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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
WingedWolfPsion
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Plattsmouth, NE
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Alert! Fight the Virginia Ban

If you don't keep 'exotics', please understand that this still isn't 'someone else's problem'. This will affect you for as long as you live in VA, and your children, etc etc. There are small businesses and families that make their living breeding some of the species proposed for listing here, and these animals are NOT dangerous to humans, nor do they pose any environmental threats. If you live in Virginia, in particular, please work to preserve your rights, and the rights of your fellow pet keepers. Licensing of animals that may actually be dangerous is reasonable--banning these species, and many that could never pose a danger, is NOT reasonable.

SB 477 Dangerous wild animals.

Introduced by: L. Louise Lucas

SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:

Dangerous wild animals. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to privately possess, sell, transfer, or breed dangerous wild animals The bill would grandfather in the ownership of any existing lawful exotic animals; however, the owner of such animals is required to meet certain conditions in order to maintain possession of the exotic animals. The bill limits the possession of dangerous wild animals to facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and bona fide sanctuaries. The legislation describes the procedures to be followed in the seizure and care of dangerous wild animals.

Virginia HB 1242 Set to Ban Almost Everything
Introduced on 1/20/12

Proposes to ban ALL Pythons & Boas except Ball Pythons, Angolan Pythons and Green Tree Pythons.

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+ful+HB1242



A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 5 of Title 29.1 an article numbered 8, consisting of sections numbered 29.1-578 through 29.1-586, relating to the ownership of dangerous wild animals; penalty.
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Patron-- Peace
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Committee Referral Pending
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 5 of Title 29.1 an article numbered 8, consisting of sections numbered 29.1-578 through 29.1-586, as follows:

Article 8.
Conditions on the Ownership of Dangerous Wild Animals.
§ 29.1-578. Possession, sale, transfer, and breeding of certain animals.

It is unlawful for any person to possess, sell, transfer, or breed any of the following animals:

1. Order Carnivora:

a. Family Canidae: all species and hybrids of the genera Canis (wolves and related species), Cuon (dholes), Lycaon (African wild dogs), and Chrysocyon (maned wolves); excluding Canis lupus familiaris (domestic dogs) and Canis lupus familiaris hybrids.

b. Family Felidae: all species and hybrids of the family Felidae (all felids); excluding Felis catus (domestic cats) and Felis catus hybrids.

c. Family Ursidae: all species and hybrids of bears.

d. Family Hyaenidae: all species of hyena and aardwolf.

2. Order Crocodilia: all species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials.

3. Order Primates: all species and hybrids of apes, galagos, lemurs, lorises, and monkeys, excluding humans.

4. Order Proboscidea: all species of elephants.

5. Order Squamata:

a. Family Atractaspididae: all species and hybrids, such as mole vipers.

b. Family Boidae, to include all species that may be described as family Pythonidae: all species and hybrids of the genera Apodora (pythons), Eunectes (anacondas), Liasis (pythons), Morelia (pythons), and Python (pythons); excluding Morelia viridis (green tree pythons), Python anchietae (Angolan pythons), and Python regius (ball or royal pythons).

c. Family Colubridae: all species and hybrids of the genera Dispholidus (boomslangs), Rhabdophis (keelbacks), and Thelotornis (twig snakes).

d. Family Elapidae, to include all species that may be described as family Hydrophiidae: all species and hybrids, such as cobras, mambas, coral snakes, and sea snakes.

e. Family Viperidae: all species and hybrids, such as rattlesnakes, pit vipers, and puff adders.

§ 29.1-579. Exemptions.

The provisions of § 29.1-578 shall not apply to:

1. Facilities accredited or certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, facilities that have an active contractual relationship with an American Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for breeding of species listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 1533, or facilities that are actively seeking accreditation or certification by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums that have a letter of understanding with a mentor institution that is renewed annually.

2. Research facilities, as defined in the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2132(e)).

3. Facilities accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries with an accreditation status appropriate for the animals held.

4. Circuses, defined as incorporated Class C licensees under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2134), that are temporarily in the Commonwealth and that offer scheduled performances by live animals.

5. Federal, state, or local government facilities or agents holding an animal for official purposes.

6. Licensed veterinary establishments temporarily holding an animal for the purpose of providing veterinary treatment.

7. A person temporarily transporting an animal through the state if the transit time is not more than 24 hours, the animal is not exhibited, and the animal is maintained at all times in a species-appropriate cage or other travel container such that there is no opportunity for physical contact with any member of the public.

§ 29.1-580. Conditions for allowable continued possession.

