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HR 669 Hearing Update & Links

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Lophura, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Lophura

    Lophura Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    HR 669 is VERY scary. I've posted about it before and think everyone that keeps non-domestics needs to be very concerned. Here is a summary of the hearing today as posted on the gbwf forums:

    "I watched the whole thing. I'll give a quick overview. It began with the Chairwoman's comments, where she noted that the bill was "not perfect" and she thought there was room for improvement.... a statement I felt was in response to a strong public comment against it (which was confirmed later when the rep from Samoa commended the PIJAC representative and the aquaculture representative on having drummed up such a strong grassroots response). She was followed by the representative from Virginia. Of interest, he mentioned immediately that he thought non-native plants should also be included. They then went to the witnesses, which consisted of USFW (stated they were concerned with processes, enforcement, and funding), a biology professor from Notre Dame (explained that there were formulas for determining risk of invasiveness), a fellow from the Israeli wildlife department (explained very briefly Israel's program), a fellow from the Arizona wildlife/environmental department (talked about invasives in AZ and the need for the states to maintain control within their borders), a rep of the aquaculture industry (who didn't say much other than the aquaculture industry is reputable), and the PIJAC rep (the only one that sounded upset). Each gave their comments, then each committee member was able to ask questions. Of interest is that it appeared the a majority of the committee didn't even show up for the hearing. I didn't feel any/many of the questions were very deep or thoughtful, except that the rep from California wanted to get answers on the record. Her questions were directed to the USFW rep and she asked for yes/no answers. This is where I found it very misleading. She asked if this bill targeted only non-native invasives. His answer was YES. That may be true, but all other animals not exempted get caught in the crossfire. She asked if people would still be able to keep their pets. He answered YES. Which is true if you consider that you can never reproduce them, sell them, give them away, or move to another state with them. The only rep that seemed to be on our side was the one from South Carolina, Mr Brown. At one point, a rep asked what would happen in between the time the bill was enacted and the actual listing of a species to either the black list or the white list. The USFW rep stated that things should continue as normal. The rep followed up by asking if people would be able to keep their animals as normal during that time and the USFW rep replied yes. As I read the bill, this is not true. I don't think the USFW rep lied, but the question was posed in a very confusing manner and I think he gave the wrong answer by mistake. However, if any of the committee members were listening, they may have gotten bad information. The rep from Samoa, responding to the PIJAC rep's statement that invasiveness in Florida doesn't necessarily apply to Wisconsin and that there should be state control, asked if the PIJAC rep would rather 55 different rules rather than one unified, consistent rule. The Samoan rep either didn't understand the over-restrictiveness of the federally based system, or just didn't care. He then stated exportation of fish (I understood it to be tropical fish) was a major (multi-billion dollar) industry for Samoa. I wonder if any of those fish could be invasive in Florida, or are they considered native because Samoa is a US territory? The Chairwoman asked if there was a way to allow for people to take their pets with them across state lines and the USFW rep said yes, but it would involve a very complex system of permits.... and he didn't seem to interested in do this (for which I don't blame him).

    My understanding is that the committee can ask questions and receive written answers from the witnesses for ten(?) days and then the proceedings are closed. I assume then they will determine what to do with the bill. My feeling is, either with or without some changes, it will eventually pass out of committee. We need to be ready to fight this thing."

    Again, more links - everyone needs to be pro-active and get ready to fight:


    Even if you keep just domestic fowl, keep in mind that after they wipe out the pet industry and those of with non-natives, the AR groups will target you next.

    Dan Cowell
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009

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