Stop the Trade in Large Constrictor Snakes

If you are taking action after May 5, you can submit comments directly to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before May 11, 2010.

A sample letter you can cut and paste is below. Remember to modify it to reflect your own experience. Your comments and contact information will become part of the public record on this issue, posted at All information is optional; you can leave blank irrelevant information such as "government agency." If your comment is long, you may want to cut and paste it into a document and submit it as a Word document or PDF.


I strongly support the proposed rules to list nine species of large constrictor snakes as injurious (75 Fed. Reg. 11808-11829 (March 12, 2010)). The trade in these snakes is dangerous to people and, as documented by the U.S. Geological Survey, can wreak havoc on our ecosystems. Please act quickly to stop the importation and interstate movement of these giant snakes as pets.
The USGS reviewed nine species of large constrictor snakes -- Burmese pythons, reticulated pythons, northern African pythons, southern African pythons, boa constrictors, and four species of anacondas -- and found all nine pose high or medium risk to our environment. None are low risk. The thousands of pythons now at large in the Everglades demonstrate the threat these snakes can pose. According to the USGS, "A very large number of imperiled species are at risk from giant constrictors in the State of Florida." Once these species are established, it is costly and may be impossible to remove them. The proposed rules are essential to prevent already-established species from spreading to new areas and to prevent additional species from becoming established.

The trade is dangerous for people, too. The 2-year-old girl who was killed tragically by a Burmese python kept as a pet in her home was the fourth person killed by a pet python in the United States since 2006. The other three were adults with experience handling reptiles.

Add to this the suffering of the animals in the pet trade and it's clear action is needed now.
Thank you to the Fish and Wildlife Service for your leadership in proposing these rules. Please finalize them as quickly as possible. Thank you for considering my comments.

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