The provisions of § 29.1-578 shall not apply to persons who possessed such an animal prior to July 1, 2012, provided that such person:

1. Shall maintain veterinary records, acquisition papers, or other documents or records that establish that the person possessed the animal prior to July 1, 2012;

2. Shall not acquire additional such animals after July 1, 2012, whether by purchase, transfer, donation, or reproduction;

3. Shall not have been convicted of an offense involving the abuse or neglect of any animal pursuant to any federal, state, or local law;

4. Shall not have had a license or permit regarding the care, possession, exhibition, breeding, or sale of animals revoked or suspended by any federal, state, or local agency;

5. Shall not fail to keep the animal properly confined;

6. Shall not allow members of the public any opportunity to come into physical contact with the animal;

7. Shall register with, and pay a registration fee to, the Department by July 1, 2013, and annually thereafter, indicating the number and species of such animals in his possession and showing proof of liability insurance in an amount of not less than $250,000 for property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by such animals; and

8. At least 72 hours prior to the sale or transfer of an existing dangerous wild animal, shall notify the Department, identifying the recipient of the animal. The possession, sale, transfer, and transport of the dangerous wild animal shall conform to all applicable state, local, and federal laws.

§ 29.1-581. Certain animals not properly confined.

Any animal described in § 29.1-578, excluding noncaptive native populations of wildlife, found to be not properly confined, whether on the property of the owner or running at large, may be humanely destroyed by law-enforcement or animal control officers, or other federal, state, or local agents, in order to protect public safety. The owner or custodian of such an animal will be liable for costs accrued to law-enforcement or animal control agencies in humanely destroying or otherwise securing any such animal.

§ 29.1-582. Forfeiture and disposition of animals possessed in violation of this article.

A. Law-enforcement and animal control officers shall, upon probable cause, impound any or all animals possessed in violation of this article. If such animal does not pose an immediate threat to public safety and is not suffering from apparent animal neglect or cruelty, the animal shall be considered impounded in its enclosure and shall be properly maintained and provided adequate care by the owner until judicial determination of forfeiture. If such animal poses an immediate threat to public safety or is suffering from apparent animal neglect or cruelty, the animal shall be seized by law-enforcement or animal control officers and held in a suitable federal, state, or local facility or other facility exempted from this article in § 29.1-579 until judicial determination of forfeiture.

B. Upon seizing or impounding an animal, the law-enforcement or animal control officer shall petition the general district court in the city or county where the animal is seized or impounded for a hearing. The hearing shall be not more than 10 business days from the date of the seizure or impoundment of the animal. The hearing shall be to determine whether the animal is possessed in violation of this article.

C. Upon judicial determination that (i) the seized or impounded animal is listed in § 29.1-578 and (ii) the owner of the seized or impounded animal is violating any provision of this article with regard to such animal, the animal shall be deemed forfeited.

D. Any animal judicially deemed forfeited pursuant to this article shall as soon as practicable be euthanized by a licensed veterinarian or humanely destroyed as recommended by a licensed veterinarian unless (i) a person legally able to possess the animal and willing and able to take immediate possession of the animal is identified prior to or at the forfeiture hearing, in which case the court may award such person ownership of the animal, or (ii) the court determines that the animal is listed in 50 C.F.R. 17.11 as protected under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.), in which case such animal shall be ceded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

E. A court may order the owner of an animal seized pursuant to this article to post a bond in surety with the locality for the cost of caring for such animal for a period of time not to exceed nine months. If the court orders the posting of a bond in surety, the bond shall be posted with the clerk of the court within five business days after the hearing. If the person ordered to post the bond does not do so, the animal is deemed forfeited.

§ 29.1-583. Voluntary relinquishment.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the voluntary, permanent relinquishment of any animal by its owner to a person legally able to possess the animal and willing and able to take possession or have such animal euthanized by a licensed veterinarian in lieu of seizure or impoundment. Voluntary relinquishment shall have no effect on any criminal charges that may be pursued by the appropriate authorities concerning possession or treatment of the animal.

§ 29.1-584. Adoption of regulations.

The Board shall adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this article. The regulations shall include (i) the adoption of registration fees on a sliding scale depending on the number of dangerous wild animals a person possesses prior to July 1, 2012, and (ii) any additional exemptions to this article the Department deems necessary to facilitate management of native or naturalized wildlife.

29.1-585. Department to notify local officials.

The Department shall notify law enforcement officials and animal control officers of the presence in their locality of any lawfully possessed animal that is registered pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 29.1-580. The notice shall include the name of the owner of the animal, his address, and the species of the animal that is registered.

§ 29.1-586. Penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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Do you want to know who to contact to voice your opposition?

HB 1242 has been referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. Here is a list of who is on the committee and contact info. Please start making phone calls, sending mails, mailing letters, and blowing up fax machines in opposition to HB 1242. Be sure to call, email, and fax more than once, everyday if you can.



