Judge Says Lawsuit Over Python Ban May Proceed

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: May 1, 2014

MIAMI (AP) -- A federal judge says a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a nationwide ban on four giant snake species may proceed.

Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled last week in Washington federal court against attorneys for Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who wanted the lawsuit dismissed.

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers sued the federal government in December. They have challenged the science behind the ban on Burmese pythons, yellow anacondas and northern and southern African rock pythons. They also say the ban has cost reptile breeders, handlers, hobbyists and vendors tens of millions of dollars.

Sullivan also ruled that the group has until May 9 to amend the original complaint.

The ban was announced in 2012. Wildlife officials say it protects native wildlife.


News Release: Associated Press News

Updated: February 25, 2014, 4:45pm

MIAMI (AP) -- The U.S. government has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn a nationwide ban on four giant snake species.

Attorneys for Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say the United States Association of Reptile Keepers has not sufficiently explained why importing the snakes into the U.S. or transporting them across state lines was vital to research and conservation activities among its members.

The lawsuit filed in December in federal court in Washington, D.C., says the ban has cost reptile breeders, handlers, hobbyists and vendors tens of millions of dollars. An attorney for the North Carolina-based association says the defendants remain confident about their claims.

The ban on Burmese pythons, yellow anacondas and northern and southern African rock pythons was announced in 2012.


News Release: Associated Press News

MIAMI (AP) -- Some Florida lawmakers and other House members want the Obama administration to add five types of giant snakes to an existing federal python ban.

Eighteen representatives signed a bipartisan letter sent Monday to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add boa constrictors, reticulated pythons and three species of anacondas to the ban.

Burmese pythons, yellow anacondas, and northern and southern African pythons were declared injurious species under the Lacey Act in 2012. That prohibits anyone from importing the snakes or transporting them across state lines.

The lawmakers say the wildlife service has failed to take action in the last two years to ban the five other snake species, which comprise most of the trade in large constrictor snakes.


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