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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran BPelizabeth's Avatar
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    Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    We started talking about this in another thread and I wanted to make sure we got everyone involved.

    As stated before we ALL need to ban together and fight this, even if you don't have one of the big 9....if it passes....your next so to speak. I wanted to give some of the less experienced Rep Keepers some talking points when speaking with the Radio, Local TV, or even writing your letters. (mind you I am one of them). If anything....I do my research typically before I speak so I want to be able to come up with valid speaking points if I happen to get the right audience.

    With that in mind I would like to have this thread list the facts. For instance here are some of my questions I would like to know.

    1 What is the real region that these big 9 can survive....we all saw the goofey map that was put out before but what is the real area.

    2. What is the negative affect in the everglades? Is there anything positive happening because of it?

    3. What are the stats on these snakes....any endangered or on the watch list?

    This is some interesting info put out by Winged Wolf on the thread where we started this.

    In the US:
    90 people are killed each year by lightning.
    20 people are killed each year by cattle.
    Over 100 are killed each year by horses.
    40 people are killed (in the US and Canada together) by pigs.
    17 each year by dogs.

    An average of less than 1 a year are killed by giant constrictors.



    This is info that we need to speak to....this way we sound educated and informed when asked questions. This way some of us don't just sound like we are "complaining". The more informed and educated we are the more that we will have a chance to influence and possibly win a debate if given the chance.

    Thanks guys,

    Michelle Bell
    Michelle
    Lets just say it has advanced to ....way too much to list

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    Chocolate Muffin's (12-11-2009)

  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran BPelizabeth's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    By the way...if you can cite your reference as well. This way we can verify and if needed when speaking refer to it.
    Michelle
    Lets just say it has advanced to ....way too much to list

  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran qiksilver's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    Go to vpi.com and check out recent publications. Most of your questions will be answered, as he wrote a response and I do believe an amended map after the USGS survey stupidity came out.
    Mike

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran BPelizabeth's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    great website!! Everyone should read it.

    What about the amount of revenue yearly?
    What about shipping revenue generated yearly?
    Michelle
    Lets just say it has advanced to ....way too much to list

  6. #5
    Steel Magnolia rabernet's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    Quote Originally Posted by BPelizabeth View Post
    1 What is the real region that these big 9 can survive....we all saw the goofey map that was put out before but what is the real area.
    http://usark.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=124

    PRESS RELEASE November 24, 2009, 5 AM EST

    Scientists Characterize Justification for Congressional Python Ban as “Unscientific”

    November 24, 2009, Wilmington, NC- In a letter to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary an independent group of scientists today characterized a United States Geological Survey (USGS) report being touted as the justification for a ban on import and trade in pythons as “unscientific”.

    The independent group of scientists and herpetologists, including professors from the University of Florida, Arizona State, and Texas A&M among others penned members of Congress in response to comments made by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) during a November 6th hearing on H.R. 2811, a bill that could determine the fate of much of the reptile trade in the United States. During that hearing USFWS Deputy Director Dan Ashe characterized the USGS report as “peer-reviewed science”, a claim that struck a nerve within the scientific community.

    “It is a misrepresentation to call the USGS document ‘scientific’” stated the scientists. “As written, this [USGS] document is not suitable as the basis for legislative or regulatory policies, as its content is not based on best science practices, it has not undergone external peer-review, and it diverts attention away from the primary concern. We encourage the USFWS and USGS to submit this document to an independent body for proper and legitimate peer review. Additionally, we encourage the Committee to review this document, not as an authoritative scientific publication, but rather as a report currently drafted to support a predetermined policy”.

    H.R. 2811, Introduced by U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek (D-FL), who recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, could add all pythons, and even boas, to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act; a designation reserved for only the most dangerous alien invaders to our natural ecosystem. Such a move would prevent all import, export, and interstate transport of pythons in the U.S. The scientific justification for such a move hinges on a recently published report of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) entitled ‘Risk Assessment of Nine Large Constricting Snakes’, which attempts to paints a picture of large constrictor snakes as an immediate threat to eco-systems over much of the U.S.

