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#760372 - 04/04/09 12:48 PM I need your help..Let's make a change.
Ridersuggie
Unregistered


Hey guys. So the Game and Fisheries committee as well as the Pennsylvania Game Commission gave my senator the 3 reasons as to why gliders are illegal in PA. These are them

1. They are not native
2. They are not exotic
3. They are a destructive to ground birds

Now the first 2 are easily debatable and the second actually even sparked me to ask if they are not exotics how are they legally banned by a law saying exotics are illegal? They are contradicting themselves! She is looking into that for me. The first one does not make sense because there are tons of animals legal to own that are not native in PA like guinea pigs, parrots, boas, chinchillas, saltwater fish, etc. The one giving me trouble is that last one. I'm not so sure about gliders attacking ground birds. My argument on this is they are not bread to be outside pets and also if they should escape there are many things that are a danger to the glider that would unfortunately kill the glider before it could be a harm to anything. While thats a valid argument I'm gunna need the help of anyone who wishes as to how gliders are NOT a threat to ground birds. Any research or knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated. Anything you guys find please post on here or PM me a link or email me. Miamidolphan13@aol.com. Thanks for your help guys!!

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#760381 - 04/04/09 01:15 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
Rita
Unregistered


Gliders would most definitely eat birds if they were surviving outside. In the wild, they also eat bird eggs and baby birds.

So #3 could very well be true.

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#760411 - 04/04/09 01:51 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
suggiemom
Unregistered


Well, gliders prefer to stay high up in the canopy of trees and chances of them coming down to the ground are not very high as that would make them easy prey for other predators like foxes, raccoons, etc.

I think you can argue the "fact" that they eat ground birds by saying that if given the opportunity they would eat eggs or a bird that they could easily catch if it were injured, etc., but to my knowledge gliders don't go scooping birds from the sky and I can't imagine them running around on the ground at night while they're hunting and gobbling up all the birds.

Plus, let's get real.....it would take a SIGNIFICANT number of loose and abandoned sugar gliders to upset the natural balance of the bird population. In fact; they'd probably be great for keeping rodents and bugs down before they'd go on a birdie murder spree.....LOL

PA has some crazy, mixed up laws! You can own a pet raccoon (that can give you rabies) but heaven forbid you should have a sugar glider.

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#760413 - 04/04/09 01:52 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
suggiemom
Unregistered


Well, gliders prefer to stay high up in the canopy of trees and chances of them coming down to the ground are not very high as that would make them easy prey for other predators like foxes, raccoons, etc.

I think you can argue the "fact" that they eat ground birds by saying that if given the opportunity they would eat eggs or a bird that they could easily catch if it were injured, etc., but to my knowledge gliders don't go scooping birds from the sky and I can't imagine them running around on the ground at night while they're hunting and gobbling up all the birds.

Plus, let's get real.....it would take a SIGNIFICANT number of loose and abandoned sugar gliders to upset the natural balance of the bird population. In fact; they'd probably be great for keeping rodents and bugs down before they'd go on a birdie murder spree.....LOL

Plus, if there WERE a bunch of loose gliders, the temperatures of PA winters would pretty much squelsh any huge population explosions I think. Maybe they could adapt, but it takes many years for animals to change their biological makeup to change to those extremes.

PA has some crazy, mixed up laws! You can own a pet raccoon (that can give you rabies) but heaven forbid you should have a sugar glider.

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#761759 - 04/07/09 12:58 AM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
JoniH704
Unregistered


I personally think it's silly for a state to outlaw sugar gliders as pets, but that's just me.

Sugar gliders are marsupials. They have a slightly lower body temperature, so are less prone to disease than some other animals. (For instance, they are not likely to be rabies carriers, like skunks and bats.) While they could contract rabies, it would have to be from a direct bite, and let's be honest, one bite and the sugar glider wouldn't be in any condition to carry anything!

