News laws can impact aquarists please educate yourself

For off topic posts, and friendly discussions
Post Reply
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:21 pm

News laws can impact aquarists please educate yourself

Post by arzerkle »

The COMPETES Act would override the court ruling and outlaw interstate transport of all species considered injurious under the Lacey Act. Since every species not on the “White List” would be considered injurious, the proposed Lacey Act white list would not only prevent imports of most species into the US from abroad, but also ban movement between states. While animals possessed before the implementation of the white list would still likely be allowed to be kept under state law, unless the species is lucky enough to make it onto the proposed Lacey Act “White List,” transporting across state lines for any reason, whether because of a move, selling or gifting animals, or even taking an animal temporarily to another state for medical care (a common occurrence for fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird keepers, since finding a veterinarian specializing in treating non-mammals can sometimes be difficult) could result in federal prosecution.

Prosecution under the Lacey Act can be severe and heavy-handed. Each violation can be prosecuted as a federal felony with a maximum punishment of $20,000 and/or five years imprisonment. Additional civil penalties could also be levied.

Changes proposed in the COMPETE Act will affect bird keepers, reptile and amphibian enthusiasts, and any other organization, business, or person who works with non-native wildlife. The definition of “wildlife” covers almost every animal, no matter how many generations it may be removed from its wild counterparts, with very few exceptions aside from dogs and cats. The consequences for reptile and amphibian keepers, bird owners, aquarists, and other pet owners if the COMPETES Act passes will be severe. This means every reptile, amphibian, arachnid, bird, fish, coral, and invertebrate will be subject to the new restrictions, whether captive-bred, ranched, farmed, aquacultured, maricultured, or collected from a wild source or fishery. With more than 10,000 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, fish, corals, and invertebrates kept by hobbyists and in the trade, it is likely only a small fraction of species would initially be able to overcome the onerous listing process on the “White List.” The process of petitioning to add species to the “White List” will be costly and time-consuming, and likely be challenged in court by well-funded animal rights organizations, resulting in long and costly delays, if successful at all. Most species will likely be considered injurious without any reason other than an unsurmountable burden of proving otherwise. For species that do manage to make it onto the “White List,” prices will likely rise significantly. Undescribed and newly discovered species will almost certainly cease to exist in the American hobby and trade. Even domestic captive breeding, aquaculture, and fisheries will be severely curtailed as companies and individuals will, for the most part, be limited solely to the “White Listed” species. For all intents and purposes, this legislation will dramatically change the hobby and pet trade as we know it, resulting in significantly reduced availability of species, diminished interest in pet keeping, severe retraction in the size of the industry resulting in substantial job losses, both in the US and abroad, and an extreme reduction in the scientific, economic, cultural, educational, and conservation benefits of the bird, reptile, amphibian, and aquarium hobbies and trade.

Let your congress member know your views on this amendment to the COMPETES Act, H.R. 4521. To contact your US Representative, please visit the website, sign up here, and find your representative here and drop him or her a short note with your position.
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:01 am

Re: News laws can impact aquarists please educate yourself

Post by janb »

Thank you, Amy.
Here are a couple of articles talking about the impact the Lacey Act amendments to the COMPETES Act would have on all of us. ... pet-trade/ ... -research/

Further information can also be found via USARK at

User avatar
Philippe Burnel
CichlidRoom Expert
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:54 am
Location: France/ Normandy

Re: News laws can impact aquarists please educate yourself

Post by Philippe Burnel »

Same problem in France.
Post Reply

Return to “Lounge”