(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- A resolution sponsored by Commissioner Dennis C. Moss on December 19, 2011 urging the United States Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the importation or sale of the Burmese python and other species of large constrictor snakes was echoed in Washington.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, during a news conference, United States Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a national ban on four of the most dangerous and most threatening snakes to the Florida Everglades. The snakes slated to be banned are the Burmese python, the northern and southern African pythons, and the yellow anaconda.
The ban will not affect people who currently own any of the four species of snakes, other than prohibiting the transportation or selling of the animals across state lines. The ban should go into effect by the end of March 2012, when the snakes will be included under the Lacey Act. The act is designed to stop illegal trafficking of specified wildlife, fish and plants. A felony violation of the Lacey Act can bring a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Commissioner Moss was pleased to learn that efforts are being made to begin to manage the python epidemic in South Florida. He went on to state, “This is just a start. We look forward to the day when pythons and other species of snakes will no longer pose a threat to the Everglades.”