Overrunning native animals would also NOT be a factor. Gliders do not do well in cold temps. Most would likely die during the winter. If some did manage to survive, the population is not likely to get large enough to pose any sort of threat. Gliders have anywhere from 1-3 babies at a time. Compare that to the birth rates of animals like squirrels, mice, raccoons, foxes, etc. A wild glider population could not grow fast enough to endanger the native animals. (That's why animals like foxes, rabbits, etc. have become such a problem in Australia!!)

While gliders may eat small birds and/or eggs in the wild, again, they are not likely to do any more damage than the current wildlife. I'm sure raccoons and foxes do more damage to the ground bird population that any sugar glider nest/colony could ever hope to!

Gliders can do some destruction to trees, but again far less than species like squirrels. (And if you've ever seen a shower of twigs, leaves, branches, etc. from a tree with several squirrels in it, you know right there how much damage they can do!)

The main reason states outlaw some species is because a non-native species might become a danger/threat to the existing species. This just doesn't apply to sugar gliders. As marsupials, they are actually less of a threat than many other animals. One feral cat with a litter of 10 kittens could do far more damage to the wildlife than a glider could. Same with feral dogs. (And yes, they both exist in numbers that would probably shock some people. Ask anyone who lives on a farm how many times they've seen "wild" dogs and cats!!) There will likely never be a wild population of sugar gliders in PA, even if some did escape. The weather and their slow breeding ability would probably lead them to die off fairly quickly.

That all being said, I'm sure none of those arguments will work for PA. I have a friend who works for the US State Dept as a diplomat overseas, and I happen to know that PA has a law that states that members of the military, and other government departments, like FBI, CIA, etc, that serve overseas do NOT have to pay state income tax. However, the US State Department is an exception, so they have to pay state income tax. In other words, the people who go overseas with guns don't have to pay, but the people who try to make sure our military doesn't need to go overseas, do! Go figure that out!

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#764435 - 04/12/09 05:12 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
suggiemom
Unregistered


Actually, gliders being marsupials they do not get rabies, same as opposums. Scientists have been studying marsupials for years, to figure out why they are unable to be infected with the disease. If they can figure that out, they might be able to come up with a cure or an innoculation for everyone/everything that CAN contract the disease.

Quote:
One feral cat with a litter of 10 kittens could do far more damage to the wildlife than a glider could. Same with feral dogs. (And yes, they both exist in numbers that would probably shock some people. Ask anyone who lives on a farm how many times they've seen "wild" dogs and cats!!)


Boy, ain't THAT the truth!

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#764438 - 04/12/09 05:18 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
ValkyrieMome Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 01/13/07
Posts: 10983
Loc: Denton, TX
Actually, the greatest predator in America, which devastates more wildlife than any other species is the House Cat. Gliders couldn't even begin to compete!
_________________________
Alden
"Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored." Alice Walker


Mom to Valhalla; 6 cats; 1 macaw; 2 hedgehogs;
and very many great gliders!

(plus the 2 skin kids)
valkyriegliders.com

Kyrie, nothing will ever fill the hole you left in my heart.

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#764488 - 04/12/09 09:23 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ValkyrieMome]
JoniH704
Unregistered


There are all sorts of scientific reasons that could be presented, but I'm not sure that they would be enough to change laws. Sad as it sounds, science plays very little part in legislature. The people passing the laws have to be smart enough to understand the science, and unfortunately, more often than not, they aren't!

However, has anyone ever gathered some scientific literature to present as evidence to try to get the law changed? I don't live in PA (actually, at the moment I'm not even in the US) so I'm just wondering. You could probably even find some vets (the vet at SunCoast comes to mind) that would be happy to offer their support.

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#764527 - 04/12/09 10:33 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
Winston_N_I
Unregistered


Well these are all VERY good points! Also, I would be interested to know why a Chinchilla, also native to some of the same areas as gliders, is allowed as a house pet but a glider is not???? They are a rodent and can do much more damage in a MUCH shorter amount of time than a CLAN of gliders could!

Also, there are many similarities that scientists are finding between sugar gliders and chinchillas even though they are of no relation WHATSOEVER! So how do you hold up the fact that you allow one very destructive animal in just fine but not one who lives its life simply and quietly.

