The Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule that, effective April 9, will prohibit the importation and interstate transport of four snakes declared to be injurious under the Lacey Act: reticulated python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda and Beni anaconda. This prohibition will apply to live individuals, gametes, viable eggs or hybrids. However, permits may be granted for the importation or transportation of live specimens for scientific, medical, educational or zoological purposes.
An FWS press release states that small numbers of reticulated pythons and green anacondas have been found in the wild in Florida. While the Beni and DeSchauensee’s anacondas are not known to be in the U.S., the FWS has determined that an injurious listing now is the most effective way to prevent future problems like those occurring with the Burmese python, which has become established in the wild in southern Florida.
The FWS states that those who own any of these species will be permitted to keep them if allowed by state law but may not transport or sell them across state lines. Those who wish to export these species out of the U.S. may do so from a designated port within their state after acquiring appropriate permits from the FWS.
Separately, the boa constrictor has been removed from consideration for listing as an injurious species. The FWS states that while this snake can be damaging to U.S. wildlife, the circumstances surrounding it, which include widespread private ownership and domestic breeding, render importation prohibitions less effective.