Court sides with reptile keepers against giant snake ban

MIAMI (AP) " An appeals court has ruled that U.S. wildlife officials can't legally stop interstate trade of giant exotic snakes such as Burmese pythons, which threaten to eat all the native mammals in the Florida Everglades.

However, snake owners are cautioned not to move their reptiles just yet as other legal challenges may remain.

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers sued in 2013 to overturn a nationwide ban on importing eight constrictor species or taking them across state lines.

In an April 7 decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the U.S. wildlife officials didn't have authority to restrict interstate trade of snakes such as Burmese pythons, reticulated pythons or green anacondas.

The Center for Biological Diversity says the court addressed the law's wording but not the data supporting the ban.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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