Also as for the people on here saying that about Suggies eating eggs and birds yes that is true and I see that being MUCH more of a possibility, as they said, only in VERY LARGE groups. Also, has anyone EVER seen a sugar glider go up against a bird, let alone catch one? And I mean one that isn't sick or ailing in any way! I've never seen it or heard of it! Not saying it can't happen but...... I'm just saying they'd go for smaller meals like insects before they would birds PLUS the only birds out at night when they are looking for a meal are BIRDS OF PREY that would eat suggies as a snack!

Come on Gov't lets get REAL here!

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#764538 - 04/12/09 11:07 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
TheGliderPlayroom Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 1594
Loc: Youngstown, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Winston_N_I
Well these are all VERY good points! Also, I would be interested to know why a Chinchilla, also native to some of the same areas as gliders, is allowed as a house pet but a glider is not???? They are a rodent and can do much more damage in a MUCH shorter amount of time than a CLAN of gliders could!


Chinchillas are legal because they are considered farm animals. Since they are grown for their fur, they are considered livestock and therefore exempt from exotics laws in most places.
_________________________
Helen
The Glider Playroom
PSG/Sugar Glider Database
Vice-President of the NE.O.B.B.C.

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#764543 - 04/12/09 11:50 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: TheGliderPlayroom]
Winston_N_I
Unregistered


Good to know! Thanks for the heads up!

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#769388 - 04/23/09 01:10 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
dry3210
Unregistered


I'm all for helping out and at the very least figuring this all out. I've been trying to for days..

I e-mailed the PA Game Commission with..

Quote:
After much research (both online and phone calls) it would appear that sugar gliders are illegal in Pennsylvania (one of the few states they are illegal in).

I did find out this information

Sec. 2963. Exotic wildlife possession permits.

(a) Authorization. - The commission may issue permits to persons to possess exotic wildlife which shall authorize the holder to purchase, receive or possess exotic wildlife from any lawful source from within or without this Commonwealth.

But it would seem that that does not apply to sugar gliders and/or you can't get the permit so they are still illegal.

A sugar glider is no more harmful then a hamster and as long as it is attained through a USDA licensed breeder I'm not sure what the problem is.

Can I please have more information on why this is or who I can contact to find out about it?

Thanks
Daniel
dry3210@hotmail.com


They responded with

Quote:
The harm done by introducing non-indigenous wildlife is well documented. For many decades people either deliberately or unintentionally brought wildlife, plants, insects, etc. from other states or countries into Pennsylvania with harmful and sometimes disastrous results that we still live with today.

As early as the mid 1800’s, the English sparrow and European starling were brought to the United States from Europe and released into the wild in New York City. These two species of birds are common now throughout the US and are the only two wild birds that are not given protection under the law in PA. The reason for this is the damaging and disruptive effect they have on the native wildlife. They have also become pests to humans, particularly farmers, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses in feedlots and costing an equal amount in damage control.

At about the same time, the gypsy moth, native to Europe and Asia, was introduced in Boston. It has now spread across the country as well, costing the commonwealth and private owners of forest land millions of dollars in lost oak timber and control methods as their caterpillars defoliate acres and acres of our forests ultimately killing the trees and altering the structure of our state’s forests.

The rabies epidemic that began in the early 1980’s is a direct result of diseased raccoons transported from Florida and released in northern Virginia. The disease spread across West Virgina into PA throughout the raccoon, skunk and fox populations costing the taxpayer large sums in surveillance and control that still continues. The USDA is currently attempting to stop the westward spread of rabies into Ohio by disseminating oral vaccine at a very high cost.

The west nile virus entering the country in the area of New York City in 1999 has resulted in nearly 10,000 reported cases and 250 human deaths in the US alone and considerable loss of wildlife and livestock. It has been diagnosed in 44 states. The cost of surveillance, diagnosis and treatment is substantial. The means of entry into the US is unknown. Prior to this, the disease was never reported in North America. The virus is carried by mosquitoes, and may well have entered the US via an imported bird or mammal.

