Regulatory Brief

 2010-05 USFWS Injurious Wildlife Species

Formal title: Docket Number [FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015], [94140-1342-0000-N3] Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing the Boa Constrictor, Four Python Species, and Four Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles 


Proposed rule; availability of draft environmental assessment and draft economic analysis.

Brief Description:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to amend its regulations to add Indian python (Python molurus, including Burmese python Python molurus bivittatus), reticulated python (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus), Northern African python (Python sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), DeSchauensee's anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), and Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis) to the list of injurious reptiles. The list would prohibit the importation of any live animal, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of these nine constrictor snakes into the United States, except as specifically authorized.

AVMA Response:

The AVMA recognizes the economic hardship this rule may pose upon those engaged in the exotic pet trade. Nevertheless, the AVMA supports regulatory efforts to prohibit private ownership and the importation for the purpose of private ownership of non-native animals that threaten public health, domestic animal health, indigenous wild animal health, agriculture, or the ecosystem, as well as those species whose welfare is unacceptably compromised. Furthermore, in order to protect animal, human, and environmental health, the AVMA supports the use of appropriate surveillance and control measures on international commerce and travel to prevent the entry of foreign disease vectors and invasive species into the United States.

The AVMA supports scientific, risk-based decisions on the importation of animals and animal products, and believes that imported animals and animal products must present no more than a negligible risk. In addition, integrated and standardized regulations should be developed and implemented nationally to address the import, sale, movement, and health of exotic, non-domesticated, and wild-caught animals. The AVMA agrees with the scientific based evaluation of each of the nine constrictor species (and their respective hybrids) individually and in light of the criteria for and repercussions of potentially listing each as an injurious species, and the AVMA supports the USFWS in listing each of these nine constrictor species as injurious under the Lacey Act.


Listing Three Python Species and One Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles (PDF)