Target: United States House of Representatives
Goal: Outlaw the import of large constrictor snakes for use as pets.
While many snakes and other reptiles enjoy happy, healthy lives as household pets in the United States, not all species of snake are appropriate for human companionship. Giant constrictor snakes may appeal to some as striking novelty pets, but the risks that accompany owning one are far greater than the risks associated with most companion animals. Thankfully, a bill proposed by Representative Tom Rooney (R-Florida) would add nine types of constrictor snake to the list of species now prohibited for import by the Lacey Act.
Unlike smaller reptiles, large constrictor snakes pose a serious danger to humans, animals, and wildlife if they escape from captivity or are released. Unsuspecting people have been attacked by their neighbors’ deadly pets after the snakes escaped into their backyards. Just recently, a Massachusetts pet shop employee had to be rescued by paramedics when a 6-foot Burmese python coiled around his arm and began swallowing his hand. What’s more, escaped constrictor snakes have historically wreaked havoc on North American wildlife. These non-native snakes find the natural wildlife of North America to be easy prey and have no trouble devouring raccoons, squirrels, and even bobcats.
Large constrictor snakes may be beautiful, majestic creatures, but they don’t belong in American homes. Keeping such a large predator in a small indoor cage not only threatens the welfare of the snake, but the welfare of the entire community into which the animal has been artificially introduced. Tell the United States Congress that giant constrictor snakes belong in their native environments, not in the captivity of American citizens.
Dear U.S. Representatives,
Like many exotic animals imported to be sold as pets, giant constrictor snakes have no place in the homes of Americans. These animals may be awe-inspiring, but their enormous size and strength renders them a potent danger to the communities of their owners. Several recent reports of escaped constrictor snakes prove that these creatures cannot be safely contained in private captivity.
A new bill proposed by Rep. Tom Rooney (H.R. 511) would add nine species of constrictor snake to the list of species banned by the Lacey Act. Prohibiting the import of these enormous and dangerous predators would safeguard the wellbeing of our communities, our local wildlife and of the snakes themselves.
Some animals were never meant to be kept as pets. I ask that you work toward outlawing the import of giant constrictor snakes by advancing this vital piece of legislation.
[Your Name Here]