Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 112563
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File Number: 112563 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1115-11 Control: County Commission
File Name: PROHIBIT IMPORT OR SALE OF BURMESE PYTHONS Introduced: 12/5/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/19/2011
Agenda Date: 12/19/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A1
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE U.S. CONGRESS TO PASS H.R. 511 OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE IMPORTATION OR SALE OF THE BURMESE PYTHONS AND EIGHT OTHER SPECIES OF LARGE CONSTRICTOR SNAKES WITHOUT A PERMIT; SUPPORTING U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE RULEMAKING TO LIST THESE SPECIES OF LARGE CONSTRICTOR SNAKES AS “INJURIOUS WILDLIFE” UNDER THE LACEY ACT TO PROHIBIT THE IMPORTATION AND INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF THESE ANIMALS; URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE FLORIDA FISH & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION TO EXPLORE ADDITIONAL STEPS TO ADDRESS THESE SNAKES AT THE STATE LEVEL
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/19/2011 11A1 Adopted P

County Attorney 12/5/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE U.S. CONGRESS TO PASS H.R. 511 OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE IMPORTATION OR SALE OF THE BURMESE PYTHONS AND EIGHT OTHER SPECIES OF LARGE CONSTRICTOR SNAKES WITHOUT A PERMIT; SUPPORTING U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE RULEMAKING TO LIST THESE SPECIES OF LARGE CONSTRICTOR SNAKES AS “INJURIOUS WILDLIFE” UNDER THE LACEY ACT TO PROHIBIT THE IMPORTATION AND INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF THESE ANIMALS; URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE FLORIDA FISH & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION TO EXPLORE ADDITIONAL STEPS TO ADDRESS THESE SNAKES AT THE STATE LEVEL

BODY
WHEREAS, many exotic animals have been removed from their native lands and placed where they are not always welcome arrivals as part of an increasingly popular international pet trade market; and
WHEREAS, among these invasive species are a growing number of Burmese pythons and other large constrictor snakes in the Florida Everglades; and
WHEREAS, the same conditions that allow the vast diversity of wildlife to thrive in the Everglades also support invasive exotic species that throw off the delicate balance of the Everglades’ unique ecosystem; and
WHEREAS, these invaders can harm native species, some of which are threatened and endangered, and add economic burdens to private landowners and public land managers; and
WHEREAS, giant pythons are well-adapted for success in the Florida Everglades, where the habitat is similar to their Asian home; and
WHEREAS, their size and power makes them one of the top predators in the Florida Everglades, taking on alligators, blue herons and full-grown deer, and posing a threat to many of the indigenous and endangered species; and
WHEREAS, in October, 2011, for example, a 15.7-foot python was discovered digesting an intact deer in West Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, finding solutions for eradicating these damaging snakes is challenging for a number of reasons, including the difficulty of locating them in the Everglades and ensuring that actions that are taken do not adversely impact native animals; and
WHEREAS, during the 2010 session, the Florida Legislature passed Chapter No. 2010-185, Laws of Florida (SB 318), which prohibited the following reptiles from being acquired for personal possession:
* Indian or Burmese python;
* Reticulated python;
* Northern African python;
* Southern African python;
* Amethystine python;
* Scrub python;
* Green anaconda;
* Nile monitor; and


WHEREAS, people who owned one or more of these reptiles before July 1, 2010 were allowed to keep their animal for the remainder of its life, provided the pet owners maintained a valid license, while public exhibitors, zoos, researchers and reptile dealers can currently apply for a permit to import or possess these reptiles; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also initiated a program to eradicate these invasive reptiles from the Florida Everglades; and
WHEREAS, these efforts at the state level may have stemmed the flow of these invasive reptiles into Florida, but do not appear to have fully addressed the large and growing population of these snakes currently living in the Everglades; and
WHEREAS, under the Lacey Act, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior is authorized to regulate the importation and interstate transport of species determined to be injurious to humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources of the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, on January 20, 2010, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior announced that it would propose to list the Burmese python and eight other large constrictor snakes that threaten the Everglades and other sensitive ecosystems as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act, Title 18 U.S. Code Section 42(a)(1); and
WHEREAS, this federal rulemaking is currently pending and under administrative review; and
WHEREAS, Representative Tom Rooney (R - Florida) has filed H.R. 511 for consideration during the 112th Session of Congress; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 511 would add large constrictor snakes by statute to the “injurious wildlife” list under the Lacey Act, prohibiting the importation and interstate movement of the following species:
* Indian python
* Burmese python
* Reticulated python Northern African python
* Boa constrictor
* Yellow anaconda
* DeSchauemsee’s anaconda
* Green anaconda
* Beni anaconda; and

WHEREAS, Florida Senator Bill Nelson filed similar legislation in 2010 and is expected to reintroduce a similar bill in the U.S. Senate soon; and
WHEREAS, this Board supports H.R. 511 or similar legislation prohibiting the importation and interstate movement of pythons and other large constrictor snakes and also supports the similar rulemaking by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges Congress to pass H.R. 511 or similar legislation prohibiting the importation and interstate movement of pythons and other large constrictor snakes.
Section 2. Urges the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to adopt rules listing the Burmese python and eight other large constrictor snakes as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act.
Section 3. Urges the Florida Legislature and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission to explore additional steps to address the presence of these snakes in the Everglades.
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation and the Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Section 5. Directs the County’s federal lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2012 Federal Legislative Package.
Section 6. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the action set forth in Section 3 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2012 State Legislative Package to include this issue.



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