In 2012, the FWS listed four other species under the Lacey Act, so these two executive agency actions cover eight of the nine species listed as problematic by the federal wildlife agency – with only boa constrictors omitted from the list. The prior listing included the Burmese python, Northern African python, Southern African python, and yellow anaconda. We applaud the efforts of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and FWS Director Dan Ashe for taking this latest action and not letting this issue lie unattended and in the reeds any longer. We are hopeful that the Administration will continue to work toward listing boa constrictors as well.
The trade in large constricting snakes is fraught with risks. The trade is inhumane, with a high death rate for the snakes who are captured in the wild and often transported for thousands of miles. As with so many other forms of trade in live wildlife, there is an enormous mortality rate during capture, holding, and transport, where the animals typically don't get fed or watered and are denied any medical care. In one instance in 2013, authorities discovered 850 snakes in the garage of a New York area animal control officer who was selling the snakes over the Internet.