Bill would regulate pet snakes

May 13, 2009 

The Senate approved a bill to regulate snakes.

Sen. Ed Jones sponsored the bill at the request of herpetologists to increase the penalties for pet owners who negligently venomous snakes.

Senate Bill 307 would make it a Class I misdemeanor to improperly transport, let loose or otherwise expose the public to a creatures such as an African Rock Python, a Burmese Python or a Green Anaconda.

Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand wondered if the bill was tough enough.

"Is that sufficient penalty for turning a cobra loose on an innocent population?" he asked Jones.

Jones, a Halifax County Democrat, said that owners would have objected to tougher standards.

Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat, then asked a more personal question.

"If we get a cobra loose in Fayetteville, will you come down there and catch it?" he asked.

"Only if it looks like a worm," Jones replied.

The bill passed 46-0 and now heads to the House.

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