Chronic wasting disease of cervids is spreading in the US. Those states where it occurs are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect their native wildlife populations from this disease that has the potential to eliminate captive bred and free ranging deer and elk. Entire herds of captive animals and hundreds of free ranging animals are being depopulated (exterminated) in order to remove potential vectors and arrest the progress of the disease in a number of western and Midwestern states. This disease is believed to have entered Wisconsin in infected stock transported from an endemic western state. Import bans and restrictions are in place.

The monkey pox virus entered Texas in 2003 in a shipment of rodents imported from Africa carrying the virus. That virus then infected prairie dogs that were held with the rodents at a pet distributor in Illinois. The prairie dogs, then sold as pets, infected humans, prompting a federal ban of all rodents from Africa and a ban on movement of prairie dogs. Although not as infectious as smallpox, this new disease is a significant health risk. Prior to this, the disease was never reported outside of Africa. In less than a year after it’s introduction, it has infected nearly 100 people in six midwestern states, fortunately with no fatalities.



Most recently is the SARS epidemic that cost hundreds of human lives in China, Canada and elsewhere in the world. This virus is linked to civets (an animal related to the mongoose) in the orient. Chinese officials have recently exterminated thousands of these animals in an effort to eliminate the disease pool and control the spread of this disease. Fortunately, no infected civets were exported, but what if… This highly infectious and deadly disease could easily have been introduced into the US by one civet entering the country.

Viruses in non-human primates have been linked to AIDS in humans. It is well established that non-human primates can transmit a host of parasites and diseases to humans and vice-versa.

These are only some of the agents of concern. The cost of battling them is enormous in dollars, human sickness and deaths and damage to our native plants and animals.

In each of these cases, wildlife, in and of itself, or serving as a vector for a disease, was introduced, transported or held captive by man with a very costly result.

Obtaining unusual animals as pets is becoming more popular. With this trend comes case after case where humans are harmed in some way, even killed, by captive wild animals of all descriptions. Big cats, bears, wolves, primates and even deer being held as personal pets, injuring their owners or a member of the public, often small children. The state of Florida is currently battling with escaped or released exotics pets that are now present in the wild in sufficient numbers that they are finding members of their own species to breed with. Dangerous water monitors (large lizards) are now ranging free in residential areas. Parrots are nesting on electric poles causing blackouts. Twenty foot- long Burmese pythons are appearing in some residential areas.



In 1983, Act 60 was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature amending the Game Law of the time. It regulated exotics and the PA Game Commission was given the duty to enforce this new law. Since then, the law was amended and additional regulations were adopted to bolster this law as necessary. These regulations are to accomplish several purposes:

First, to protect the public from physical harm by potentially dangerous animals and provide for the health and care of animals in captivity.

Also, to protect the public and the environment from unnatural pathogens (diseases).

And finally, to protect the native wildlife of the commonwealth against unnatural competition that upsets the natural balance of the ecosystem should these animals escape or be released to the wild. The Pennsylvania Constitution mandates that the government conserve and maintain our natural resources for all, including generations yet to come. Putting our wildlife resource at risk by allowing the loosely regulated importation of non-native and potentially injurious wildlife would arguably be failing in that mandate.

All these considerations obviously exceed any possible argument or rationalization offered by those individuals who wish to have these many and various species for pets serving no other purpose than personal gratification. How do we know which animal will be the next carrier of disease or what that disease will be? Something as innocuous as a mouse can carry a disease or harbor the agent for it. Three years ago, no one in the US heard of the West Nile virus. Before last year, no one heard of SARS or monkey pox. Should we all have to incur the risk so a small segment of the population can have an unusual pet or in some cases realize financial gain by breeding and selling these animals? Should we even condone the breeding of these animals for the pet trade?





Several states completely ban the importation and possession of non- indigenous wildlife and others are following suit. More legislators are seeing it for what it is.

