Pavulaan at Pavulaan at
Sat Sep 27 14:49:15 EDT 1997

In a forwarded message from Neil Jones, dated 97-09-26 02:13:29 EDT, Bob
Flanders (USDA) writes:

<<  Under the Federal Plant Pest Act, USDA is now requiring permits for
commercial shipments between States for all native butterflies, including the
monarch.  >>

The first part of this posting is directed to Bob Flanders: 

Will butterflies now be required to apply for permits to cross state lines?

Does USDA now feel that ANY herbivore is considered a "plant pest"?  Who
decided that a Monarch is suddenly now a plant pest, elevating it to the
level of the Boll Wevil, Cabbage White or some noxious foreign organism?
  Why cannot these regulations be more specific and not "blanket" everything

Neil Jones equated insects as "equally evolved" as humans.  Since humans eat
plants, are we not also plant pests,  at the same level as our insect
brethren?  Thus, why exempt humans crossing state lines from applying for a
USDA permit?  Sounds absurd?

And what is considered "commercial"?  Obviously, there is a perceived problem
with shipments of butterflies by commercial enterprises.  Have there actually
been any documented problems with this practice?  Any STUDIES DONE?  The feds
are expert at conducting studies and dragging them out.  Why FIX something
when it has not yet been broken?  However, Bob, the USFWS considers GIVING a
butterfly to someone else, a commercial activity!  Does an amateur hobbyist,
or advocational researcher not affiliated with an institution now have apply
for permits from not only their state, but also the feds, at extortive costs,
to obtain a few caterpillars from someone in another state?  What if the
state says it's OK, and the feds say not?

And what of the mail-order garden plants industry?  Each day, thousands of
shipments of plants and seeds cross state lines.  I don't hear much concern
over this.


When is this over-regulation and anti-butterfly hysteria going to end?  At
this rate, it won't be long before USDA will require permits for interstate
transport of "dead-dried insects" as well, if the USFWS doesn't beat them to
it.  Will we then have state-line radiator checks to nail people?  Sounds
absurd, doesn't it?  Don't laugh too soon, the current bunch of regulators
are quite capable of having the last laugh.  And nobody outside of our own
entomological world seems to notice, or give a damn.  I will definitely
contact my congressman over this, and suggest that anyone else who is
concerned about more federal "regulatory creep" do the same.  

Harry Pavulaan

More information about the Leps-l mailing list