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TEXAS: OPPOSE HB 2274 "Dangerous" Wild Animal Ban

This Bill is nothing more than a “Trojan Horse”. This tactic is to divide regulation between USDA licensed facilities and private owners. Thus making is much easier to target and eliminate private owners by “rule” rather than “regulation” oversight, (just as Ohio did). By eliminating the private owners and removing them from the “picture”, it would make future legislation much easier and less conflictive to remount another ban later targeting USDA facilities. 

Over 90% of the current regulation for DWA is now shifted to the Department of Health. Rather than having duly propagated regulations, the Department will be given free rein to manage by “rules”. This is the exact same scenario that the USDA has been placed in and has triggered a rash and massive amount of law suits they are currently engaged in.

The complex and various issues for the animal husbandry within the industry does not make such management a good candidate for “rules” rather than a “regulation process”. The Department (Texas Health Dept.) has no experience in care and management of such animals.

The author of the Bill (DWA) states the reason for the change in these regulations is so that
“there will be centralized tracking and inventory management for such animals.”

This Bill does the exact opposite:

The Bill would completely exempt all licensed USDA facilities from having to register with
the State . In doing so, it is the belief that the USDA can provide current and immediate inventory counts to emergency personnel. However, as a result of on going law suits against the USDA, the USDA removed this inventory from view in February 2017. The only way to access this information now is Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. No holidays, no weekends, no after hours. As the regulation stands now, even USDA licensed facilities register with the State, and each county has those inventories managed and up to date. The new Bill completely puts the State in the dark.

The Bill would also exempt all USDA licensed facilities from having a contingency plan, (emergency plan), in beliefs that USDA regulation require such plans to be written and in place with those licensed. However, this was true and placed into effect December 31, 2012. Once again, due to the rash amount of law suits the USDA published the following :

“Note: Effective July 31, 2013, USDA issued a stay of the contingency plan regulation. This means that, until further notice, dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, carriers and research facilities will not be required to comply with the contingency planning, training and other requirements of sections 2.134 or 2.38. (Page 56, Animal Welfare Act, final and current version) Current data provided by the State on these inventories is reflecting 86-89% of these animals are held by USDA facilities. Private owners reflect about 9-13%. Close to 90% of the current registered facilities inventory’s tractability would be cut massively. 

BOTTOM LINE: This Bill is nothing more than a “Trojan Horse” being used to divide regulation between USDA licensed facilities and private owners, thus making is much easier to target and eliminate private owners by “rule” rather than “regulation” oversight. 

  • By eliminating private ownership of exotic animals it would make future legislation much easier and less conflictive to remount another ban later targeting USDA facilities.
  • The Bill would completely exempt all licensed USDA facilities from having to register withthe State . In doing so, it is the belief that the USDA can provide current and immediate inventory counts to emergency personnel. However, as a result of on going law suits against the USDA, the USDA removed this inventory from view in February 2017. 
  • The new DWA (Dangerous Wild Animal Act)would allow for possession and regulated legal commerce for facilities with such animals, however Ch 240.002 of the Local Government Code is not addressed (as it was when the DWA went into effect in 2002), thus even though allowed by the State, the State’s Government Code still allows a county to prohibit such animals, even though it is specifically authorized by State law. 

If you are a resident of Texas, please click the button below to send letters to your lawmakers to oppose this bill. 

 

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