Steps Taken To End Snake Trade

On December 11, 2009 the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved S. 373, a bill “to include constrictor snakes of the species Python genera as an injurious animal” under the Lacey Act, thus prohibiting them from being imported into the US or shipped in interstate commerce. These snakes pose a threat to public safety and can cause immense harm to US ecosystems. The House Judiciary Committee reported H.R. 2811 in July. The Senate bill is stronger because the committee amended it to cover more species. Additionally, in a surprise move on January 20, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will publish a proposal to list nine large constrictor snakes (the same ones covered under the Senate bill) as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act. This administrative action will take a number of months to implement, so work on the bills before Congress should continue.