As expected, PetSmart has officially spoken out against HR 669. As a large corporation, you KNOW PetSmart has a flock of lawyers who are studying legislation such as this to make sure that laws are not enacted that would damage them or their clients. While PetSmart supports the primary aim of this bill — to prevent the introduction of potentially invasive nonnative animal species into this country — they point out that HR 669, as written, will damage the pet industry and harm pet owners (“pet parents”) as well.
Several points that PetSmart raises are worth repeating here;
- We support a process that more fully takes into account the risks associated with various species based on sound scientific data.
- We believe the current drafting of the bill does not take into account existing protective measures, the impact to pet parents and the economic impact on the pet specialty industry. It also requires funds and staffing not currently available to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which would be tasked with administrating and enforcing the regulation. Moreover, it could lead to the mass release and/or euthanasia of pets.
- We believe a more practical and meaningful regulatory process could be developed and implemented in a timely manner. Along with our industry partners we’ve offered our expertise to help craft legislation that is more reasonable and still achieves the desired intent.
- We believe the small pets, reptiles, fish, birds and amphibians we sell currently meet the intent of the bill and do not create any of the risks outlined in the proposed legislation, yet virtually all of them would be in jeopardy under the bill as currently drafted.
HR 669 Links:
Video discussing some of the impacts HR 669 will have on exotic animal breeders, pet store owners and scientists.
Brief Factsheet (printable) regarding HR 669 and its impacts.