    Source: United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)

    Contact: Andrew Wyatt president@usark.org



    Letter To Congress:

    24 November 2009

    U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary
    The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security
    2138 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Louie Gohmert:

    We write in regard to the recent Congressional hearing on HR 2811. As scientists who have worked with reptiles including those cited in HR2811, we express our reservations regarding the document recently released by USGS as an “Open-Report”, titled Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor.

    Simply put, this report is not a bona-fide “scientific” paper that has gone through external peer review. Part of this report is fact-driven, described by the authors as “traditional library scholarship.” By the authors’ admissions, there are surprisingly little data available regarding the natural history of these species. In their attempt to compile as much information as possible, the authors draw from a wide variety of references, ranging from articles published in peer-reviewed professional journals to far less authoritative hobbyist sources, including popular magazines, the internet, pet industry publications, and even various media sources. While such an approach is inclusive, it tends to include information that is unsubstantiated and, in some cases, contradicts sound existing data.

    As scientists whose careers are focused around publishing in peer-reviewed journals and providing expert reviews of papers submitted to these journals, we feel it is a misrepresentation to call the USGS document “scientific”. In fact, much of this report is based on an unproven risk assessment model that produces results that contradict the findings presented in a recently published scientific paper that used a more complex and superior model (see: Pyron R.A., F.T. Burbrink, and T.J. Guiher. 2008. Claims of Potential Expansion throughout the U.S. By Invasive Python Species Are Contradicted by Ecological Niche Models, PLoS One 3: e2931. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002931). Unfortunately, the authors of the USGS document limit their reference to this scientific work to an unsubstantiated criticism. To the contrary, this alternate model is validated by its relatively accurate prediction of the natural distribution of the species in question (something the USGS model does not even attempt). Furthermore, despite its conclusion of a limited potential distribution of Burmese pythons in the United States, the model presented by Pyron et al. Accurately predicts the presence of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

    The USGS model likely provides a gross overestimate of potential habitat for these snake species. People throughout the United States keep pythons as pets, yet the only known breeding populations in the United States are in the Everglades. Such a wide distribution of potential sources of invasion, but only a localized invasive event, suggests that factors beyond those used in the USGS model are critical to limiting the suitability of habitat for pythons. The authors even state that climate is only one factor of several that affect the distribution of an animal, yet they develop a model that only uses overly simplistic climatic data (e.g., the climatic data did not take seasonality into consideration).

    We are further concerned by the pervasive bias throughout this report. There is an obvious effort to emphasize the size, fecundity and dangers posed by each species; no chance is missed to speculate on negative scenarios. The report appears designed to promote the tenuous concept that invasive giant snakes are a national threat. However, throughout the report there is a preponderance of grammatical qualifiers that serve to weaken many, if not most, statements that are made.

    We fully recognize the serious concerns associated with the presence of persistent python populations in southern Florida. As top predators, these animals can and will have a dramatic impact on the community of wildlife that lives in the Everglades. Inaccurately extending this threat to a much large geographic area is not only inappropriate, but likely takes needed focus away from the real problem in the Everglades.

    In conclusion, as written, this document is not suitable as the basis for legislative or regulatory policies, as its content is not based on best science practices, it has not gone through external peer-review, and it diverts attention away from the primary concern. We encourage the USFWS and USGS to submit this document to an independent body for proper and legitimate peer review. Additionally, we encourage the Committee to review this document, not as an authoritative scientific publication, but rather as a report currently drafted to support a predetermined policy.

