12/18/09 ECONOMIC IMPACT OF REPTILE BUSINESS
CBO to Score S373
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has tapped the United States Association of Reptile Keepers to provide critical Reptile Industry data necessary to create a report to Congress assessing the economic impact of Senate bill 373. The CBO has also contacted certain individuals within the industry to detail what impact proposed legislation would have on their individual businesses. Contributors were given only two business days to make submission of economic data. The deadline for submissions was Thursday, December 17, 2009.
S373 aka 'The Python Ban' would amend title 18, United States Code, to add 9 constrictor snakes named in the recent USGS report on large constrictors (including Boa constrictor) to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act.
The trade in reptiles in the US is $3 billion annually. Working with business leaders in the Reptile Industry USARK has compiled an industry report on the impact S373 would have on the economy of the US. Herpetoculturists produce high quality captive bred animals for collectors, research, zoos, museums, TV & film. For reference, these animals can be valued at over $100,000 for individual specimens. Millions of dollars flow into the national economy from the Reptile Industry. It is interlaced and interconnected with all levels of economies. Purchases of equipment, dry goods, bedding and cages channel money into U.S. manufacturing. Millions of dollars go to support American agriculture with purchases of food, including rodents and bedding. Millions of dollars more support airlines and parcel shippers. The Reptile Industry in the United States accounts for 82% of the export and trade in high quality captive bred reptiles worldwide. Thousands of American small businesses and their employees rely on the Reptile Industry. Even though there are more turtles and lizards in captivity in the US, the dollar value represented by the 9 snakes included in S373, and the dollars spent supporting them is proportionately higher. USARK estimates S373 if passed as written could destroy 1/3 of the entire US trade in reptiles. The ripple effect could be much greater because businesses that are diversified across several different projects, but partially invested in the 9 could fail if S373 were to pass.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the worlds largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, opposes S. 373. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, if enacted in its current form, this legislation would adversely impact tens of thousands of businesses.
As soon as the CBO Report on S373 is released USARK will make the information available to the Reptile Nation. Click this link to take action against S373: http://www.rallycongress.com/united-states-association-of-reptile-keepers/