Author Topic: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?  (Read 611 times)

Offline ThreeMagicBeans

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Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« on: March 27, 2013, 06:40:40 PM »
This is a bill I heard about from a friend. I don't get it. I understand tigers, lions, and other dangerous or invasive species should be banned. But some household pets would be. It's just seems silly to me.

The H.R. 996: Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act is a bill that supposedly will rid our country of harmful and invasive species. It will only permit us to own the following animals:

- cattle/oxen
- chicken
- common canary
- dog
- donkey
- geese
- duck
- ferret
- gerbil
- goat
- guinea pig
- goldfish
- hamsters
- horse
- llama
- mule/hinny
- pig/hog
- rabbit
- sheep
- cat

If this bill is passed, all other animals (that are not on this list) will be "exterminated" by the government, and if you are caught owning one you will be charged a $10,000 fine. This means you cannot own common household pets such as hedgehogs, rats, chinchillas, turtles, lizards, or any fish besides a goldfish (no tropical fish, etc.). Please sign this petition to hinder the passing of the outrageous bill. Tell me what you think about this!

Sign the petition here:
http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-house-of-representatives-dismiss-h-r-996-invasive-fish-and-wildlife-prevention-act-2?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false

See the entire bill here:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr996/text

I'm not sure if it will pass or not, but it scares me about what direction this country is going in if it does. :dontknow:
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 06:46:12 PM by ThreeMagicBeans »
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Offline *Kat*

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 06:45:07 PM »
the change link doesn't work

Offline ThreeMagicBeans

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 06:46:43 PM »
It should work now!  :)
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Online Maltey

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 06:56:58 PM »
That's just stupid. I'm reading this right before I go to bed so I'm tired and might have missed something but the only thing I can see is they're banning them to stop wild animal pathogens that could cause environmental harm or harm to human health.
Er, hello? WILD animals? Are they going to ban wild animals with their WILD pathogens?
Domesticated species often don't carry diseases like wild animals do anyway so all their research is clearly rubbish. There must be hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that own pets on the ban list. If they were that unsafe then everyone would die and nobody would keep the animals anymore. People have kept these pets for years- why suddenly ban them now? 
I don't think it'll pass- sounds like nonsense to me.
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Offline katicflis

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 07:00:19 PM »
Taken from the list of "acceptable species" part of the bill:
(XXI) any other species or subspecies that the Director determines to be common and clearly domesticated.


The question is, which animals fall under this category?  :/   Its frustrating this bill is so specific and yet not.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 07:02:36 PM by katicflis »

Offline ThreeMagicBeans

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 07:01:03 PM »
I completely agree! Apparently they have tried many times, and have been thwarted each time. I mean, with the position the US is in right now, how would they even have the resources to 'dispose' of all these creatures? They currently have more dire issues than this right now...
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Offline luvmybabyboys

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 07:10:41 PM »
I thought rats have been domesticated longer than hamsters  -____- Only question I have is WHY?

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »
that list posted above is not complete and does not mean others are not included.   From the proposed bill:  number 21 shows others are also allowed

    (I) cat (Felis catus);

    (II) cattle or oxen (Bos taurus);

    (III) chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus);

    (IV) common canary (Serinus canaria domesticus);

    (V) dog (Canis lupus familiaris);

    (VI) donkey or ass (Equus asinus);

    (VII) domesticated members of the family Anatidae (geese);

    (VIII) duck (domesticated Anas spp.);

    (IX) domesticated ferret (Mustela furo);

    (X) gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus);

    (XI) goat (Capra aegagrus hircus);

    (XII) guinea pig or Cavy (Cavia porcellus);

    (XIII) goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus);

    (XIV) domesticated hamsters (Cricetulus griseus, Mesocricetus auratus, Phodopus campbelli, Phodopus sungorus, and Phodopus roborovskii);

    (XV) horse (Equus caballus);

    (XVI) llama (Lama glama);

    (XVII) mule or hinny (Equus caballus x E. asinus);

    (XVIII) pig or hog (Sus scrofa domestica);

    (XIX) domesticated varieties of rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus);

    (XX) sheep (Ovis aries); or

    (XXI) any other species or subspecies that the Director determines to be common and clearly domesticated.

