Veterinarians voice concerns about proposed Lacey Act amendment
March 15, 2022 – Article by Veterinary Information Network (VIN)
Federal legislation designed to boost the U.S. economy by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the domestic development of technologies to counter China’s dominance in areas such as semiconductor manufacturing has touched off concerns in the veterinary community.
The reason? Buried in the 3,610-page America Competes Act of 2022, passed last month by the House of Representatives, are new restrictions on the importation of non-native but common animal species and a ban their transport across state lines.
The restrictions, contained in amendments to a federal conservation law known as the Lacey Act, are intended to control damage caused by invasive species. But veterinarians and pet owners say the legislation as written would make it more difficult to access veterinary care for exotic pets and possibly inadvertently worsen problems of non-native species in the environment.
Dr. José Arce, president of American Veterinary Medical Association, said in a written statement provided to the VIN News Service: “Although well-intentioned, the AVMA opposes the Lacey Act language that was quietly included in the America Competes Act [that was] recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.