Animal Law

Python Ban Planned to Address Giant Snake 'Invasion' in US

Seeking to address a growing problem of escaped or released giant snakes that have made certain parts of the United States their new home and reproduced there, federal officials are planning to ban the import of nine species of constrictor snakes including the Burmese Python.

Referring to the situation as “the story of the invasion of the snakes in the United States of America,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, reports the Associated Press.

Fish and Wildlife is proposing that the snakes be defined as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act, which provides civil and criminal penalties for illegal imports of such animals, explains the New York Daily News. Although giant snakes pose the biggest problem in the Florida Everglades, where the environment is friendly to them and lacks any natural predators, most are imported into New York.

There will be a 60-day public comment period before a final decision is made on the proposed ban, the AP reports.

Additional and related coverage: “Fla.‘s Python Problem Prompts Proposed National Ban on Imports” “CA Law Skins Peter to Pay Python”

Nature Conservancy: “Stopping a Burmese Python Invasion”

St. Petersburg Times: “Officials capture 9-foot Burmese python that strangled 2-year-old Sumter County girl”

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