United States: HR 4521 - Government Overreach a Major issue for Parrot Owners!!

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,884
4,721
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Politics is not an accepted subject on Parrot Forum. But this needs to be seen in the brightness of the Day!!

We need to be discussing some disturbing Federal Legislation, specifically the Lacey Act amendments, embedded within HR 4521. These were added in a Closed Door Session without any public notice or participation, and would affect all animals (including fish and invertebrates) other than dogs, cats, and traditional livestock. It has Massive Ramifications, just one example being that Exotic Pets could not go over State Lines to obtain veterinary care, or even be taken along when owners moved to another state.

Please do some research on this yourselves so that we can share information. A good place to start is: USARK.org/2022Lacey

It’s incredibly important for Parrot Forum Members to be aware of this Potentially Dangerous Legislation like this as it comes up, and this certainly won’t be the end of it! Please allow us to educate ourselves and each other. Plus, find out what we can do to make our opinions heard in Washington DC.
 

PippTheBananaBirb

Supporting Member
Jan 7, 2022
2,592
Media
34
Albums
6
3,430
South Africa(Currently in Mauritius)
Parrots
Budgies
Jeff(m)violet spangle(MIA)
John(m)green
Snowy(f)DF spangle
Griffen(m)yellowface sky-blue spangle
show budgies:
Grumpy(M)(RIP)cobalt blue
Sunny(f)Light green opaline
Cockatiel:
Pippen(?)Lutino
Politics is not an accepted subject on Parrot Forum. But this needs to be seen in the brightness of the Day!!

We need to be discussing some disturbing Federal Legislation, specifically the Lacey Act amendments, embedded within HR 4521. These were added in a Closed Door Session without any public notice or participation, and would affect all animals (including fish and invertebrates) other than dogs, cats, and traditional livestock. It has Massive Ramifications, just one example being that Exotic Pets could not go over state lines to obtain veterinary care, or even be taken along when owners moved to another state.

Please do some research on this yourselves so that we can share information. A good place to start is: USARK.org/2022Lacey

It’s incredibly important for Parrot Forum Members to be aware of this Potentially Dangerous Legislation like this as it comes up, and this certainly won’t be the end of it! Please allow us to educate ourselves and each other. Plus, find out what we can do to make our opinions heard in Washington DC.
Wish I could do something about this :(

I don't think I legally can.
1. I'm a minor.
2. I am not a citizen of USA, so even if I were old enough, I haven't even visited USA..

I really hope that action is taken against this.
 

Terry57

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Nov 6, 2013
42,710
Media
47
Albums
13
17,667
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
Parrots
Hawkhead(Darwin),YCA(Dexter),VE (Ekko),OWA(Slater),BHP(Talli),DYH(Calypso),RLA(Kimera),Alex(Xander)CBC(Phoe),IRN (Kodee,Luna,Stevie),WCP (Pisces),CAG(Justice)GCC (Jax), GSC2(Charley)
That is truly terrifying.
As long as the thread talks about the possible ramifications if this passes and stays away from the actual politics it will be fine.
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,884
4,721
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Finding understandable reviews of this amendment is going to be a bit difficult. Below is a cut and paste from a 501c group alined with the Pet Fish World. It would normally be a board line Post as it highlights another organization. Please understand that editing a cut and paste documents is very difficult with our system. As a result I have had to leave statement and section of MASNA's positions. Sorry!! It may be helpful to insert the word Parrots where they use Fish.

HR4521 COMPETES Act of 2022

MASNA’s Position Statement regarding HR 4521 and proposed amendments to the Lacey Act that are contained within the COMPETES Act of 2022

March 7, 2022 – Atlanta, GA

MASNA, as a non-profit organization of marine aquarium hobby clubs, independent hobbyists and corporate supporters is an organization formed with the heart and soul of the marine aquarist in mind. MASNA’s goals are to educate about the marine aquarium hobby, support the formation and growth of marine aquarium clubs, support efforts that eliminate abuses in the marine aquarium hobby as they relate to the collection, care, and transport of marine aquarium animals, and support the continued and ongoing growth of the marine aquarium hobby for future generations.
A topic of current interest and concern are proposed amendments to the Lacey Act that are contained within the COMPETES Act of 2022, which is currently under consideration by the US Senate after passing the US House of Representatives in early February (February 4th), 2022.

The amendments contained in this act, if passed as written, could authorize the US Fish and Wildlife service to prevent interstate transport of species listed as injurious and create a white list of import-approved species. Animals that are not white listed would be considered injurious until whitelisted, which also means that all species must be evaluated, individually, for consideration of import-approval and transportation approval. This transportation clause applies to both transportation into the country, as well as interstate transportation (from state to state).

