Scientists Join Opposition to Python Study

A group of prominent herpetologists has joined USARK in criticising the validity of a US government study on “giant” snakes (9 python species, anacondas and boa constrictors), and the threat the snakes pose to the U.S.  Here is the letter

The government study, done by USGS, is part of the Lacey Act process to determine whether a species is “injurious” as a preliminary step to regulating/banning/exterminating it.  The study comes on the heels of anti-python legislation currently under consideration in both the House and Senate (HR 2811/S.373). 

My 2 cents: Regardless of the “injuriousness” of giant snakes under the Lacey Act, trade and keeping of the true giants ought to be reduced.  For years leaders in the reptile industry shirked their responsibility to see that giant reptiles don’t end up in the wrong hands.  By importing and breeding hundreds of thousands of giants without regard to where they went those dealers let down reptile lovers everywhere.  Maybe those leaders are now willing to take responsibility through self-regulation, maybe they’ll go back to ignoring the problem once the smoke clears. 

But banning all python species, including ball pythons (and the boa constrictor) would be a terrible mistake, a bit like banning the housecat to stop the tiger trade.

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