Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HR 669

Where did I go?

Was I kidnapped by Serbs and held for ransom? Did the Angry Pig finally smother me in my sleep and escape to South America with the inheritance money? Has the Large Hadron Collider opened up a wormhole that sucked me up and spat me out in Narnia?

Well, no (much as I wish for that last one to be true). I just have not had either the time or the energy for blogging lately. Hopefully things will change, but - we'll see.

Anyway, there is one thing I had to post here. I wish it were something happier!

On April 23rd, the Natural Resources Committee of the US Congress is going to hold a hearing on HS 669, also known as the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act. This is a resolution that, if passed into law, would ban the adoption, purchase, selling, transporting, breeding and private ownership of nonnative pets. This is virtually every reptile, bird, fish, and small mammal commonly kept as pets. These are the animals that WILL NOT be banned:
  • any cat (Felis catus)
  • cattle or oxen (Bos taurus)
  • chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)
  • dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
  • donkey or ass (Equus asinus)
  • domesticated members of the family Anatidae (geese)
  • duck (domesticated Anas spp.)
  • goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)
  • goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus)
  • horse (Equus caballus)
  • llama (Lama glama)
  • mule or hinny (Equus caballus x E. asinus)
  • pig or hog (Sus scrofa domestica)
  • domesticated varieties of rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
  • sheep (Ovis aries)
This means the pets that WILL BE BANNED include reptiles, tropical fish, birds, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, and guinea pigs.

Because guinea pigs will destroy our frail ecosystems (or the economy, what?), but keeping a llama is A-OK.

I know what you're thinking. It's probably along the lines of "WHAAAAAT". Or "IS THIS A JOKE?". Or even possibly "FINALLY! I TOLD THEM THE IMMINENT HAMSTER INVASION IS NIIIIGH."

If it was anything like the former two reactions, anti-HR 669ers are urging people at this point to not panic. This thing is still way off from being a law. The hearing on the 23rd is only the beginning of what would be a long process. "Nonnative" animals you have currently won't be affected (though if it goes through, you will be prohibited from breeding or transporting them across state lines). And this is just in the US for now.

But if you want to help nip this thing in the bud, here are things you can do to help:
  • Contact members of the subcommittee (their names and contact info can be found at the end of this document)
  • Contact your representative in Congress (here's how)
  • Start organizing a Rodent Underground Railroad to Canada (haha, wouldn't that be kind of cute though?)
  • TELL PEOPLE! Friends, family, coworkers, yell it from the rooftops! This effects everybody who likes snakes, small pets, beta fish, parrots; everything but the kitchen sink (though the kitchen sink isn't on the Approved List either)

And remember to stay civil if you do contact anybody!

More information can be found here, and here. And again, the full text of the document can be found here. Aaand MoT out!