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03 February 2010

Reptile Keepers Say Regulating Reptiles May Cost Georgia Jobs

Last month, State Senator John Douglas (R - Social Circle) introduced a bill that would require owners of certain reptiles including pythons and anacondas to obtain a wild animal license.

Sen. Douglas' bill has fired up the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) who, yesterday, issued a press release opposing S.B.303 saying that the legislation could cost Georgia jobs.

USARK says legislation's permit system and micro chipping provision could put reptile farmers out of business and take away the ability of people to own animals that are currently legal to own in Georgia.

Andrew Wyatt, President of USARK, insists that what is being proposed in GA will not add any level of secure containment. Wyatt says, "the bill we wrote and helped pass in NC addresses specific concerns with secure containment, safety and escape prevention that are not addressed in S303. Additionally it costs nothing and does not require state Dept of Natural Resources to administer. It is written into criminal statute."

S.B. 303 is currently pending in the Senate Natural Resources & Environment Committee.