Ecology

Lawsuit Seeks to End Federal Ban on Pythons

Filed by reptile industry trade association

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A nationwide ban on importing four giant snake species or transporting them across state lines is costing reptile breeders, handlers, hobbyists and vendors millions and should be overturned, according to a lawsuit filed by a reptile industry trade association.

The ban on Burmese pythons, yellow anacondas, and northern and southern African pythons was announced last year in the Florida Everglades, which officials say pythons regard as an all-you-can-eat wildlife buffet where they have no competition except humans.

A lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeks to overturn the ban. The North Carolina-based United States Association of Reptile Keepers says the ban is unnecessary and challenges the science behind it. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are named as defendants.