THLN supported HB 2326 – the Release of Non-Native Snakes Law of 2021. Before this law, non-native snakes were brought to Texas by reptile enthusiasts and exotic pet retailers. When some owners released non-native snakes from captivity, those snakes posed a grave danger to Texas native wildlife and ecosystems. The Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is a prime example of the destruction that a non-native species can cause. In Florida, Burmese pythons, formerly kept as pets and then released from captivity, now breed in the wild and number over 10,000. They threaten public safety, harm tourism, and are driving some mammal and bird species to extinction.
HB 2326 protects Texas wildlife by prohibiting the release of Burmese pythons. Violators face a Class C misdemeanor, which can escalate to Class B for a subsequent conviction. The law went into effect on September 1, 2021.
To download the THLN Fact Sheet for the Release of Non-Native Snakes in Texas Law, go here.