Florida Python Ban Defended by U.S. Government in Federal Court Motion
The United States Association of Reptile Keepers wants the government to lift the ban on bringing invasive snakes and reptiles into places like the Everglades.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Keepers, the science behind banning people from introducing snakes into an ecosystem they absolutely do not belong in and would totally ravage and wreck is kind of bogus, even though the tons of scientific evidence proves that doing that is a really bad idea.
Attorneys for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say the lawsuit is based on the Association of Reptile Keepers' being bummed about all the money they're losing in pet sales.
They've asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
Back in December, the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers challenged the science on banning snakes. And on Tuesday, an attorney representing the North Carolina-based group reiterated its stance.
"We still feel very confident about our position," attorney Joan Galvin said.
The Keepers claim that sales of snakes actually help fund research and conservation.
But in a motion filed Friday in federal court in Washington, D.C., the U.S. government claimed the group has presented no evidence of this.
The motion goes on to say that the Association of Reptile Keepers' sole motivation is making money and that their priorities don't necessarily involve conservation.
"Not only are these interests entirely economic, they are also totally unrelated to the environment," the motion reads. "They involve the breeding and selling of captive snakes as part of the pet industry."
The group has admitted that the ban is shrinking the market because potential customers are not allowed to take snakes across state lines. Moreover, some sellers are forced to euthanize snakes they can't sell, the group says.
In all, the United States Association of Reptile Keepers say they stand to lose up to $1.2 billion over the next ten years, all because the government won't allow Burmese pythons to roam the Everglades and literally eat all the things.