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Take action or give up your Pokies!

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Comatose, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    There's already another thread on this, but the little girl from The Exorcist suggested I create a new one. As many of you know, Fish & Wildlife is considering listing 5 Poecilotheria species under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. This is similar to an attempt they made to list 11 species 2 years ago. There seems to be some confusion about what this means for hobbyists, so I'll lay it out.
    • The importation of captive bred individuals would require a permit, much like Brachypelma species under CITES
    • Unlike CITES, interstate transport, and any commerce involving the species would require a permit
    • Only individuals kept before the passage of the rule listing these species would be exempt; any offspring bred afterwards would be covered by the rule - all others would require a permit, which takes up to a year to acquire, sometimes more
    • Despite the positive impact captive breeding has had, the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers all captive individuals useless due to potential inbreeding and hybridization
    • While hybrids are listed as an exception to ESA, it's unlikely that would protect hobbyists or breeders - the burden of proof would be on you to prove you didn't just sell or ship a protected species
    The conclusion here is pretty clear: dealers and breeders wouldn't risk it, and your average keeper or pet store would never go to the trouble of obtaining a permit. The result would be the complete and utter decimation of these 5 species in the US hobby, and Fish & Wildlife would quickly draft rules covering the other 7.

    Please don't reply to me - instead, tell Fish and Wildlife what you think!! Click the link below, and write a polite, rational and coherent argument either against this rule, or in favor of a total exception for all captive bred Poecilotheria. Here are some basic points I included in my comment:
    • Habitat destruction, pesticide use, intentional killing and other local factors are by far the greatest threats to Poecilotheria
    • Captive breeding doesn't make up the majority of spiders in the hobby - it's 100% of the spiders in the hobby - in 20 years I've never once seen a wild caught individual, and I'm guessing you haven't either
    • While our captive bred stocks don't adhere to IUCN standards or guidelines, there are no programs that do! If (when) any of these species go extinct in the wild, captive stocks will be the only option, and that's better than nothing
    • Finally, law enforcement should be going after smugglers, not turning tens of thousands of law abiding hobbyists into criminals
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Here is the link!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Go comment!!
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
    • Like Like x 9
    • Funny Funny x 1
  2. advan

    advan oOOo Staff Member

    They will not come and take your spiders. You are just stuck with what you have within your state once the listing comes into effect.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I was just using my election 2016 playbook when I wrote that title... I guess I meant the collective "your". Like I said in the post body, any spiders that are in your possession prior to the laws enactment will be effectively grandfathered. That said, any commerce, either in one state or over state lines, requires a permit by the selling party. That means even if you're a hobbyist breeder, you can't sell your offspring to anyone without getting a permit, even if they do have a permit. The logical and predictable outcome is that these 5 species of Poecilotheria will greatly diminish in or disappear from the hobby in the US.
  4. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    There is an exception to this if memory serves correctly. One could breed these species in the owners' home state, and if the progeny are given away within the same state, but not sold, that is allowed.
  5. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I suspect you're correct - I know you can give away (but not sell) grandfathered individuals, but I'd have to reread the law to check.

    Regardless, that isn't going to have a positive impact on keepers, and it certainly won't have a positive impact on the species in question. Even the proposal recognizes that the majority of the threats are coming from local factors, and that captive breeding is neutral at worst. Without an exception for all captive bred stock, this will do substantial harm with almost no good.

    I really hope people are commenting! Only 15 right now (and one was apparently written by a 12 year old who just discovered the F word).
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. mack1855

    mack1855 Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    I really want to comment in an intelligent way.Reading the comments so far,most are good,with the exception of
    some,that are childish,and rude, with profanity.This will gain us nothing.
    Comatose,how should we adults frame our argument here.
    I'm not a pokie keeper,but need to add my voice.What points to make and so forth.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I would just say:
    • All Poecilotheria in the US hobby are captive bred
    • If smuggling is occurring, that should be the focus of law enforcement efforts, not effectively outlawing trade of captive bred animals
    • The threats of extinction are coming from local sources: deforestation, overuse of pesticides, changing climate and intentional killing by local people, and this proposed rule won't change any of that
    • When captive bred stocks decline because of this law, there will be substantially fewer specimens available for study, research and possible future re-introduction in the event that species go extinct.
    My entire comment was actually too long to write there so I added it as an attachment; you can read it here if you want more material. Just don't copy and paste from it because it will just look like one person is posting a bunch of comments.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. mack1855

    mack1855 Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    No,wont do that.I hope we all have our own imput on this.Thanks for the lead though.
    I'm going to take a few days,and make time to write down a factual statement,that I can
    send.And be intelligent in what I say.
    Don't have much hope it will change their minds,but at least we can yell like hell.
    And thanks.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    To start, here is the actual text of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which would cover 5 species of Poecilotheria if this rule was adopted.

    Here's an FAQ from Fish & Wildlife that was posted in the other thread, which I think is more helpful in understanding the implications. The gist I'm getting is that while you may be right, the language covering what is prohibited is broad and vague (it could be reasonably interpreted as moving the cage of your potentially prohibited P. ornata).

    There is indeed an exception for currently held (prior to the date the rule is adopted) animals, but with some pretty important restrictions.

    The animal is exempt "provided such holding and any subsequent holding or use of the specimen was not in the course of a commercial activity." I read this as meaning you cannot sell the spider. Later they do mention you can give it away, but you can specifically not sell or barter (trade) it. Again, my interpretation.