All animals that are not white listed would be considered injurious until white listed. Further, all animals will need to be evaluated individually to be added to the white list, and would be considered injurious until such evaluation. Animals not white listed would not be considered for import and transportation both into the country and across state lines.

Additionally, these amendments introduce an emergency powers mechanism, which allows for an immediate injunction of no more than 3 years to the importation and transportation of a specific species if an animal is identified as injurious.


MASNA, while not a lobbying organization, feels it is of benefit to our membership to continue to provide education and clarification regarding this matter, and the technical details within to ensure that our membership is well informed about how legislation like this may affect their ability to continue to enjoy the hobby.

Key Points Regarding This Legislation of which MASNA Constituents Should Be Aware​

There are a few key actions within this legislation, that if enacted, would be of specific interest to our membership.

The trade of pets and animals in the US, among animals that are not Dogs, Cats, or Livestock, would be regulated through an accept list (aka, whitelist) program that is under the purview of US Fish and Wildlife Service. (this would include Parrots)

White lists, or accept / allow lists, are lists of what animals are allowed to be imported. Which requires that every animal, to the species level, be added to the list. Currently the Fish and Wildlife service has developed and curated detailed taxonomic data for many species in the pet trade like reptiles and birds, but this depth of information does not exist for fish. Fish are broadly classified, and data on specific species level fish imports as well as their injurious status is currently under reported and/or non-existent, which limits USFWS’s ability to quickly classify animals as injurious or not. Until a species is added to the accept list, it would not be allowed to be transported or imported.

This whitelist does not only apply to wild caught animals. Captive bred, maricultured, and aquacultured animals would also have to undergo the same white list scrutiny, regardless of their source location, even if in the US, and regardless of how long before transportation or importation they may have been cultured. Just because an animal is currently being imported safely, or is currently being bred and aquacultured in the US, does not mean it would be included on the accepted list.
Animals that have been successfully imported in the past are not immune to the whitelist scrutiny. Even those animals that have been traded, and imported for decades must first be evaluated for whitelist acceptance.
Species would only be added to the accept list after US Fish and Wildlife conducts their evaluation of the animal. If an animal is found non injurious by a rapid risk screening, the species would then fully need to be researched, have environmental impact statements developed, and be presented for further consideration of being added to the white list. This process can typically take 3-5 years per species. If all fish species must go through this process, we cannot even begin to comprehend how much time, and resources it would require for a proper evaluation and accept list approval of all the species currently in trade.

This regulation does not apply to only Non-US imports.​

As this would be federal regulation, it would require two levels of scope. First, it would apply to imports coming into the US from out of country. Second, if a fish species is deemed injurious in one state in the US, it would be deemed injurious throughout the US.
For example, Pterois sp. (aka Lionfish), which are currently considered injurious and on the invasive species list in Florida due to their introduction into public waters and the subsequent ecological harm in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic would not be whitelisted in the US and their transport would be halted across state lines, regardless of their source, or their intended destination.

While the purpose of this regulation is to limit the trade of injurious animals to protect the nation against ecological and zoonotic threats, the implementation misses the mark.​

The outcome of this regulation, if enacted, would be an immediate halt of all trade of non-whitelisted marine aquarium animals within the marine aquarium hobby. Threats that are top of mind, including the introduction of zoonotic diseases, while they often originate from situations where animals from disparate regions are housed in close proximity to each other, are not commonplace in a well maintained and well managed industry.
Legislation that shuts down trade in this way will likely create and reinforce illegal pet trades, which are counterproductive to the underlying goals of actions such as these.

What Can Be Done?​

Continue to be good citizens by purchasing livestock from responsible, sustainable, and reputable sources. MASNA’s goal is to continue to provide educational opportunities to the marine aquarium hobby public that enlightens and shares best practices to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of the animals in our care. Be sure to review current and past MASNA educational articles as well as published MACNA presentations and use these learnings to better yourself as a hobbyist, and contributor to the industry.

Consider supporting organizations whose point of view may be similar to yours. There are lobbying organizations who specialize in protecting the pet industry, and are fighting for this cause.
Pet Advocacy Network – Is following this issue, and posting updates here

Clubs should be aware and knowledgeable of their 501(c) status when discussing this issue with their Senators, but those who have the ability to within their IRS registration status can also consider taking a meeting with their local Senators when they are in their local offices. Hearing first hand from constituents about their concerns can be impactful.

A group of individuals has also started this site, AquariumTrade.org to collect and facilitate the spread of current information on all trade related legislative issues, and can be a good starting point for links to current topics regarding this, and other hobby related topics.
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,884
4,721
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Note: As a result of Bird Flu in North America, this amendment can be used to stop the movement of all Companion Parrots for any reason across State Lines.

