By Russ Case
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Concern with AB 1122 has centered on the bill’s definition of swap meets and flea markets, and whether it could outlaw reptile expos.
AB 1122 is a bill that seeks to outlaw the selling of pets at flea markets, swap meets and other outlets. A hearing was originally scheduled on Wednesday but was canceled at the last minute, reportedly by the bill’s author. Oh darn.
Of particular interest to pet reptile advocates was the fact that no definition of the terms “flea market” and “swap meet” were contained in the bill. Addressing that is the most recent PIJAC PetAlert, which has been updated with this paragraph:
As drafted, it could be interpreted that this bill would ban reptile shows, bird shows, fish shows, dog and cat shows, etc. that are sponsored events, normally housed within buildings and under supervision of an organization specializing in promoting and hosting of such events for such types of animals. The poor definition could also prohibit pet fairs such as the annual America’s Family Pet Expo in Orange County, pet industry trade shows, or other specialty shows that would not fall within the general perception of a swap meet or a flea market. The definition of “swap meet” under the Business and Professions Code makes it clear that the term “swap meet” and “flea market” are interchangeable and applies to both “outdoor” and “indoor” events whether or not the event is “inside a building or outside in the open.”
According to a message from USARK, the “Reptile Nation” responded in admirable fashion to AB 1122. Who do I mean by the “Reptile Nation?” That would be anybody who is passionate enough about the keeping of reptile pets that they get off their collective duffs and write letters, send e-mails and make phone calls to the various parties involved in deciding whether or not to push these bills through. It’s a term coined by USARK and I, for one, like it (at least I’m assuming they coined it; it was through them that I first heard the term). The Reptile Nation gets major kudos for swamping the members of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife prior to the hearing for HR 669 on April 23.
As of today, a new hearing date for AB 1122 has not been announced.
And while I’m on the subject of bills, what’s the latest with HR 669, the infamous “non-native wildlife invasion” bill (if you don’t know about this bill, click here)? At the moment, there’s nothing to report. It’s still in the “referred to committee” stage, where it could languish forever and never be seen again, or resurface, possibly in a rewritten form.