Federal Issue Brief

 H.R. 1829/S. 899, Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2011

AVMA Position:

Support 

Summary:

Introduced by Congressman Charles Boustany (LA-7th) and Senator Ben Cardin (MD), H.R. 1829/S. 899 amends the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 to:

  • Revise the nutria eradication program by authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington (currently, only to Maryland and Louisiana).
  • Establishes the goals of such Program as: (1) eradicating nutria in Maryland; (2) eradicating or controlling nutria in Louisiana, Delaware, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington; and (3) restoring wetlands damaged by nutria.
  • Authorizes appropriations for FY2012-FY2016.
  • Requires the Secretary and the National Invasive Species Council to develop long-term nutria control or eradication programs to: (1) significantly reduce and restore nutria damaged wetlands in Delaware, Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington; and (2) promote voluntary, public-private partnerships to eradicate or control nutria and restore nutria-damaged wetlands in such states.

Background:

  • The nutria is a large, semi-aquatic rodent native to South America.
  • Nutria are classified as an invasive species because they damage vegetation and destroy habitat in wetlands.

Justification:

  • The bill strategically expands the existing Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 to include additional affected states.
  • The bill facilitates continued nutria control efforts by extending authorization and building upon lessons learned in the existing federal nutria control program.

Current Status:

H.R. 1829: House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.

S. 899: Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Reported favorably out of committee without amendment on 7/13/2011.

AVMA Contact: 

Dr. Whitney Miller, Assistant Director, Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3211.