It is important to understand that the action to stop this needs to target the specific Amendment as HR 4521 (AKA the Lacey Act) is a Worthy Bill.
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,884
4,721
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
This is an update from Pet Advocacy Network, Action Alert

As expected, the Senate has amended HR4521 replacing the House’s language with the Senate’s USICA language (S1260) and sent HR4521 back to the House as of Monday, March 28th. This sets up the next steps for a conference committee.

[The Pet Advocacy Network] are now asking [Their members] to reach out to [Their] US Representative and Senators to let them know you oppose amendments to Lacey in any version of a bill that comes out of this reconciliation process. More information will be coming the situation develops as the House and Senate Committee members are identified. Please take action now by clicking the Lacey Act campaign link! It only takes a few minutes and our industry needs your support!
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,884
4,721
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
LEGISLATIVE ALERT!!

It is imperative that all companion bird owners contact legislators (House and Senate) to tell them we OPPOSE HR4521 Lacey Act Section 71102 Amendments. ACT NOW! SAVE OUR COMPANION BIRDS!
Your Senators: https://usark.org/senators/
Your House Representatives https://www.house.gov/representatives

Federal House legislation HR4521 is the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 also known as the America Competes Act. Embedded in this HR4521 Act are amendments to the Lacey Act (a comprehensive law that protects against wildlife crimes). Unfortunately, the language in the HR4521 Lacey Act Section 71102 Amendments is written in a way that could jeopardize our companion bird ownership, prohibit us from moving our companion birds with us from State to State, and prohibit us from receiving veterinary care across State lines. The only animals protected in the amendments are cats, dogs and common livestock.

Federal Senate legislation S1260, U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, does not contain the Lacey Act amendments.

House HR4521 and Senate S1260 are now with a Reconciliation Conference Committee to produce a final bill.

Reference: https://usark.org/ https://usark.org/2022laceyfaq/ https://afabirds.org/ Google Lacey Amendments

There is a LOT of information out there about these amendments and the devastating effect it could have on unintended consequences for our dear Companion Parrots.

ACT NOW! SAVE OUR COMPANION PARROTS!!
 

Cottonoid

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Feb 20, 2022
911
2,353
Agreed - the links in Sailboat's post make it super easy to find contact information for your Senators and Representatives!
 

𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖒𝖞𝕻𝖎𝖈𝖆

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
May 2, 2021
2,833
Media
4
Albums
2
4,278
Vermont, USA
Parrots
Stormy(M): blue Australian budgie
Picasso(F): green Australian budgie
Pepper(M): violet recessive pied Australian budgie
Apollo(F): sky blue dominant pied Australian budgie
I'm so scared, I'm looking into getting a sweet pineapple GCC, but she's over the border, in NH. There are NO petshops here in VT, and hardly any vets (no good vets)!!! I'll email.

I also wouldn't be able to rehab any fish, as the petshop I rehab them from is in NH.
 

Icca

Active member
Feb 1, 2022
87
175
Don't be scared but DO make your voice heard. There will not be enough funds or time for the gov to clear all of the species on their black list. And it will affect the animals that are already alive and in the pet trade. This bill is not just stopping new breeders from starting it will become a problem for animals that are already alive if (God forbid ) they ever need serious care or their people need to relocate. It could also potentially cause people to surrender many pets as care will be more costly and challenging
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
481
914
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I guess I have some questions?!?!?!

Why would they want to prevent us from getting vet care across state lines? for an example I had to bring my parrot on vacation across state lines because as a lot of us know here on the parrot forum parrots are a little hard to a babysitter for. Especially the larger more intimidating parrots. Not to mention I have to give my parrot medications twice a day, and he's on a specialized diet.

Nextly is the goal to just stop smuggling parrots from overseas? or to just stop parrots from being in captivity in general?

Did the avian bird flu have something to do with these changes?

I've noticed at least where I live that there are only budgies in pet stores. There used to be conures, cockatiel's, and many more options. There aren't larger cages available either. Is this apart of the changes?

I just need some more education before I would want to comment further.
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,884
4,721
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
There are several reasons for the amendments. You have Identified several 'newer' reasons for this clear overreach of the Federal Government. The sad part, this 'attack' on Pet Ownership Rights' goes way back to the PETA movement of years past. Although always working in the background now-a-days, they had never stopped. Long Reason Short: Over Reach By Big Government, noted by Zero input from the public and the backdoor means of adding this a Bill that has nothing to do with Pet Ownership Rights.

The sad part is that the Pet Industry has always had its 'Bad Actors' and their activities have always been a problem. But that is an issue for States Rights, not the Federal Government.
 