In Title 34 PaCS (the Game and Wildlife Code) and 58 Pa Code (rules and regulations attendant to Title 34) are found the legal basis for restricting exotics in PA. Unfortunately, there is no single place to go to find all that addresses this issue. It is admittedly complicated to a layman. Some passages clearly define groups or species and others very broadly define them. Many of the animals that are the subject of questions are not mentioned specifically in any section of the law or the regulations but are included in a broader definition, also a source of confusion for the layman. Without quoting each section, I’ll list those that pertain to this issue and discuss their content. Definitions are found in Title 34 sections102 and 2961 and in Title 58 section 147.2. In these sections, wildlife (wild birds and wild animals) is defined as well as exotic wildlife. All members of the family Felidae (cats), Canidae(dogs) and Ursidae(bears) are considered exotics. Except, of course, domestic dogs and cats. Exotics may be possessed under the authority of any one of three different permits: An exotic possession permit, which allows the permittee to simply hold an individual animal in captivity according to the permit provisions. An exotic dealer permit, which allows the permittee to buy, sell and hold multiple animals of a species listed on the permit, again according to the permit provisions. Finally, a menagerie permit, which I’ll discuss shortly. Other non-indigenous species may not be imported or possessed under Title 58 section 137.1.a(10). This broad regulation prohibits any animal (species) which is captive bred or held outside Pennsylvania and effectively eliminates primates, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, prairie dogs and many other non native animals from being imported, possessed, sold or released. This regulation took effect in 1992. Those who possessed these, now illegal animals, prior to the regulation taking effect were ‘grandfathered’ as to the possession, but were not permitted to sell or otherwise transfer those animals or their progeny within PA. The exception to this is a zoological park or nationally recognized circus or person that has a menagerie permit. The menagerie permit allows the holder to possess these non indigenous animals as well as exotics but requires that the animals be held for the purpose of exhibiting to the public, not for personal pet purposes. Menageries may only sell to other menageries.

Certain of these definitions and regulations and the agency’s authority to promulgate them is being challenged now in court in the Sandra Reynolds case. This case, when decided, will hopefully either strengthen the validity of our regulations or point out those areas that need to be changed to maintain the intent of the law.

A number of arguments are made in favor of allowing possession of these animals and against our response to these situations. Some are legal arguments but most are more emotional and self- serving.

Most often, reference is made to the regulations being confusing and difficult to understand. How is the public supposed to know what they can and cannot do? This is a fair question. Although the regulations are not that difficult to understand, they are not found at one place in the law. The best way to check is to call us. We answer these questions daily.

We have been told that people have, in good faith, contacted the Game Commission prior to or shortly after obtaining an animal and were given a variety of answers, some wrong. I cannot deny that that may have occurred. Most PGC employees are not exposed to this issue daily and the regulations have changed over the past decade. Incorrect or misleading responses to inquiries may have been made. In order to correct this, I am having all calls regarding wildlife possession directed to regional office law enforcement staff or The Bureau of Law Enforcement in Harrisburg. We intend to make our best effort to give the public accurate and complete responses to their concerns.

Further, in an effort to consolidate these various passages of law and regulation, we are contacting other states to review their regulations on this issue. Looking at our strengths and weaknesses, perhaps we can develop regulations that are more easily understood by the public and easier for us to enforce as well. The agency also believes that it is necessary to reclassify some animals and develop lists by species or family that more clearly outline their status. The time may be now to address part of this issue legislatively and there is some interest in the legislature to do just that.

Another common argument is that captive bred and held animals are inspected and given health certificates by the USDA or other licensed veterinarians so why does the state regulate them beyond that. Further, they argue since they are captive, they are unlikely to be exposed to diseased animals so the risk is very low. The other side of that coin is that since these animals live in very close proximity to humans, if they do become ill with a disease transmissible to humans, it is almost assured that their human keeper will too.

The USDA only licenses and inspects persons who sell or exhibit animals. This leaves a large number of animals that are not contacted by the federal inspectors leaving their regulation to the states. Auctions, such as the Mt. Hope animal auction in Ohio is one source of illegal wildlife imported into PA. Animals sold at such places are supposed to be accompanied by a health certificate completed by an accredited veterinarian. If that does occur, the examination of the animal conducted to complete that certificate amounts to a visual examination. If the animal is not exhibiting symptoms or clinical signs of a disease, the certificate is issued. This cursory examination is very little protection against the introduction of a foreign pathogen that could enter undetected into PA from animals that have come from all over the US and the world. Animals can appear healthy and develop symptoms months later, after the sale.

Another argument is that our regulations are so restrictive that no one can qualify for these permits. If you make it too difficult to legally own these animals, people will just get them illegally anyway. Following this line of thought amounts to ignoring the true issue for the sake of convenience. Those that knowingly or reasonably should know, yet violate the law can expect to have action taken against them. Active enforcement will result in deterrence and most people will willingly comply.

These permits, which were discussed earlier, are by design, difficult to get. The conditions are demanding and not easily met by the average person. This is to discourage purchases by inexperienced people who lack the knowledge, training, dedication or facilities to properly care for or house such animals. Impulse buyers of exotics may find that they have gotten in over their heads and end up reselling their animal to another unqualified person or worse yet releasing it or at very least keeping it under inhumane, unsafe or insecure conditions. Our regulations address these very concerns.

The issue has been raised of why sportsmen’s dollars from the game fund are being spent on regulating exotics. Why doesn’t The Department of Agriculture handle this? Conservation Officers are not trained and don’t have time to do this. It is not their purpose. Our response is only that the PGC was given the duty to enforce this law when it originally went into effect and has actively tried to fulfill that responsibility. Agriculture may be no better equipped to deal with this issue than the PGC.

Finally, the claim is made that since these animals are tame, they can no longer be considered ‘wild’ and that the game commission has no authority over animals held in captivity. They cite Title 3, Agriculture, Section 2303, where it defines ‘domestic animal’ as one that is maintained in captivity. However, Title 1, General Provisions, Section 1991 defines’ domestic animal’ as any equine, bovine, sheep, goat or pig. Title 34, Game and Wildlife Code, section 102 defines ‘wild animal ’as all mammals other than domestic animals defined in Title 1, Sec 1991. We believe that the definition in T34 more accurately addresses the classification of these animals as intended, not the definition in the Agriculture Code. To see it otherwise would be to agree that any animal from any source suddenly becomes domestic just by placing it in a cage or enclosure.

Regardless of the outcome of the current court cases or the state of the laws and regulations in the future, I feel comfortable in saying that the next person that is injured, the next disease that is introduced into the country or the state or the next pest species that escapes into the wild will not be because the Game Commission failed to do everything reasonable to prevent it.


My response

Quote:

For several years now I have been very interested in sugar gliders. After spending extensive amount of time researching the animal, any dangers associated with them and their care I decided to acquire two as personal pets. However, I was informed that they are illegal in Pennsylvania so my attention turned to why that is. After trying to make sense of a very confusing set of laws and the reasons behind them, I came to the conclusion that the sugar glider is illegal in Pennsylvania for no valid reason.

“The sugar glider is a small marsupial” [1] that can glide using a membrane much like a flying squirrel. It also looks somewhat like a small squirrel or a chipmunk but has no relation to either. They are nocturnal creatures that sleep for the majority of the day. As for their diets, they survive on fruits, vegetables and some insects. Sugar gliders are also very social animals that are a “non-dangerous pet” [2].

The reason they are illegal seems not to be specific to them and instead is due to just a general ban on exotic animals. The response I got goes on to talk about the English sparrow and European starling being brought over in the 1800s to NYC and causing “damaging and disruptive” effects on native wildlife. Mind you, sugar gliders are legal in New York [1]. They also bring up the gypsy moth and the damage it causes. Obviously comparing a moth to a marsupial is a fair assessment of the animal. Furthermore, they go on about rabies that came from Florida and the struggle the USDA is having with stopping its spread. Mind you, the USDA actually issues breeding permits for the sugar glider [3]. Then there’s monkey pox virus that was brought over from Africa in a shipment of rodents. However, sugar gliders in the United States are bred in the United States.

