Speak Out against the NYSDEC Favoring Outside Special Interest Organizations!
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The Department is moving to gain control of privately owned exotic animals as they have over state-owned wildlife. The amended list of animals they've arbitrarily labeled as "dangerous" are mostly non-indigenous species not under its purview according to the statutory intent of the agency. The animals on the list are required to have an additional license called the "Dangerous Wildlife" License. No one seemed to notice or care when approving this proposal for public comment that the list identifies virtually every single animal species except a handful.
The Department does not recognize ownership vs. possession and thus has no respect for our constitutional rights to enjoy our personal property without losing it on a dime. The imposition of arbitrary standards culminating in the seizure of exotic animals is what the Department has been doing unlawfully for quite some time now.
It's clear the Department wants to end private ownership of exotic animals in New York State and they don't mind hurting anyone in trying to do so. However, their antics are also hurting the animals caught in the middle as sometimes the animals aren't taken to better environments but rather substandard ones (see http://www.caringforcottontails.org/his-story and http://www.caringforcottontails.org/their-story )
It appeared the Department half hazardly put together a few documents, dismissing many of the questions with an affirmative that alternatives were considered as well as an assessment of related businesses, etc. when they really weren't.
It won't be surprising if the agency, in particular, Joe Therrien, Director of the Special Licenses Unit, completely disregards all comments from New Yorkers who will be affected by the proposed change. Thank God his Department had the time to honor and announce a statement received by PETA regurgitating the same arguments that show even lawyers can get it wrong sometimes. It's time the movement against private ownership of exotic animals takes into account the process by which is used in forcing their belief systems on others as well as the rights of the people who will be the most affected by such a ban.
It's time the human cost is considered. For too many years the DEC and its allies have excluded the state's populace from influencing decision-making which has been, especially in the recent past, sloppily aggregated and callous. The Department wants complete control over the personal property of other individuals while they share the spoils of an unjust "war", so to speak, with their close friends and staff members.
The Department continues to go on just doing as it pleases ignoring any chances to improve itself and its service to the public. Little do most people in the state's neighborhoods know how they've already been excluded from a public agency's operation and programs simply because their politics fail to match that of the Special Licenses staff. The state's public is good enough to pay the Department's bills and keep it afloat financially but other than paying to have your rights and liberties violated, you won't ever be good enough to be included. This is elitism.
It's time to empty and restock the tank. It's time to put the biologists back in charge of the agency's programs and give a good flush to the Special Licenses Unit and Division of Law Enforcement. Who wants to be the first to push the handle? ;o)
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