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Indiana DNR News release: ...prohibits sale of dangerous and native reptiles and amphibians



DNR NEWSFAX	

For immediate release Dec. 8, 1997
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mark Cottingham, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 317/232-4080

DNR prohibits sale of dangerous and native reptiles and amphibians

	Department of Natural Resources Director Larry D. Macklin announced today an
emergency rule to prohibit the sale of native and dangerous reptiles and
amphibians. The new regulation is effective immediately and restricts the sale
of any native or dangerous snake, frog, crocodile, turtle, or other reptile or amphibian.
	“Sales of native reptiles and amphibians have dramatically increased
recently, putting pressure on Indiana’s natural reptile and amphibian
populations,” Macklin said.
	“We want to protect these native species from over-collection because of the
danger of species depletion or extinction, which would upset ecological
balances,” Macklin said.
	Native communities of these species thrive or become inhibited due to
available habitat and food sources. Reptiles and amphibians may feed on vermin
or insects and in turn may be food for other animals.
	Herpetological enthusiasts may still possess these species, but they may no
longer sell the animals.
	In addition to protecting naturally-occurring species, the regulation
protects public health and safety by restricting the sale of dangerous
reptiles and amphibians. Possession of dangerous reptiles and amphibians is
not prohibited, however, individual animals may not be sold in Indiana.
	“In the long run,” Macklin said, “preventing the sale of these animals will
reduce the number of dangerous reptiles and amphibians in Indiana. Public
safety is at risk when a dangerous species escapes from its owner or when
firefighters and emergency workers must enter a building during emergency situations.”
	Dangerous reptiles and amphibians include any venomous or poisonous snake,
frog, toad, lizard or other species that has the ability to inflict serious
injury on a person or other animal. Also, restricted is the sale of all
crocodiles five feet or longer and lizards six feet or longer. Individuals may
not sell any part of the animal, eggs, nor offspring.
	This emergency rule expires in one year. The DNR will move to make this
emergency rule permanent. The public will be invited to comment.
	Public input on the permanent measure will be accepted by the DNR’s Division
of Fish and Wildlife, 402 W. Washington St., Room W273, Indianapolis IN  46204.

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