people of va, spread the word

Discussion in 'Reptile Law & Legislation' started by Shanna66, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Shanna66

    Shanna66 Well-Known Member

    Copied and pasted from

    I just wanted to let everyone on here know that right now there is bill the state is trying to pass to ban the ownership of certain "dangerous" exotic wildlife. This is NOT the same ban that was just passed for the pythons. The bill is attached at the end of this message. Everyone that owns a snake should write or call your senators and speak up. It starts with a few species and soon after snowballs into every species of snake, lizard, etc. PLEASE don't rely on others to speak up. This will affect all of us snake owners in one way or another. Senator emails/phone numbers are:

    Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R) - Senate District 24 (804) 698-7524
    Senator John C. Watkins (R) - Senate District 10 (804) 698-7510
    Phillip P. Puckett (D) - Senate District 38 (804) 698-7538
    Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R) - Senate District 15 (804) 698-7515
    Senator Harry B. Blevins (R) - Senate District 14 (804) 698-7514
    Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R) - Senate District 26 (804) 698-7526
    Senator A. Donald McEachin (D) - Senate District 9 (804) 698-7509
    Senator J. Chapman Petersen (D) - Senate District 34 (804) 698-7534
    Senator Ralph S. Northam (D) - Senate District 6 (804) 698-7506
    Senator Richard H. Stuart (R) - Senate District 28 (804) 698-7528
    Senator David W. Marsden (D) - Senate District 37 (804) 698-7537
    Senator William M. Stanley, Jr. (R) - Senate District 20 (804) 698-7520
    Senator Richard H. Black (R) - Senate District 13 (804) 698-7513
    Senator John C. Miller (D) - Senate District 1 (804) 698-7501
    Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D) - Senate District 30 (804) 698-7530

    If you call, say, "I want to register an opinion on SB 477." The intern or whomever is answering (it won't be the senator) will respond, and you simply say, "Please tell the senator to vote no. This bill will negatively affect my family (or your job if that applies to you!)"

    Offered January 11, 2012
    Prefiled January 11, 2012
    A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 5 of Title 29.1 an article numbered 8, consisting of sections numbered 29.1-578 through 29.1-586, relating to possession of dangerous wild animals.
    Patron-- Lucas
    Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

    1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 5 of Title 29.1 an article numbered 8, consisting of sections numbered 29.1-578 through 29.1-586, as follows:

    Article. 8.
    Dangerous Wild Animals.
    § 29.1-578. Definitions.

    As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

    "Dangerous wild animal" means any individual animal of the following scientific classifications:

    1. Class Mammalia.

    a. Order Carnivora.

    (1) Family Canidae: red wolves (Canis rufus) and gray wolves (Canis lupus), including wolf-dog hybrids.

    (2) Family Felidae: lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), leopards (Panthera pardus), clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopards (Panthera uncia), jaguars (Panthera onca), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), cougars/pumas/mountain lions (Puma concolor), including hybrids thereof.

    (3) Family Ursidae: all species of bears.

    (4) Family Hyaenidae: all species of hyena and aardwolf.

    b. Order Primates: all species excluding humans.

    c.Order Proboscidea: all species of elephants.

    2. Class Reptilia.

    a. Order Crocodylia: all species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials.

    b. Order Squamata.

    (1) Family Atractaspididae: all species, such as mole vipers.

    (2) Family Boidae: anacondas (Genus Eunectes), boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), Burmese pythons (Python molurus), reticulated pythons (Python reticulatus), amethystine pythons (Morelia amethistina), scrub pythons (Morelia kinghorni), Northern African pythons (Python sebae), Southern African pythons (Python natalensis).

    (3) Family Colubridae: boomslangs (Dispholidus typus), twig snakes (genus Thelotornis).

    (4) Family Elapidae: all species, such as cobras, mambas, and coral snakes.

    (5) Family Hydrophiidae: all species, such as sea snakes.

    (6) Family Viperidae: all species, such as rattlesnakes, pit vipers, and puff adders.

