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Keep up with news and features of interest to the reptile and amphibian community on the blog. We cover breaking stories from the mainstream and scientific media, user-submitted photos and videos, and feature articles and photos by Jeff Barringer, Richard Bartlett, and other herpetologists and herpetoculturists.

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South Carolina proposes "Exotic Animal and Reptile Control and Regulation Act"

By Jeff Barringer
Mon, February 13 2012 at 08:33

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GOP Senator Dave Thomas introduced this. This is the same guy who tripled his salary and is technically retired. "At age 55, South Carolina state Sen. David Thomas began collecting a pension for his legislative service without leaving office. Most workers must retire from their jobs before getting retirement benefits. But Thomas used a one-sentence law that he and his colleagues passed in 2002 to let legislators receive a taxpayer-funded pension instead of a salary after serving for 30 years."

In the bill there is a provision that allows one's animals to be seized without due process, so this could be at the discretion of DNR or other law enforcement. " Section 47-2-140. (A) An exotic animal may be immediately confiscated by the department if the:

(1) possessor does not have a personal possession permit issued pursuant to this chapter;

(2) possessor does not secure the liability insurance coverage required in Section 47-2-100;

(3) provisions of Section 47-2-100 are not being met;

(4) conditions under which the exotic animal is kept are directly or indirectly dangerous to human health and safety."

As a South Carolinian who is politically involved and possibly running for the General Assembly, I will do everything in my power the stop this bill.

It will destroy businesses and addresses a nonexistent problem in SC.

-Peter vonLehe Ruegner
#1 Peter vonLehe Ruegner (Homepage) on 2012-02-13 12:19 (Reply)
Peter - The way I read the bill, and please correct me if I am wrong here - is that the top part is specific to what they define as Exotics(mammals) and the bottom part, what I have posted here, is what they define as Reptiles and the 2 are not the same. And that said reptiles wouldn't fall under these provisions. Am I correct?

Section 47-2-20. As used in this chapter:

(1) 'Department' means the Department of Natural Resources.

(2) 'Exotic animal' means those species of animals that are inherently dangerous to humans. Exotic animals include, but are not limited to, the following orders and families, whether bred in the wild or in captivity, and any or all hybrids. The animals listed in parentheses are intended to act as examples and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals, unless otherwise specified:

(a) class mammalia:

(i) order artiodactyla (hippopotamuses, giraffes, camels, and deer but not cattle, swine, sheep, or goats);

(ii) order carnivora:

A. family felidae (lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, ocelots, and servals but not domestic cats);

B. family canidae (wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals but not domestic dogs);

C. family ursidae (all bears);

D. family mustelidae (martins and minks but not ferrets, weasels, or skunks);

E. family procyonidae (raccoons and coatis);

F. family hyaenidae (hyenas);

G. family viverridae (civets, genets, and mongooses);

(iii) order edentatia (anteaters, armadillos, and sloths);

(iv) order marsupialia (opossums, kangaroos, and wallabies but not sugar gliders);

(v) order perissodactyla (rhinoceroses and tapirs but not horses, donkeys, or mules);

(vi) order primates (lemurs, monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas);

(vii) order proboscidae (elephants);

(viii) order rodentia (beavers and porcupines but not guinea pigs, squirrels, rats, mice, gerbils, or hamsters);

(b) All species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act as threatened or endangered are considered exotic animals.

(c) Species not listed may be declared as exotic animals by the department if the confinement of the animal within the State can be shown to constitute a threat to public health and safety.
#2 Jeff Barringer (Homepage) on 2012-02-13 12:31 (Reply)
I think this bill is misguided and is completely unneeded in SC. Anyway, Section 47-2-260:"If a law enforcement officer or animal control officer has probable cause to believe that any of the provisions of this article have been violated, it is his duty to immediately investigate the violation or impending violation and to seize the reptiles involved, and the officer is authorized and directed to deliver the reptiles to the Department of Natural Resources or to its designated representative for examination for the purpose of ascertaining whether said reptiles are a venomous reptile, large constricting snake or crocodilian subject to this article. If the Department of Natural Resources finds that the reptile is a venomous reptile, large constricting snake or crocodilian subject to this article, the department or its designated representative shall be empowered to determine final disposition of the reptile in a manner consistent with the safety of the public. If the department or its designated representative find that the reptile is not a venomous reptile, large constricting snake or crocodilian subject to this article and either no criminal warrants or indictments are initiated in connection with the reptile within ten days of initial seizure, or a court of law determines that the reptile is not being owned, possessed, used, transported or trafficked in violation of this article, then it is the duty of the officer to return the reptile to the person from whom it was seized within five days."
#3 Peter vonLehe Ruegner (Homepage) on 2012-02-13 12:51 (Reply)
In a whole...some of this sucks. Some of it is good, they're just going about it the wrong way. Living in South Carolina myself, while so far none of this pertains to me, I know it's only a matter of time before it will. While I don't think an 18 year old kid with snot in his nose should be able to go to a reptile show and buy a venomous snake or a large constrictor, I don't think our state (or any other state for that matter) should be ruining it for responsible owners. If they want to pass a law saying a person must have a license and show they can securely contain venomous snakes or large constrictors, that's great in my opinion. Maybe things like that will make a person think more about what they're purchasing before they do. All in all, it only takes one moron to ruin it for the rest of us.
#4 pythonaddict on 2012-02-17 22:40 (Reply)

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