Thursday, November 18, 2010

Senate Passes Asian Carp Prevention & Control Act

Nov 17: The U.S. Senate gave approval to a bill authored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), which would aid in the fight against the further spread of Asian carp in the United States. The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, S.1421, would add the bighead carp species of Asian carp to a list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped in the United States under the Lacey Act. Senator Levin introduced the bipartisan bill in July 2009 with Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) his co-chair on the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. A companion bill introduced in the House by Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL), is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The bill must be approved by the House before signed into law by the president.

    Levin said, "Asian carp pose a real, clear and growing threat to the Great Lakes, but this bill will add to the arsenal of tools we have to combat them. The devastating effects Asian carp could have on the Great Lakes are not fully known, and I want to make sure they are never realized. I will work with my House colleagues to ensure this bill is sent to the president as soon as possible so it can take effect expeditiously."

    The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act would list the bighead carp as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act, which was originally passed by Congress in 1900 and amended in 1981. Listing the bighead species of Asian carp under the Lacey Act would help prevent the intentional introduction of the species by prohibiting the interstate transportation or importation of live Asian carp without a permit. Levin indicated in a release that the legislation would not interfere with existing state regulations of Asian carp, and it would allow states to issue permits to transport or purchase live Asian carp for scientific, medical or educational purposes. The Fish and Wildlife Service has already listed other species of Asian carp as injurious under the Lacey Act.

    Access a release from Sen. Levin with additional information (click here). Access legislative details on S.1421 (click here). Access legislative details on H.R.3173 (click here).

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