Federal Traveling Animal Act Ban

The Proposed Federal Travel Ban Could Affect More Than One Might Think

By Our Friends at USARK’s Newsletter

Companion federal bills, Senate Bill 3220 (S3220) and House Bill 5999 (HR5999), are “traveling animal act” bans that mislead as to the intention. The bill text is nearly identical to state bills (North Carolina and Oregon) from 2021. It is obvious that animal rights groups are pitching this text not only from state to state but also to Congress. S3220/HR5999 would prohibit using certain animals (list below that even includes tortoises and small monitors) in traveling animal acts, which will include the educational outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. These bills would amend Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 24 2143) to include this ban on animal programs.

S3220 and HR5999, titled “Traveling Animal and Public Safety Protection Act of 2021″ (full texts at bottom of alert), include introductions rife with misinformation with the intent to spark emotion while misleading the reader. The animal rights groups always fight with emotion over fact and they target legislators who fall for their games or sympathize with the animal rights agenda to remove all animals from our lives. This is an animal rights written bill! A legislator did not author this bill. Animal rights is a radical ideology against keeping any animals under human care (i.e. no pets, no livestock, no zoos, etc.). It is far different than animal welfare which supports animals being kept humanely.

PLEASE think about this bill! With all of the problems in our world, we actually have to fight a bill that could make you a federal criminal because you took a tortoise to a classroom to talk about reptiles. This is the state of our government and also displays how deep the pockets and connections of the animal rights movement are in our society.

Regardless of what species are involved, this bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.

The unintended consequences are many. It is a ban on educational programs in classrooms, public libraries, at Scout Troop meetings, and more. This is essentially a ban on taking certain animals anywhere besides the veterinarian.
The definitions allow for broad interpretation (this is intentional). “Traveling animal act” covers any transportation of animals for a “performance.” Performance is defined to cover any exhibition or display where animals are used as “entertainment, amusement, or benefit” to an audience. Learning about and enjoying interactions with animals are “benefits.” Many people are “entertained” simply by seeing animals in person.

The only exemptions are facilities with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), or the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, and certain licensed wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers (with a long list of cannots including any photos). Please note that “environmental education programs” are only exempt if you qualify with an entity included in the above exemption list. This bill will carry over into 2022 for the second year of the 117th Congress (two-year sessions).

Species included in the bill are below (reptiles in bold text). REMEMBER: This is just the initial list. Species can be added each session if it passes! STOP it now even if your species is not included! This is just the beginning.
(I) canidae (except domestic dogs);
(II) cetartiodactyla (except alpacas, bison, cattle, deer, elk, goats, llamas, reindeer, swine, and sheep);
(III) crocodilia;
(IV) edentata;
(V) elasmobranchii;
(VI) felidae (except domestic cats);
(VII) hyaenidae;
(VIII) marsupialia;
(IX) mustelidae;
(X) nonhuman primates;
(XI) perissodactyla (except horses, donkeys, and mules);
(XII) pinnipedia;
(XIII) proboscidea;
(XIV) procyonidae;
(XV) ratites;
(XVI) spheniscidae;
(XVII) testudinidae;
(XVIII) ursidae;
(XIX) varanidae; and
(XX) viverridae.

If you have concerns, you can email the SB3220 sponsor NJ Senator Robert Menendez at www.menendez.senate.gov/contact/email
And HR5999 sponsor AZ Representative Raul M. Grijalva at https://grijalva.house.gov/contact-raul/

For sample messaging, go to USARK website: https://usark.org/2021_s3220/

For full text of the bills
SB3220- https://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2021-S3220-Traveling-Animal-Act.pdf
HR5999- https://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2021-HR5999.pdf

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