    Signed:

    Elliott Jacobson, MS, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM
    Professor of Zoological Medicine
    University of Florida

    Dale DeNardo, DVM, PhD
    Associate Professor School of Life Sciences
    Arizona State University

    Paul M. Gibbons, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
    President-Elect, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
    Interim Regent, Reptiles & Amphibians, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
    Director, Exotic Species Specialty Service
    Animal Emergency Center and Specialty Services

    Chris Griffin, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
    President, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
    Owner and Medical Director
    Griffin Avian and Exotic Veterinary Hospital

    Brady Barr, PhD
    Resident Herpetologist
    National Geographic Society
    Endangered Species Coalition of the Council of State Governments
    Crocodilian Specialist Group

    Warren Booth, PhD
    Invasive Species Biologist
    Research Associate
    North Carolina State University
    Director of Science
    United States Association of Reptile Keepers

    Ray E. Ashton, Jr.
    President
    Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute

    Robert Herrington, PhD
    Professor of Biology
    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Douglas L. Hotle
    Curator of Herpetology/Conservation/Research
    Natural Toxins Research Center
    Texas A&M University

    Francis L. Rose (Retired) , B.S., M.S. (Zoology), PhD (Zoology)
    Professor Emeritus
    Texas State University

    Edward J. Wozniak DVM, PhD
    Regional Veterinarian
    Zoonosis Control Division
    Texas Department of State Health Services

    You may also wish to look through this archive of documents:

    http://www.usark.org/archive.php

  7. #6
    BPnet Veteran Elise.m's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    My main question that I want answered is this: In this economy when so many people are out of jobs, why would they want to pass this bill and take away MORE jobs? If they do pass this, it will certainly put more people out of jobs, and take away many loved family pets.

    The jobs don't stop at reptile breeders. What about the people who sell feeders? Granted Lizards can eat some feeders, but I don't think that's enough business to keep them going. (Assuming that this bill will lead to other bans on more snakes)

    I would love to talk to the people who actually thought of this bill and ask them why they think the whole nation should be effected by this, when all they want to do is protect the Everglades. And why they are going after people who own these snakes, rather than just doing something about the wild ones they are concerned about.
    2.0 Crested Geckos

  8. #7
    Steel Magnolia rabernet's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    Let me tell you though - what's going to make a larger impact, is if you contact your Senator's local offices and make an appointment to meet with him/her while they're on a holiday break to talk to them.

    Tell them how this bill will affect YOU personally. A great majority of our members are pet owners, not breeders. Tell your congressman that this discriminates against your type of pet. Tell him that if this law passes, you can't even take you beloved pet with you if you accept a job in another state, how you'll either have to re-home it or destroy it. Ask them why a ban has to be enacted FEDERALLY to address a problem with an eco-system that is only found in the FL Everglades.

    Ask them to ponder this. If there's really a concern about these animals migrating north and overtaking other states, why isn't there a problem with them NOW? Is Florida the ONLY state that people release their pets? Georgia is the closest state to Florida and yet we don't have the same problem that they do. Does that mean that Georgians are more responsible keepers than Floridians? No, it doesn't - it means that as little as one state north, the animals cannot survive through one winter season to pro-create.

    Hit your senator from a PERSONAL level, not from a business level. And yes, even tell them that you HIRED them to represent you, and thank them for their no vote (don't ask them for it, thank them for it as if you expect it). I even plan to let mine know, that if they plan to vote for it, I will plan to vote NOT to re-elect them when their term is over. Politely of course.

    Above ALL else - do not become emotional (although a single tear rolling down the side of your cheek when you talk about having to destroy your animal if you ever had to leave the state to avoid violating a Federal law, might pull at some heart strings! LOL). But when I say emotional - I mean keep your cool - and carry yourself professionally.

    Call you Senator's office today and schedule an appointment with him/her over the next few weeks.

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  10. #8
    BPnet Veteran BPelizabeth's Avatar
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    Re: Just the facts on why the ban should NOT happen!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rabernet View Post
    But when I say emotional - I mean keep your cool - and carry yourself professionally.

    Call you Senator's office today and schedule an appointment with him/her over the next few weeks.
    I think this is an important part....Professionally!! We all get fired up but lets remember what type of persona that ppl associate us with. Remember to keep your cool and speak from the facts!
    Michelle
    Lets just say it has advanced to ....way too much to list

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