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  1. #1
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    Texas Senate OKs "Reptile Bill"

    The Senate passed the "reptile bill" today, which creates regulations for hunters who want to collect snakes and toads along Texas highways.

    Lawmakers unexpectedly outlawed collecting reptiles and amphibians along roadsides years ago, said Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, sponsor of the bill. Since then, hotels and rural communities in his district have reported losing millions in tourism dollars, he said. “We don’t want to kill the snakes and the horny toads along the roadway, but we want to allow those individuals who love to hunt these reptiles and amphibians … to do that along the roadside.”

    The bill requires hunters to purchase a stamp from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to legally collect snakes and toads along the highway. Registered hunters could only collect the animals by nonlethal means, and would be required to wear reflective clothing while walking on the side of a highway. Uresti added an amendment that forbids collectors from using "an artificial light" to spot snakes and toads.

    Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Southside Place, voiced concern: “Are you saying now for the entire state of Texas that if a person wants to ... put a snake in a bag or a frog in a bag that they need to be licensed and regulated?”

    Uresti answered yes, because without regulation the practice is illegal: “Right now, it’s illegal for anyone to walk along the highway and capture a snake or capture a horny toad.”

    Uresti also reassured Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who worried whether Texans would still be able to kill snakes in their backyards. “The specific point on this bill is along the highway,” he said.

    After a few lighthearted jokes, the bill passed the Senate 25-6 and now moves back to the House for approval of an amendment added by Uresti.
    http://www.texastribune.org/texas-le...-reptile-bill/
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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran nachash's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Senate OKs "Reptile Bill"

    i don't think it's wrong to protect species from harm.
    All this will do is filter out the people who do it improperly from those with a real commitment to field-herping (those with an understanding and respect for what they are doing)
    I think it's interesting that the state lost that much tourist dollars from that...
    Follow the money
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  3. #3
    BPnet Lifer mainbutter's Avatar
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    I also find it interesting that there apparently was a big enough financial draw to roadside reptiles, whether it was for field herping or simply hunting.

    As long as species that need protecting are actually protected, I certainly am in favor of regulated wild collection.

  4. #4
    Registered User garweft's Avatar
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    Uresti added an amendment that forbids collectors from using "an artificial light" to spot snakes and toads.
    So you can't road cruise at night. I'm sure people will be lining up, to pay, to walk a dark Texas highway at night.

  5. #5
    Registered User OtterGoRun's Avatar
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    I suppose it's understandable. Like others have said, it will hopefully keep people who don't know what they're doing from doing it. Not sure what I think about the artificial light ban though... I don't know enough about field work with reptiles/amphibians to know if that part makes sense.

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