    "Law-enforcement officer" means State Police officers, conservation police officers, Virginia Marine Police, local law-enforcement officers , animal control officers, as defined in § 3.2-6555, and humane investigators, as defined in § 3.2-6558.

    "Wildlife sanctuary" means a nonprofit organization that:

    1. Operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced animals are provided care for the lifetime of the animal;

    2. Does not conduct any commercial activity with respect to dangerous wild animals, including but not limited to (i) sale, trade, auction, lease, or loan of dangerous wild animals or parts of such animals or (ii) use of dangerous wild animals in any manner in a for-profit business or operation;

    3. Does not use dangerous wild animals for entertainment purposes or in a traveling exhibit;

    4. Does not breed any dangerous wild animals; and

    5. Does not allow members of the public the opportunity to come into contact with dangerous wild animals.

    § 29.1-579. Possession, sale, transfer, and breeding of dangerous wild animals unlawful.

    It is unlawful for any person to possess, sell, transfer, or breed a dangerous wild animal.

    § 29.1-580. Exemptions.

    The provisions of § 29.1-579 shall not apply to:

    1. Institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and facilities that have an active contractual relationship with an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for breeding of species listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 1533.

    2. Research facilities, as defined in the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2132(e)).

    3. Wildlife sanctuaries.

    4. Duly incorporated nonprofit animal protection organizations, including humane societies and shelters, temporarily housing a dangerous wild animal at the written request of law-enforcement officers acting under the authority of this article.
  2. Shanna66

    Shanna66 Well-Known Member

    5. Licensed veterinary hospitals for the purpose of providing treatment to a dangerous wild animal.

    6. Law-enforcement officers for purposes of enforcement.

    7. A person temporarily transporting a legally owned dangerous wild animal through the state if:

    a. The transit time is not more than 24 hours, the dangerous wild animal is not exhibited, and the dangerous wild animal is maintained at all times in a species-appropriate cage or other travel container such that there is no opportunity for physical contact with any member of the public; or

    b. The transit time is not more than 14 days, the transporter is incorporated and federally licensed for purposes of animal exhibition, the transporter is transporting at least 10 dangerous wild animals, and the dangerous wild animals are maintained at all times in a species-appropriate enclosure such that there is no opportunity for physical contact with any member of the public. Such transporters shall provide notice of the transport to the Department at least 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth, by identifying the number and type of dangerous wild animals that will be transported. This notification is in addition to any veterinary certificate or other permits required by state, local, or federal law.

    § 29.1-581. Conditions for allowable continued possession.

    The provisions of § 29.1-579 shall not apply to persons who lawfully possessed a dangerous wild animal prior to July 1, 2012, provided that such person:

    1. Shall maintain veterinary records, acquisition papers, or other documents or records that establish that the person possessed the animal prior to July 1, 2012;

    2. Shall not acquire additional dangerous wild animals after July 1, 2012, whether by purchase, donation, or breeding;

    3. Shall not have been convicted of an offense involving the abuse or neglect of any animal pursuant to any state, local, or federal law;

    4. Shall not have had a license or permit regarding the care, possession, exhibition, breeding, or sale of animals revoked or suspended by any state, local, or federal agency;

    5. Shall not allow members of the public any opportunity to come into physical contact with a dangerous wild animal;

    6. Shall register with, and pay a registration fee to, the Department by September 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, indicating the number of animals of each dangerous wild animal species in his possession, and showing proof of liability insurance in an amount of not less than $100,000, with a deductible of not more than $250, for each occurrence of property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by any dangerous wild animal possessed by the person; and

    7. At least 72 hours prior to the sale or transfer of an existing dangerous wild animal, shall notify the Department, identifying the recipient of the animal. The possession, sale, transfer, and transport of the dangerous wild animal shall conform to all applicable state, local, and federal laws.

    § 29.1-582. Seizure.

    A. Law-enforcement officers shall, upon probable cause, seize any or all dangerous wild animals possessed in violation of this article.

