Well, Burmese pythons (here’s a recent NY Times article on Florida’s problem snake) and zebra mussels are among the most aggressive invasive species–one in the southern US, the other further north. I had a press release today from the Vermont Law School about a new study in support of legislation to control invasive animal species.
The study, by Vermont Law School alumnus Jane Graham, proposes a model federal law that calls for:
- A “clean” list of species that are allowed into the country instead of the current “dirty” list that prohibits specific species.
- A process that explains exactly how risk assessment decisions will be determined.
- Uniform restrictions on exotic—and potentially all—animal ownership.
- Increased public awareness of invasive animal laws.
- Higher and uniform fines and criminal penalties for violations.
- Methods to fund restoration of ecosystems damaged by invasive species
- Entrepreneurship and partnerships between government and private businesses.
Graham argues that “other laws—such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the Animal Health Protection Act as well as state laws, public nuisance laws, free market solutions and exotic pet restrictions— are insufficient…and uncoordinated.”
What do you think? More regulation? Or, should we just accept invasive species as a by-product of the global economy?