WisconsinAquaculture.com - March 2009_HR669 Non Native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act
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March 2009_HR669 Non Native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act

Hearing Scheduled on H.R. 669

The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act

The H.R. 669 Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act (attached), introduced by Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) Chair of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife of the House Natural Resources Committee, would totally revamp how nonnative species are regulated under the Lacey Act.
Currently, the Fish and Wildlife Service is required to demonstrate that a species is injurious [harmful] to health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources of the U.S.
HR 669 substantially complicates that process by compelling the Service to produce two lists after conducting a risk assessment for each nonnative wildlife species to determine if it is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to other animal species' health or human health. In order to be placed on the Approved List it must be established that the species has not, or is not likely, to cause harm anywhere in the US. Species that are considered potentially harmful would be placed on an Unapproved List. Furthermore, HR 669 would essentially ban all species that do not appear on the Approved List, regardless of whether or not they have ever been petitioned for listing or are sufficiently well studied to enable a listing determination.

Additional challenges posed by the Act include:
An immediate, costly disruption in the trade in live species (e.g., shipment delays, increased fees, prohibited species).
Species will be added to the lists based upon an ill-defined risk assessment process.
The ability to add or subtract a species from the lists is ill-defined. The lists will be unmanageable and unenforceable: 1) taxonomy is continually changing and 2) an unknown but huge number of live species are in-trade.
The lists focus on taxonomic identification. All genus and species, native and nonnative, will have to be listed because a USFWS inspector is highly unlikely to be immediately familiar with the identity of live species that are: 1) native to the United States as a whole, 2) native to a specific region of the United States (hence non native to the rest of the United States), and 3) nonnative to the United States.
An unrealistic timeframe is proposed in the Act for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to create and enforce these lists. List creation and management will be managed using a precautionary principle approach.
A failure to adequately implement the lists will subject the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to legal challenge, potentially leading to a court ordered prohibition in live species trade.
H.R. 669


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