After that the response goes into the dangers of captive wild animals to people. It uses examples such as “big cats, bears, wolves, primates and even deer.” Interestingly enough their examples are almost all non-exotic and wild. You cannot go out into your local woods and capture a wild sugar glider. Sugar gliders have to be purchased and have been tame for several generations. Categorizing the dangers of a 7.5 inch, 150 gram [4] animal with that of a 38 inch, 170lb wolf [5] is absurd. A sugar glider poses no more physical harm to a human then many common and legal animals in PA such as gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Even snakes, bearded dragons and other reptiles are legal in Pennsylvania! There is also mention of the environmental damage exotic pets can have if they escape. For instance, “Parrots are nesting on electric poles causing blackouts.” Parrots, which you can legally purchase in PA, that is. There is a serious issue with the law when an exotic bearded dragon, snakes, parrot, most fish, ferrets, chinchillas and countless other small exotic animals are legal in Pennsylvania but yet sugar gliders (and hedgehogs) are not.

It is also interesting that there is mention of “Several states completely ban the importation and possession of non- indigenous wildlife and others are following suit.” Yet, if you research the legality of sugar gliders, the percentage of states that consider them legal far exceed the few that consider them illegal. States that consider them legal include Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey and New York (all surrounding states). There is not one case of serious injury, death, or disease issue being caused in any of those states (or any state for that matter) linked to the sugar glider.

The laws and information regarding what animals are legal and which are not are extremely confusing, often contradictory and in many ways not specific enough. The Pennsylvania Game Commission even admits to this in their response on why sugar gliders are illegal. Being that they are in charge of enforcing and educating the public on these laws they should be at the forefront of doing something to fix a problem even they admit to! Yet instead they say “The time may be now to address part of this issue.” When something is wrong, the time to fix it is now. The laws need to be reviewed, consolidated and updated. This includes their belief “that it is necessary to reclassify some animals and develop lists by species or family that more clearly outline their status.”

Essentially they are illegal because they are considered “exotic” and there are certain risks pertaining to exotic animals. They use several examples of past instances with exotic animals as the reasoning for sugar gliders being illegal but neglect the fact that the sugar glider has been a pet in the US for decades and has not caused any of the issues that Pennsylvania uses as reasons to make it illegal. And yet at the same time I can go to any pet store and purchase plenty of other exotic and domestic animals (some of which can be quite dangerous; dogs, snakes, etc) but a sugar glider I cannot purchase. Not all exotic animals should be legal but the sugar glider is an animal that should be!

I would like to know how I can find out about any current legislation that is in reference to any of this and what I can do to help promote the change of these very confusing and contradictory laws.

References

1. 1. USDA; http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/manuals/eig/2.1_eig.pdf

2. 2. Sugar Glider Pet Guide; http://sugargliderpetguide.com/sugar-glider-laws-where-are-they-legal.html

3. 3. Sugar Glider Central; http://www.sugarglidercentral.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=132&PID=709

4. 4. Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Glider

5. 5. Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf


Theres
Quote:
They are illegal in PA, and the Game Commission is not considering legalizing them.


Mine
Quote:
I appreciate your response and will no longer bother you about this. However, at least respond with appropiate information. They aren't illegal with a permit according to PA Game Commission. I understand that you don't really give out permits but technically speaking they are legal with one. So to just write them off as illegal is incorrect information.


Theres
Quote:
We do NOT issue permits for them, therefore they are NOT legal. Also, we do not have jurisdiction for reptiles, amphibians or fish. For those, please contact the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.


I've also contacted my state representative but no response yet.

I expect it'll get no where...I have little faith in common sense with politics and what not but I figured I had no right to complain if I didn't try

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#769394 - 04/23/09 01:25 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
BBsuggiesBG
Unregistered


How crazy could PA be? This is so petty. Gliders aren't gonna mess up the wildlife balance more then a stray cat or dog would.

