Posted: April 30, 2009, 8:25 p.m. EDT
Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, sponsor of H.R. 669, the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act, and chairman of the Congressional subcommittee that heard the legislation in April, acknowledged the legislation needs to be changed before it progresses further.
Her acknowledgment came toward the end of the April 23 hearing and reflected the results of a grass-roots protest against the legislation from the pet industry and pet owners.
Subcommittee members said they received thousands of calls, e-mails and letters from pet owners and others urging defeat of the legislation, which could mandate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to approve or disapprove most nonnative animal species, including birds, fish, reptiles and small mammals, for importation and trade within the United States.
“It is clear that committee members from both sides of the aisle heard from the pet-owning public about their concerns with this bill,” said Marshall Meyers, CEO and general counsel of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, who testified at the hearing. “We’re extremely grateful to the thousands of groups who galvanized their members … PIJAC will continue working with members of the subcommittee, the Executive Branch, and other stakeholders to ensure the process proceeds in a transparent, inclusive and strategic manner.”