On April 23, 2009, the United States Congress will be conducting a hearing and voting on proposed legislature introduced by the Non-Native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act, H.R. 669. This bill must not pass, and we must take action ASAP.
What is H.R. 669?
Essentially, H.R. 669 will cause the banning of non-native species in the pet trade, which includes all birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and other pet mammals including hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, and other commonly kept animals that are not native to the USA. If this bill passes, it will be up to the general public to prove that keeping these animals will not endanger the environment. H.R. 669 is vague and ambiguous in its content, and does not provide specific determination to establish which non-native animal species are considered potentially harmful to our ecosystem. Furthermore, it would be difficult to determine which species would prove a potential risk in varying geographical regions. H.R 669 overly simplifies a very complex issue.
While the majority of citizens that keep non-native species as pets are responsible and conscientious, this bill would certainly not be effective in controlling the illegal pet trade. We cannot allow legislation of this nature to dictate our lives and businesses, especially in a declining economy. It is imperative that bills like this do not become law.
What can we do to stop H.R. 669?
We can start by writing, emailing, or calling the Members of the Subcommittee, and our own District Congress Representatives. We need to respectfully voice our opinions, and urge them to vote against passing the bill. Tell them how you feel about this legislature, and how it would impact your lives and the lives of other US citizens. Remind them that there are organizations and websites dedicated to educating the public about the responsibility of keeping non-native animals.
For more information on H.R. 669, please visit the PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council) website at: http://www.pijac.org., where you will also find the list of Subcommittee State Representatives of the House Committee on Natural Resources who will be attending the hearing and voting on April 23, 2009.
HELP STOP H.R. 669!!! This post was written by Marcia of Golden Gate Geckos. Thank you, Marcia!