US exotic pet industry, all US exotic pet owners, and all exotic animals in the US.
HR 669 is an "anti-animal bill". There is no amendment that can fix this bill. HR 669 will hurt everyone who owns an animal, and it will hurt our animals. Breeder, pet owner, rescuer, rehabilitator, zoo, service or product provider - it doesn't matter - we will all be hurt by this bill. HR 669 needs to be killed at the April 23rd hearing - not amended, not "made better" - HR 669 NEEDS TO BE KILLED. Please contact the Representatives hearing this bill NOW and ask them to KILL HR 669 (see below for contact information).
All import, export, transport across State lines, selling, buying, bartering, or offering to sell, buy or barter, and all breeding, and release, of all non-native species not on the "approved list" will be prohibited - even by zoos, sanctuaries, and licensed breeders. Permits authorizing only "importation" may be issued to "zoos, scientific research, medical, accredited zoological or aquarium display purposes, or for educational purposes that are specifically reviewed, approved, and verified by the Secretary". There is no requirement that any permits be granted. Even if these institutions are able to obtain the required permits, where will they obtain their imported animals? Habitat for many species is declining worldwide, many species are endangered or threatened in the wild, and many species cannot be imported to the US under the CITES treaty. The result of this bill will be to put a stop domestic breeding of most endangered or threatened species in the US for zoos, conservation, or reintroduction programs. Zoos are not immune from the animal prohibitionist agenda.
If you "possess" a non-approved species "legally" prior to enactment of the law, you will be allowed to keep it, but all of the other restrictions pf HR 669 will still apply to your species - you will not be allowed to sell, transfer, transport across State lines, export, barter, trade, breed, or give that animal to anyone else.
Pet owners will not be allowed to take their non-approved pets with them if they move to another state, and they will not be allowed to transfer them to anyone else who can care for them. Those pets will be euthanized when their owners move, die, or can no longer keep their pets for whatever reason. Pet owners and their pets are not immune from the animal prohibitionist agenda.
"Rescue" and "sanctuary" will not be available for any non-approved species unless the rescue or sanctuary keeps only species found within their respective States. That result has been contemplated for years. Rescues and Sanctuaries are not immune from the animal prohibitionist agenda.
Any person or company manufacturing or selling food or products for non-native (exotic) species will be affected by this act. If non-native (exotic) species cannot be legally possessed, bought, sold, or transferred, there will be no incentive for manufacturers of food, caging, and supplies for these animals to remain in business. Where will non-native (exotic) animal owners obtain the food and materials needed to keep their animals?
Freeflight of exotic birds will be prohibited.
THE LEGAL DETAILS OF THIS BILL
Under existing federal law, it must be shown that a species is harmful before it is prohibited. That approach is reasonable, and has worked reasonably well for many years. In essence, HR 669 turns that reasonable approach on its head, and substitutes the unreasonable and unjustified approach of "bomb first, ask questions later".
HR 669 requires the government to create an "approved" list of "non-native" species that will be allowed in the US. Any species not on the "approved" list will be prohibited. Under HR 668 the "approved" list shall include "nonnative wildlife species that the Secretary finds ... based on scientific and commercial information .... (A) are not harmful to the United States' economy, the environment, or other animal species' or human health; or (B) may be harmful to the United States' economy, the environment, or other animal species' or human health, 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."
It takes time and money for the government to study any species and make a "finding". Time and money are always in short supply, and are especially in short supply in this economy. If your species is not included on the original "approved list", then under HR 669 you can try to get your species "approved" by paying a fee and submitting a proposal to our government to include it on the "approved list". Your proposal "must include sufficient scientific and commercial information to allow the Secretary to evaluate whether the proposed nonnative wildlife species is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to other animal species' or human health." While your proposal is being "evaluated" by our government, you and your animals are still subject to the restrictions of HR 669. Whether your proposal will ever be granted is pure speculation.
There are more than 9000 bird species, and thousands of species of birds are kept in the US. There are many other non-native (exotic) species owned by animal lovers across the US. How many bird or other non-native (exotic) species do you think our government can afford to study and determine that they can be added to this newly created "approved list"?
If the required study can't be made of a species, and the required finding isn't made about a species, the animal won't make it to the approved list. That applies to every species of non-native (exotic) animal.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP KILL HR 669
Contact your Representatives NOW
1. You can use NAIA's Capwiz tool to send an automatic email or fax to each of the Representatives who will hear this bill to ask them to KILL HR 669. Here's the link to send your email using Capwiz:
www.capwiz.com/naiatrust Go to the end of the page and follow the instructions
2. PIJAC has provided us with a PDF flyer which explains to pet owners how HR 669 will hurt all of us and our animals. The PIJAC PDF flyer is attached to this email. The PIJAC PDF flyer provides you with contact information - use it. Please contact your own Representatives NOW, and tell them to KILL HR 669. Be polite and respectful, but be clear and firm in your opposition to this bill. Be brief, and tell them a few reasons why you think it is a bad bill. Short and to the point works best. If you have time, you can also contact all of the other Representatives in your State.
Write to your Representative using their contact pages on their websites. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard for us to contact some of our Representatives - emails don't often go through, letters aren't read, and we sometimes have to write individually to our Representatives using the contact pages they put up on their websites. PIJAC has done the work to give us links where needed for these contact pages for these websites so that we can make those contacts (see the attached PIJAC PDF flyer), and NAIA is making "Capwiz" available for the one-shot contact - go to the Capwiz webpage at
Call and Fax your Representative at the numbers provided on the attached PDF PIJAC flyer.
Be sure to contact the local office of your own Representative by phone, and if you can, make a personal visit. Our congressional representatives are now on recess, and will return to their work at the Capitol next week. Let your Representatives' local offices know NOW that you want them to KILL HR 669. If the local staff hear from enough constituents that they want a bill killed, they will let their Representatives know that their constituents hate this bill.
3. Distribute this email, NAIA's link, and PIJAC's PDF flyer widely to everyone you know who loves animals and wants to keep them in our lives. In particular, send it to any pet lists you are on. This bill will impact almost all non-native animals. Ask them to contact the representatives and ask them to KILL HR 669.
You can see PIJAC's earlier alert on HR 669 here: http://www.pijac.org/files/public/US_HR_669.pdf
You can see the full text of the bill here: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h669ih.txt.pdf
4. If you have a website or belong to a discussion list, post this Alert and the PDF attachment. Ask your friends to do the same.
A NOTE ALL ANIMAL OWNERS, AND ESPECIALLY TO BIRD OWNERS
Does the Pennsylvania Proposed Ban of the Nanday Conure of 2008 ring a bell for anyone?
For those bird owners who fought so hard and so well for the Nanday in Pennsylvania in 2008 - that was just target practice.
HR 669 IS THE ANIMAL PROHIBITIONIST NUCLEAR OPTION - STOP IT NOW.
Get your phones, emails, and faxes working and get our troops marching again. We need every one of you to help again, and we need the help of everyone you know. It doesn't matter if they own a bird, a dog, a cat, a turtle, a hamster, a fish, a snake, a tiger, a monkey, or any other animal. We are all affected by this bill. Don't let the animal prohibitionists force their agenda on the rest of us.
Genny Wall Attorney at Law Legislative VP, AFA, NAIA
Laurella Desborough Legislative Chair, ASA, NAIA
www.afabirds.org www.asabirds.org www.naiaonline.org
With great thanks to Marshall Meyers of PIJAC for providing their materials and for working on behalf of all of us. www.PIJAC.org
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