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  1. #1
    Registered User USARK.Jonathan.Brady's Avatar
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    Congressional Oversight Hearing - USARK

    On Wednesday September 14 at 09:30 EDT the Committee for Oversight and Government Reform Chaired by Congressman Darrel Issa of California will conduct a hearing entitled "How a Broken Process Leads to Flawed Regulations". This will be a full committee hearing with two panels. The first panel will be Administrator Cass Sunstein of the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget. The second panel will be four or five expert witnesses testifying on four different agenda items before the committee.

    USARK worked with Committee Staff to have the rule regarding Constrictor Snakes included as an agenda item. As most of you know the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has done a poor job making it's case for the inclusion of 9 snakes on the Injurious Wildlife List of the Lacey Act. FWS has shown blatant disregard for due process and information quality standards. They have failed to meet their own standards as well as those mandated by several Executive Orders. FWS has not considered the economic impact of this listing, failing, as the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy noted, to fulfill its duties under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. It is based on insubstantial scientific analysis that has not withstood scrutiny or subsequent review. Hopefully this hearing will be the opportunity to shed light on a rule making that could expose over 1 million Americans to potential felony prosecution and destroy thousands of jobs.

    Attending the hearing on behalf of USARK will be: Myself, USARK government affairs consultant Joan Galvin of Kelley Drye & Warren and staff attorneys Shaun Gehan and Andrew Minkiewicz of Kelley Drye & Warren. Dave Barker will be testifying as an expert witness.

    Kindest Regards,

    Andrew Wyatt
    CEO & President
    United States Association of Reptile Keepers PO Box 279 Grandy, NC 27939
    For questions and comments, please email

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  3. #2
    BPnet Lifer mainbutter's Avatar
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    Good luck, and thanks again for everything you do for the herpetoculture community.

  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Bill T's Avatar
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    Go get em brother. Thanks for all u do

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Valentine Pirate's Avatar
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    Good luck, I've been doing a lot of research and thinking lately on the laws and regulations around the herp industry, it's good we've got people taking action towards a positive direction

    Erica Evans
    Scourge of the San Juan Islands
    High Tide Exotics
    When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

    "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read"

  6. #5
    BPnet Veteran
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    Re: Congressional Oversight Hearing - USARK

    United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)Applauds
    House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Leadership
    of Chairman Darrell Issa In Shining Light on Industry Killing FWSRule

    Washington, D.C. – On September 14, 2011, the House Committee onOversight & Government Reform will receive expert testimony from David Barker, renowned herpetologist, python expert and USARK member, at a hearing entitled “How A Broken Process Leads ToFlawed Regulation”. Chaired by Congressman Darrel Issa (R-CA), the Committee’s hearing will focus on several proposed federal rules as examples of flawed regulatory development andreview processes. Included is a proposed rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listing several species of snake – many of which are held as common pets – as“injurious” under the Lacey Act, thereby criminalizing interstate trade.

    Two panels will present testimony before the full committee. One issolely comprised of Mr. Cass Sunstein, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which conducts regulatory review and oversight. The other will be made up offive witnesses, including individuals from the private sector, including Mr. Barker, testifying about the adverse economic impacts of poorly conceived regulations. It will also have John Graham,President Bush’s OIRA chief, and a representative of a non-governmental organization.

    The FWS rule on constrictor snakes promises to be one of the mostinteresting topics. While impacting only a small segment of the population, this proposed regulation has the potential to devastate an entire sector of the pet industry, costing jobs and familylivelihoods while criminalizing the actions of approximately 1 million American pet owners, breeders and hobbyists.

    As Mr. Barker notes in his testimony, “[T]he FWS proposal is ajob-killing solution in search of a problem.”

    USARK filed formal comments challenging FWS’s proposed rule aslacking a scientific basis and challenging the agency’s failure to conduct adequate cost-benefit analysis. Based on a single flawed study that has been widely criticized by the scientificcommunity, the rule disregards other government agency and academic institution studies that contradict these findings. Additionally, by failing to estimate the rule’s costs and economicimpacts on the small business community, and to explore less burdensome alternatives offered by the industry, the proposal runs afoul of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. For these and otherreasons, the proposed rule fails to meet President Obama’s recently announced standards for scientific integrity and data quality, regulatory guidance, and minimization of impacts on smallbusinesses.

    A formal challenge by the USARK under the Information Quality Actquestioning the “science” underpinning the rule, was dismissed by FWS, in spite of the fact that the report has been criticized by a group of 11 scientists from the National GeographicSociety, University of Florida, Texas A&M and other institutions calling it, among other things, “not scientific”, and further, “unsuitable as the basis for any legislativeor regulatory action.” Likewise, the Small Business Administration’s independent Office of Advocacy informed FWS that its rule failed to meet legal standards for regulatory impactreview on small businesses, which comprise 99% of this threatened industry.

    Andrew Wyatt, CEO of USARK said, “I am happy that there will finallybe some oversight of a government process that has been allowed to run amok. Policy should be based in good science and what’s good for the economy, and should take into account the impacton small businesses as the law requires.” Wyatt added, “It is our hope that Administrator Sunstein will recognize the rule in question not only runs contrary to the very principlesstated by his office and this Administration, but will likely lead to the destruction of thousands of American family businesses. It should and must be rejected.”

    # # # #

    Click here to see hearing details:

    Click here to see live streaming video:
    Specialty Serpents

  7. #6
    West Coast Jungle's Avatar
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    Re: Congressional Oversight Hearing - USARK

    Go get'em Andrew!

  8. #7
    BPnet Veteran wax32's Avatar
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    Joined today, thanks for all the hard work!
    - Dave Harms - | Pinstripe, Yellow Belly, Sulfur, Cinnamon ph G-Stripe, Pastel het Hypo | Pastel, Fire, Albino, Mojave, Lesser Platinum ph G-Stripe, Pastel ph G-Stripe, het G-Stripe, het Hypo, het Piebald, Pastel Yellowbelly

  9. #8
    BPnet Lifer Simple Man's Avatar
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    Thanks again for everything.



  10. #9
    Registered User maze031's Avatar
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    Good luck Andrew. Thanks for everything.

  11. #10
    Registered User
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    Wasilla Alaska
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    Wink I heard something about this.

    This is where I get a lot of my information about this stuff... Funny too...

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