I’ve refrained from saying much about HR 669, The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act, currently being reviewed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Legislation rarely is what it seems on the surface and a lot of misinterpretation (willful and otherwise) often makes the rounds before the real facts shake out.
However, the more I read about HR 669 the more alarmed I am about the implications. On the surface, the bill aims to prevent environmental damage by invasive species — and who can be against that, right? — but apparently the bill has HUGE implications on those who share their lives with “exotic” animals like rodents, tropical fish, and… parrots! (I.e., Under this bill, I couldn’t move across state lines with my birds. And if I die before them, I couldn’t make provisions to send them to Phoenix Landing; they’d need to be euthanized!)
This post by GrrlScientist does a great job dissecting the contents of the bill: HR 669: The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act.
The above link is worth checking out. While it doesn’t seem like the bill is going to make its way out of committee (general consensus is that it is SO poorly written that it’s laughable), I think we need to stay alert about this type of legislation. As recent economic news has shown us, most legislators don’t even read the bills they pass, much less think through all the unintended consequences — so when something like HR 669 gets introduced, we need to pay attention and let our representatives know so it doesn’t slip through the law-making process by mistake.
p.s. If you’re a PETA-type extremist who thinks all pets would be better of euthanized than bred in captivity, and therefore think I’m evil for having parrots, please don’t bother leaving a comment. I won’t put up with it here.