Delegate Beverly J. Sherwood (Chair)

General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218

Phone: (804) 698-1029
Fax: (804) 698-6729
Email: [email protected]



Delegate R. Lee Ware, Jr.
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1065
Fax: (804) 698-6765
Email: [email protected]



Delegate Thomas C. Wright, Jr.

General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1061
Fax: (804) 698-6761
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Robert D. Orrock, Sr.
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1054
Fax: (804) 698-6754
Email: [email protected]



Delegate Edward T. Scott (Vice Chair)

General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1030
Fax: (804) 698-6730
Email: [email protected]



Delegate Robert G. Marshall
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1013
Fax: (804) 698-6713
Email: [email protected]



Delegate Charles D. Poindexter
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1009
Fax: (804) 698-6709
Email: [email protected]



Delegate Brenda L. Pogge
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1096
Fax: (804) 698-1196
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Barry D. Knight
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1081
Fax: (804) 698-6781
Email: [email protected]


Delegate James E. Edmunds, II
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1060
Fax: (804) 698-6760
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Tony O. Wilt
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1026
Fax: (804) 698-6726
Email: [email protected]


Delegate James W. (Will) Morefield

General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1003
Fax: (804) 698-6703
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Michael J. Webert
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1018
Fax: (804) 698-6718
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Margaret B. Ransone
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1099
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: [email protected]


Delegate C. Matthew Fariss
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1059
Fax: (804) 698-6759
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Kenneth R. Plum
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1036
Fax: (804) 698-6736
Email: [email protected]se.virginia.gov


Delegate Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr

General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1000
Fax: (804) 698-6700
Email: [email protected]


Delegate David L. Bulova
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1037
Fax: (804) 698-6737
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Mark D. Sickles
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1043
Fax: (804) 698-6743
Email: [email protected]




Delegate David L. Englin
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1045
Fax: (804) 698-6745
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Matthew James
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1080
Fax: (804) 698-6780
Email: [email protected]


Delegate Luke E. Torian
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1052
Fax: (804) 698-6752
Email: [email protected]

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• The number one best thing you can do is: EVERYTHING listed below.

• make an appointment with Delegate Christopher K Peace (patron who introduced HB 1242)
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1097
Fax: (804) 698-6797
Email: [email protected]
Room Number: 527

And

Senator L. Louise Lucas (patron who introduced SB 477)
Senate of Virginia
P.O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (804) 698-7518
Fax: (804) 698-7651
Room No: 426

With a hand written letter in hand.

• Also very effective is: make an appointment to meet with each member of the committee with a hand written letter addressed to each committee member in hand. Be sure to be polite and well dressed. Even if the person you are meeting with doesn’t agree with what you have to say, be sure to stay calm and represent the herp community in a positive manner.

• Ask friends, family, and co-workers to join you and spend a few hours in Richmond and lobby against both bills. It’s best to make appointments, but if time doesn’t allow for appointments or you are not able to get an appointment with any, than stop in each office and speak with members staff. Again with letters in hand.

• Write letters (hand written letters carry the most weight) to each member on each committee, Delegate Christopher K Peace, and Senator L. Louise Lucas. Letters should be in your own words and no more than one page. Letters don’t need to be long, a short and to the point letter is fine. Be sure you check your spelling, be respectful and polite. If you are typing your letter be sure to hand sign them. Mailing and hand delivering letters will hold more weight than emailing or faxing them. Try to avoid form letters as they carry little to no weight. Using form letters as a guide to writing your letters in fine, but be sure your letter is in your own words so it appears more personal.

• Make phone calls to each member on each committee, Delegate Christopher K Peace, and Senator L. Louise Lucas.

• Petitions carry little to no weight.



Our first goal is to get Delegate Christopher K Peace, and Senator L. Louise to retract their proposed Bills before the committees meet to hear them. It is very important to set appointments and get letters out as soon as possible. If we don’t meet our first goal then the next goal is to have the proposed Bills dismissed by the committees or convince them to send the proposed Bills to scientific study (scientific study would buy us a year). To achieve this we need as many people as possible to be ready to show up at the public hearing with little notice (the hearing dates and time are only posted 24-48 hours before the hearing). We have people who are prepared to speak, but still need bodies to show our numbers as a community.


Things to keep in mind

When you meet with Senators and Delegates be prepared to include escape protocols (they what to know what we would do in the event of a escape).

Be sure to back up any claims you make with facts that you can prove.

Be professional in every possible way. We want them to view our community as professional and responsible.

Even if you don’t own any species on these proposed Bills, get involved now. Just because the species you keep isn’t on the proposed Bills now, doesn’t mean they can’t be added if these Bills get passed. Many other states passed bans that only started with a few species, but now are adding new species every year.

When communicating (in letters or person) with the Senators and Delegates about these proposed Bills, let them know that you opposed to the proposed Bills as they are written, but would be open to a reasonable permit process. This shows we as a community are responsible, reasonable and willing to work on a solution.
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