    B. Upon judicial determination that (i) the seized animals are dangerous wild animals and (ii) the owner of the seized animals is violating provisions of this article with regard to those seized dangerous wild animals, then such dangerous wild animals seized under this article shall be deemed forfeited.

    C. Dangerous wild animals seized and deemed forfeited shall be placed in the custody and control of an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or a wildlife sanctuary. If the law-enforcement officer, after a reasonable effort, can find no such accredited zoo or wildlife sanctuary that is willing and able to take custody and control of a seized and forfeited dangerous wild animal, that animal may be humanely euthanized.

    D. Dangerous wild animals seized but not deemed forfeited shall be kept in the custody of an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a wildlife sanctuary, or a temporary holding facility identified in subdivision 4 of § 29.1-580, until disposition of the seized dangerous wild animals.

    § 29.1-583. Filing of petition; judicial determination; posting of security.

    A. The accredited zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or temporary holding facility having custody of the dangerous wild animal may file a petition with the court requesting that the person from whom the dangerous wild animal was seized, or the owner of the dangerous wild animal, be ordered to post security. The security shall be in an amount sufficient to secure payment of all reasonable expenses expected to be incurred by the accredited zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or temporary holding facility in caring for and providing for the dangerous wild animal pending the disposition of the animal. A reasonable expense includes estimated medical care and boarding of the dangerous wild animal pending disposition. The amount of the security shall be determined by the court after taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including the recommendation of the impounding organization having custody and care of the seized dangerous wild animal and the cost of caring for the dangerous wild animal. If security has been posted in accordance with this subsection, the accredited zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or temporary holding facility may draw from the security the actual costs incurred in caring for the seized dangerous wild animal.

    B. Upon receipt of a petition, the court shall set a hearing on the petition, to be conducted within five business days after the petition is filed. The petitioner shall serve a true copy of the petition upon the owner of the dangerous wild animal and the state or local law-enforcement entity that seized the dangerous wild animal. The petitioner shall also serve a true copy of the petition on any interested person. For the purposes of this subsection, "interested person" means an individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate, or other legal entity that the court determines may have a pecuniary interest in the animal that is the subject of the petition. The court shall set a hearing date to determine any interested parties. The court may waive for good cause shown the posting of security.

    C. If the court orders the posting of security, the security shall be posted with the clerk of the court within five business days after the hearing. If the person ordered to post security does not do so, the dangerous wild animal is deemed forfeited and the accredited zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or temporary holding facility having custody of the dangerous wild animal shall have legal custody and control over the dangerous wild animal.

    D. Upon judicial determination on the disposition of the seized dangerous wild animal, the person who posted the security is entitled to a refund of the security for any expenses not incurred by the impounding organization.

    § 29.1-584. Voluntary relinquishment.

    Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the voluntary, permanent relinquishment of any dangerous wild animal by its owner to an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or a wildlife sanctuary in lieu of posting security. Voluntary relinquishment shall have no effect on any criminal charges that may be pursued by the appropriate authorities.

    § 29.1-585. Adoption of regulations.

    The Board shall adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this article. The regulations shall include the (i) adoption of registration fees on a sliding scale depending on the number of dangerous wild animals a person possesses on July 1, 2012, and (ii) expansion of the definition of dangerous wild animal. However, such regulations shall not amend the list of exempted entities in § 29.1-580. The Board shall file the regulations with the Registrar of Regulations pursuant to § 2.2-4103.

    § 29.1-586. Penalties.

    Any person who violates any provision of this article or regulation adopted thereunder is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  3. Shanna66

    Shanna66 Well-Known Member

    i just called, took no time at all and was really easy. so please if you live in va please call, dont put it off or assume other will call
  4. WingedWolf

    WingedWolf Member

    We beat a law in Nebraska that would have required excessive insurance and posted signage to keep large reptiles, so don't give up hope--it can be done. Remember to be reasonable, to explain that many of the species being proposed aren't remotely dangerous, and that it will hurt businesses.

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