Posted April 6, 2014
SUCCESS IN VIRGINIA - WE CAN NOW KEEP, BREED, SELL, AND TRANSPORT OUR FEDERALLY LISTED NON-NATIVE ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILDLIFE IN VIRGINIA
The federal Endangered Species Act does not specifically allow the keeping of any endangered species as a pet. Several states have passed laws that prohibit the keeping of any species that is listed on the federal endangered species list.
When the Blue-throated Macaw was recently listed on the Federal endangered species list, residents in Virginia discovered that they could no longer legally keep their Blue -throated Macaws as pets. Virginia resident and AFA member Louis "Buddy" Waskey approached his state senator, Stephen H. Martin, and asked him to sponsor a bill that would allow Virginia residents to keep endangered species as pets. Senator Martin proposed a bill (VA SB 50) that specifically said that said that Virginia residents could keep endangered species as pets if the federal endangered species act specifically allowed them to be kept as pets. Since the federal Endangered Species Act does not specifically allow the keeping of endangered species as pets, it was clear to us that this language had to be revised if its intent was to be achieved.
Buddy asked our AFA Legislative Vice President Genny Wall, Attorney at Law, to help draft language that would allow Virginia residents to keep their federally listed non-native endangered species listed wildlife (which would include the Blue Fronted Macaw and other non-native animals). Genny drafted amended bill language that not only allows us to keep non-native endangered species listed wildlife as pets, but also allows us to breed, sell, and transport them within the state of Virginia as long as the endangered species is not on a list of dangerous or injurious species under Virginia law. AFA 2nd Vice President Brent Gattis worked with Buddy, Senator Martin, Committee members hearing the bill, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, to make sure that all of their concerns were addressed by our proposed language. Virginia residents Buddy Waskey, Brent Gattis, AFA Secretary Carol Woodson, AFA Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Eddie Maherr, Rob Milko, Roger Wood, and other Virginia residents, attended hearings on the bill and followed the bill closely to make sure that it made its way through the legislative process. Many other people called their representatives in the Virginia legislature and asked them to support SB 50.
On April 2nd we learned that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed the bill, and it is now law in Virginia. Effective July 1, 2014 Virginia residents can legally keep their federally listed non-native endangered species wildlife, and they can breed them, sell them, transport them, and keep them as pets.
This is an example of great teamwork. This is how the "grass roots" is supposed to work. Let's do it again in the other states that still prohibit the keeping, breeding, selling, and transporting of federally listed endangered species that aren't harmful to people or the environment !
AFA Legislative Vice President
Posted March 11, 2013
AFA Legislative Vice President Genny Wall submitted a formal statement opposing the proposed listing of the Blue-throated macaw as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
AFA Legislative Vice President Genny Wall submitted a formal statement opposing a petition to amend the Chester, CT Zoning Regulations which would prohibit the possession of "parrots" and "macaws".
Read the full text of VP Wall's comments by clicking on the image: