I write today to oppose H 3985 (Dangerous Wild Animals Act). This bill will punish responsible reptile and exotic animal keepers by making it “unlawful for any person to import, possess, sell, transfer, or breed a dangerous wild animal.” While I understand your concerns over public safety, statistically, you are over 110 times more likely to be killed by lightning than pet reptiles.
The reptile sector of the pet industry represents annual revenues over $20,000,000 for South Carolina’s small businesses. This legislation will destroy revenue and force family businesses into bankruptcy. Reptiles purchased as pets require caging, food and other supplies. Over 70,000 residents in South Carolina responsibly own reptiles and many reptiles are individually valued well over $1,000. This legislation does not protect the citizens of South Carolina but it does destroy the rights of hardworking and taxpaying citizens.
This type of legislation only sensationalizes the keeping of these animals and makes them more desirable to the wrong people. This act unlawfully punishes the responsible keepers who currently have them. This ”DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS ACT” attempts to resolve a problem that does not exist and will only create negative issues.
I implore you to vote “No” on H 3985. Pet ownership is a matter of personal responsibility and not government action.