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 07:38:15 PM »
If the list were all inclusive people need to pick a new Thanksgiving meal.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 07:47:12 PM by *Kat* »

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 07:52:24 PM »
wait, another thought.   Last I knew, rats are classified under agriculture, not as animals. SO if we basically own grains as pets and they are not classified by the government as animals they it would not need to include them.   This is why there are so many problems with getting animal rights enforced for rats.   

Offline Ratluvr22

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 08:52:11 PM »
This is ridiculous. So you're saying I'd get a fine for owning my beta fish?! Pardon me but screw that! Let em try!

Offline Ratluvr22

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 09:09:05 PM »
Ok signed the petition. I'd love to see someone try to take my rat away from me and fine me. It would not end well for them ill tell you that much.

Offline gawgeouspaws

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 10:16:52 PM »
I've seen this bill try to get passed before. It never has. Honestly, we have all of these problems, yet America decides to work on ridding people of perfectly safe, perfectly non-diseased domestic animals.  ???
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Offline BigBen

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 11:25:41 PM »
I thought rats have been domesticated longer than hamsters  -____- Only question I have is WHY?

The issue of invasive species is a serious one.  Look at the next gypsy moth infestation that comes your way for an example.  Invasive species generally have no local predators and they can therefore outbreed and crowd out native species when they move into the same ecological niches.

But there are a number of species in North America that invaded long enough ago to be considered local by now:  cows, horses, ducks, pigs, chickens, geese, wheat, barley, oats, etc.  Rats, both Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus, have been in North America for the same length of time, and should come under the same rules, especially the domesticated varieties.

But look what happens when rats are accidentally introduced to a habitat where they have not lived before--it's gruesome.  Of course the same is true for pigs, dogs, bull pythons, etc., and so to some extent the designation "invasive" is dependent on location.

I would trust that wiser heads will prevail.  It wouldn't hurt to talk to your Congressman or -woman and voice your concerns for the welfare of pet rats, because it is surely possible to amend this bill before it becomes law--if it ever does.  And that is the second reason to remain calm--if it has failed many times before, it is highly likely that the same interests that defeated it in the past will manage to do so again.
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Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2013, 09:45:01 AM »
I have been following this legislation for a very long time. I even watched the 2008 hearing when it was broadcast on the Internet.

This is a horrible bill and all pet lovers should oppose it, but you should also understand what you are  opposing. There were some inaccuracies in the original post that you don't want to repeat because if you use those as your argument, your argument will immediately be shot down and your valid points will go unheard.

This bill is not meant to be targeted at domestic rats and is a more serious concern for those who own more wild-type "exotic" animals like reptiles, fish, or birds. However, the way it is worded and organized, it can easily become a threat to domestic rats even though it was not intended that way.

The list of species in the law itself are not the only species that will be excluded. There will be a white list of approved species and a black list of unapproved species. However, the list of species listed in the legislation are guaranteed to be on the white list and that cannot change without a change being made to the law. Changes to the lists themselves can be made by the Director without changing the law. This is also troubling because even if rats are on the white list when this passes, they could later be changed to the black list without requiring a change in law. It is even more troubling that by default, any species not listed in the white list is automatically in the black list.

If your animal of choice ends up getting put on the black list, it is up to public uprising to fight and strike it down. This is very hard to do and very expensive to try and likely to be unsuccessful. What is worse, it becomes a divide and conquer method. A bill like this has a better chance of getting shot down because people from all aspects of the pet trade are affected and stand up to fight it. The herpetology groups are fighting it. The aquarium groups are fighting it. The avicultural groups are fighting it. The pet trade industry is fighting it. However, if just one animal is targeted later by adding them to the black list (say rats), then it is just the rat community trying to strike it down all on their own. If the other groups say, "its just rats, they don't affect me" and don't fight it, we are on our own and not organized or funded and we likely would have little voice (unless some larger entity such as research institutions using rats would be affected and step up to fight for us).