MayMaroa

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2022
790
949
Putrajaya, Malaysia
Parrots
2 female budgies i have a green named tofu she is 1 years old(she turned one years old in April) and i have a blue budgie named sky she is the younger one she is younger then tofu by a few days
Oh my gosh that must be so terrifying for bird owners in USA hopefully peoples voice is big enough i wish i can act but like pip i cant
 

Cottonoid

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Feb 20, 2022
911
2,353
@kme3388 My understanding is that the Lacey Act previously was intended to prevent introduction of harmful wildlife species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service page says that the 1981 amendments to the Lacey Act "provides that the Secretary of the Interior designate injurious wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of wildlife shipped to the United States." How far-reaching this is proposed, however....

I haven't finished reading everything I want to about the proposed Lacey amendment, but I do know that current law says that for me to take household pets (including my dog and bird) between Minnesota and Wisconsin I'm legally required to have a USDA Certificate of Veterinary Inspection - for Wisconsin this is required even for vacation travel into the state. Minnesota doesn't require this for household pets that will be leaving the state within 30 days.

Under the proposed Lacey amendments, it would be illegal to take any animal on the "injurious" list across state lines, even for travel, even for veterinary care. The more concerning bit to me when I read the initial announcement was that this won't have to go through rigorous vetting.

So it sounds like the reasoning is along the same lines as states banning Quaker parakeets - trying to prevent animals that could be harmful to the local environment from being transported at all.

I wonder if the reason we aren't seeing medium and bigger parrots in stores right now is a supply issue, since purchases were way up in 2020. I don't have any factual evidence of that, though, that's just based on a handful of conversations with Petco employees.

From the USARK page:

Briefly, the amendments will:

  1. Provide that the Lacey Act bans the interstate transport of species listed as injurious. Specifically, it replaces Lacey’s current language ‘‘shipment between the continental United States’’ with ‘‘transport between the States.”
  2. Create a “white list” of species that can be imported. This means that any animal (reptile, amphibian, fish, bird, mammal) that is not on the white list is by default treated as potentially injurious and is banned from importation.
  3. Create a new authority allowing FWS to use an “emergency designation” that becomes effective immediately after being published in the Federal Register unless an extension of no more than 60 days is allowed. That means no due process, public input, hearings, advanced notice, etc. for injurious listings.
  4. Permit FWS to not allow importation if a species has not been imported in “minimal quantities” (to be defined) in the year prior to the enactment of this Act.
  5. The effective date would be one year after the enactment of this Act.
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
481
914
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
@kme3388 My understanding is that the Lacey Act previously was intended to prevent introduction of harmful wildlife species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service page says that the 1981 amendments to the Lacey Act "provides that the Secretary of the Interior designate injurious wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of wildlife shipped to the United States." How far-reaching this is proposed, however....

I haven't finished reading everything I want to about the proposed Lacey amendment, but I do know that current law says that for me to take household pets (including my dog and bird) between Minnesota and Wisconsin I'm legally required to have a USDA Certificate of Veterinary Inspection - for Wisconsin this is required even for vacation travel into the state. Minnesota doesn't require this for household pets that will be leaving the state within 30 days.

Under the proposed Lacey amendments, it would be illegal to take any animal on the "injurious" list across state lines, even for travel, even for veterinary care. The more concerning bit to me when I read the initial announcement was that this won't have to go through rigorous vetting.

So it sounds like the reasoning is along the same lines as states banning Quaker parakeets - trying to prevent animals that could be harmful to the local environment from being transported at all.

I wonder if the reason we aren't seeing medium and bigger parrots in stores right now is a supply issue, since purchases were way up in 2020. I don't have any factual evidence of that, though, that's just based on a handful of conversations with Petco employees.

From the USARK page:

Briefly, the amendments will:

  1. Provide that the Lacey Act bans the interstate transport of species listed as injurious. Specifically, it replaces Lacey’s current language ‘‘shipment between the continental United States’’ with ‘‘transport between the States.”
  2. Create a “white list” of species that can be imported. This means that any animal (reptile, amphibian, fish, bird, mammal) that is not on the white list is by default treated as potentially injurious and is banned from importation.
  3. Create a new authority allowing FWS to use an “emergency designation” that becomes effective immediately after being published in the Federal Register unless an extension of no more than 60 days is allowed. That means no due process, public input, hearings, advanced notice, etc. for injurious listings.
  4. Permit FWS to not allow importation if a species has not been imported in “minimal quantities” (to be defined) in the year prior to the enactment of this Act.
  5. The effective date would be one year after the enactment of this Act.
So are they just trying to better track exotic animals then? I am just trying to figure out the main goal? I always want to understand the main goal.
 

Cottonoid

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Feb 20, 2022
911
2,353
So are they just trying to better track exotic animals then? I am just trying to figure out the main goal? I always want to understand the main goal.
From what I read on department of fish&wildlife site it seems like the main goals of the 1981 act/amendments are to 1. Prevent non local wildlife from causing harm locally (example Quaker parakeets forming nests around power lines) and 2. Ensuring humane treatment of animals (example forbidding tigers imported as pets).
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top