    Someone in the other thread mentioned that hybrids are exempt, and that's true. They also mentioned that Fish & Wildlife considers captive bred hobby stock useless because they may be hybrids or inbred. The operative word there is bolded. From the FAQ regarding hybrids:

    "It is recommended that breeding records be maintained to show parentage and hybrid status."

    The burden of proof will be on you to convince a judge or jury that the P. fasciata you just sold, shipped or traded is actually fasciata x subfusca. Best of luck; hope you've got an awesome lawyer, money to burn and a couple years to kill.

    In regards to permits, it prefaces every potential use or issuance of a permit with "may", which means it's discretionary. The one thing it does make absolutely clear is the following:

    "Captive-bred wildlife permits are not issued to keep or breed endangered or threatened animals as pets. Using protected species as pets is not consistent with the purposes of the ESA, which is aimed at conservation of the species and recovery of wild populations."

    So, to be clear, it may not even be legal to keep or breed these five species for the purposes of this hobby, period. The sole exception would be existing animals, but once they're gone, they're gone. I'm certainly open to other interpretations, but I suspect breeders and sellers will play it on the safe side and move onto other species.

    Just to be clear, I'm not asking anyone to march on the capitol - I'm just saying take 5 minutes to comment at the link above, even if you think I'm being dramatic. I very may well be; I hate the holidays and I'm reasonably drunk right now.

    Merry Christmas y'all!
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I actually made a couple errors in mine, so good call!
  11. 14pokies

    14pokies Arachnoprince Active Member

    I finally got around to leaving a comment today.. I strongly urge others to do the same. Seventeen comments aren't going to do much in the way of getting our point across..

    I mean seriously do you want to have to place an add "gifting" a poec to a guy like me? If so I have beautiful propertys in Detroit for you really cheap ;)...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    And again, it looks like they won't issue permits for the purposes of breeding/selling as "pets", so they won't be legally available regardless.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. 14pokies

    14pokies Arachnoprince Active Member

    I didn't see that is that in the link you provided?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Well, then words are futile if things, sadly, will turn the way you suggested, for that you will have two options left: quit, or the Italian way, ah ah.

    Seriously here in 2003 they banned ALL the 'mother-you know which word' arachnids. All of them. Basically to own even a 'grammo' was against the law after 2003.

    I continued to keep those... 2016 and still alive, master of my F-Word world, lol :-s

    And, yes. I have CITES papers, signed and viewed by the Italian authorities, for the CITES protected arachnids I own... as I've discussed in one of my threads. I don't see where the concern is, aside for have (seriously) Sri Lanka one day disappear by continuos Tsunami/climate issues ;-)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    It's a couple posts up, but buried in a long comment, so here's the FAQ where I got the information. Here's the relevant text:

    "A person registered with the FWS may obtain a captive-bred wildlife permit to buy and sell within the United States live, non-native endangered or threatened animals that were captive born in the United States for enhancement of species propagation, provided the other person in the transaction is registered for the same species. A separate permit is needed to import or export such species. Captive-bred wildlife permits are not issued to keep or breed endangered or threatened animals as pets. Using protected species as pets is not consistent with the purposes of the ESA, which is aimed at conservation of the species and recovery of wild populations." [Emphasis added]

    My interpretation is that not only would both parties need permits (buyer and seller), but that permits would likely not be issues for our purposes in line with the above guidelines.

    Are all the major dealers/breeders aware of this? I'd assume they'd be getting the word out too.

    And that's why everyone should be commenting using the link above! They do listen, but only when there are people to listen to.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Man, I don't want now to sound like an annoying "you know which word" trying to ruin something and, yes, maybe things are different in the U.S but with that said as incipit, let me doubt a little about.

    For instance, despite my crappy English, I can as well leave a "pro" comment about in that link. Will gain nothing. You guys just have to do what the Italian arachnid community did when they banned every arachnids: no Internet at all, but IRL speaking, with the person in charge, proving and giving valid facts for discussion etc things like that, I'm sure you got the idea: "physical" I.D enthusiasts speaking directly with, in sum.

    This is, btw, the reason why here in Italy, aside for the "hot venom" ones (that btw aren't P.murinus or else, but A.robustus and such) we are entitled to keep arachnids again. You guys in the U.S are a lot, take a - not only virtual - stand I say.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    This happened two years ago, and public comments convinced them not to move forward. We can do it again.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  18. bryverine

    bryverine Arachnoangel Active Member

    How many people commented on that one compared to this though?
  19. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Not sure... it's definitely disheartening to see how few there are now, though.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. 14pokies

    14pokies Arachnoprince Active Member

    Why is that so few of us are adding comments is what I want to know..

    This forum has had 392 members logged in the last 24hrs now multiply that loosely by how many days ago this post was created and there should be well over a thousand comments from this site alone...

    How many posts do we respond to where keepers are asking for help with a sick or injured T or any of the hundreds of questions that are asked on a weekly basis? Yet very few have taken the same amount of time to drop a comment on the FWC page...I don't get it!

    This subject is just as important as any that has ever been brought up,more so IMO because it could lead to multiple species being wiped from the hobby... How little people actually care about this is leaving me with a really bitter taste as far as the "community" goes..
    • Agree Agree x 1