If this bill is passed, all other animals (that are not on this list) will be "exterminated" by the government, and if you are caught owning one you will be charged a $10,000 fine. This means you cannot own common household pets such as hedgehogs, rats, chinchillas, turtles, lizards, or any fish besides a goldfish (no tropical fish, etc.). Please sign this petition to hinder the passing of the outrageous bill. Tell me what you think about this!

This quote is not exactly correct. The law itself does not prevent you from owning animals that are not on the list. Any animals you own now are grandfathered in. You can even acquire new animals after the law is passed. What you cannot do is import the animal into the US or transport the animal across state lines or own any animal that has been imported or transported illegally. Those animals can be confiscated and you can be fined for owning them.

If rats were to end up not included on the white list, you would not be able to move out of your state with your rats. You would not be able to rehome your rats to someone in another state. You would not be able to take your rats with you on a trip out of state. Animal rescue rat trains will be history. The average person might not get caught, but there is no way a licensed rescue would risk adopting out to an out-of-stater. I am not sure how rat shows are run, but with bird shows, they would be finished, because no one would be able to cross state lines to participate in out-of-state shows. I imagine rat shows would face similar problems.

The law does state that other animals shown to be domesticated would be excluded, but because rats are not explicitly listed you can't assume they are safe. One would think that there would be no issues proving rats are domesticated, but without having them explicitly listed, there is no guarantee. Plus, much of the public is misinformed about rats and could easily view them as being "invasive" despite being domesticated.

This law is very, very bad to pet owners. Even if rats were explicitly excluded, anyone who believes in the right to own pets should fight it. It could become a great tool for those excessive animal rights groups like PETA that no longer fight for the welfare of pets but instead fight to stop pet ownership altogether.

Here is some more information on it: http://reefbuilders.com/2013/03/20/hr-996/

Offline katicflis

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2013, 09:58:36 AM »
Thanks for your insights Vonda.

Offline JRay3

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2013, 10:58:13 AM »
Good post Vonda, I've been following this too, being involved in the avian side of the issue for many years.

Quote
It could become a great tool for those excessive animal rights groups like PETA that no longer fight for the welfare of pets but instead fight to stop pet ownership altogether.
This is one of the most important points, IMO. HSUSA is also involved in this, emotional commercials with minor celebrities soliciting money for the rescue of tortured puppies and kittens notwithstanding.

Be careful where your charity dollars go.
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Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 01:51:33 PM »
HSUSA is also involved in this, emotional commercials with minor celebrities soliciting money for the rescue of tortured puppies and kittens notwithstanding.

Be careful where your charity dollars go.

Yes, I didn't bring up HSUS because most people don't understand what happened with the Humane Society of the United States, which at one time was a legit animal welfare organization. People still think of it as what it used to be and too many people donate money to it thinking it goes to help animal shelters and abused and neglected animals, which it does not. Unfortunately, the more extreme animal rights organizations have quietly gotten their own people into the staff of HSUS and have changed its direction. Always best to support the local shelters and rescues who actually have hands-on involvement with animals in need. But that is off topic except to say that any law supported by HSUS needs to be examined closely for its potential impact on our personal relationship with our pets and our legal right to have that relationship.

Offline JRay3

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Re: Rats Might Get Banned. WHAT?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 02:08:39 PM »
Quote
Yes, I didn't bring up HSUS because most people don't understand what happened with the Humane Society of the United States, which at one time was a legit animal welfare organization. People still think of it as what it used to be and too many people donate money to it thinking it goes to help animal shelters and abused and neglected animals, which it does not. Unfortunately, the more extreme animal rights organizations have quietly gotten their own people into the staff of HSUS and have changed its direction. Always best to support the local shelters and rescues who actually have hands-on involvement with animals in need. But that is off topic except to say that any law supported by HSUS needs to be examined closely for its potential impact on our personal relationship with our pets and our legal right to have that relationship.

Exactly.
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