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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Nov. 12, 2007

Proposal Would Require Permits to Sell/Possess Venomous Snakes

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved the publication of proposed regulations that would require a new permit for people who sell, transport or possess venomous snakes not indigenous to Texas, plus four species of pythons and one species of anaconda.

Under House Bill 12, enacted by the 80th Texas Legislature, the commission is required to establish permits authorizing the possession and transportation of the following snakes: all non-indigenous venomous snakes, African rock python (Python sebae), Asiatic rock python (Python molurus), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), reticulated python (Python reticulatus), and southern African python, (Python natalensis). The bill also prohibits the release of these snakes into the wild in Texas.

The proposed regulations would require anyone who possesses one of the controlled exotic snakes, but does not sell snakes, to buy a $20 Recreational Controlled Exotic Snake Permit. People who buy a controlled exotic snake from a pet store could use their sales receipt as a temporary recreational permit good for 21 days, giving them time to buy an official Texas Parks and Wildlife Department permit.

Dealers who possess or transport controlled exotic snakes for sale would need to pay a $60 Commercial Controlled Exotic Snake Permit. This permit would be required for each permanent place of business where controlled exotic snakes are sold. Permitted businesses would need to maintain a daily record of snake sales, which would have to be kept for two years and made available to TPWD upon request.

Either permit could be obtained anywhere Texas hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

The department staff is preparing the official version of the proposed regulations. Following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register, public comments will be accepted via the TPWD Web site Public Comment page. The commission will consider final adoption of the regulations at its next meeting Jan. 24.

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