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#769402 - 04/23/09 01:37 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
dry3210
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: BBsuggiesBG
How crazy could PA be? This is so petty. Gliders aren't gonna mess up the wildlife balance more then a stray cat or dog would.


I think I'm more bothered by how non-nonsensical and hypocritical the law is then anything else. If there was a valid point to it and it was all an "even playing field" among animals then so be it. But the sugar glider seems to be jacked when other pets in PA aren't

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#769405 - 04/23/09 01:40 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
BBsuggiesBG
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: dry3210

I think I'm more bothered by how non-nonsensical and hypocritical the law is then anything else. If there was a valid point to it and it was all an "even playing field" among animals then so be it. But the sugar glider seems to be jacked when other pets in PA aren't


Agreed.

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#771591 - 04/28/09 08:26 AM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
dry3210
Unregistered


Well as expected...I got no where.

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#771666 - 04/28/09 12:35 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
LSardou Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 21060
Loc: Kansas
hug2 I'm sorry to hear this. Your efforts and time is greatly appreciated! Hopefully in the future things will change, who knows?
Thank you.

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#771698 - 04/28/09 01:30 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: LSardou]
Ridersuggie
Unregistered


I'm still working on this with the chief of staff. Updates are to be had! lol

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#771904 - 04/28/09 08:05 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11945
Loc: Wisconsin
Who was the law maker that took a sugar glider into legislation in his pocket and got them made legal in GA. He would be the one to contact, he may be able to give you insight into how to get them legalized.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#771962 - 04/28/09 09:33 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: Feather]
Iceguru Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 03/07/09
Posts: 207
Loc: Louisiana
They said it was bc peopple delibertly put non-native harmful animals on the loss well one law won't stop this?
_________________________
I know, but I still
Believe in ignorance as my best defense
So go on, wreck me
Funny how I carry on, and not be taken over
Will not roll over on anyone,
cuz anyone would stand up on my side

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#771963 - 04/28/09 09:33 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: Iceguru]
Iceguru Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 03/07/09
Posts: 207
Loc: Louisiana
Id have too call somone or go down there I hate liberal idiots like this frown GRRR...
_________________________
I know, but I still
Believe in ignorance as my best defense
So go on, wreck me
Funny how I carry on, and not be taken over
Will not roll over on anyone,
cuz anyone would stand up on my side

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#771993 - 04/28/09 10:47 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: Feather]
Nara Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 144
Loc: Illinois
First I'd like to say thank you for the personal time and effort that you have put into this. I can only imagine some of the frustrations you came across while researching not only sugar gliders, but the numerous other wildlife possibly covered under these laws, as well as the laws themselves. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I appreciate it immensly (sorry to anyone who feels they'd like to be left out of that statement)!

While I respect the debate over these issues, I do feel that the PGC gave an excellent position as to why they prohibit sugar gliders, among other species. However, I don't believe that you were treated with respect. I'm sure the department handles numerous requests for information, such as your own, on a frequent basis, as one could tell by the thorough response that was given. To me it seemed like a generic response to hopefully put you in silence, without actually pointing you in the direction of the information you asked for.

Looking at it from the department's perspective, I'm sure that they have more pressing issues to look into than the amendments of laws pertaining to pet ownership. Afterall, "if something's not broke, don't fix it." I don't mean to say that the law is perfect, but it aims to "protect" the community, and at the very least, it does that through over-protection.

I personally would rather see something over-enforced, and nothing bad happen, than something unregulated causing a huge issue to the community. I think you make some excellent points about no outbreaks of disease or distruction caused by these wonderful creatures.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. I don't mean to anger anyone, or start and arguements. Again, thank you for the time and effort you have invested. Good luck, and best wishes on your endeavor!
_________________________
~Kelli
Mommy to: Miko and Mizuki
http://s422.photobucket.com/albums/pp301/wishuponcj/

R.I.P.
Nara 11-20-06 to 4-7-12
Asher 4-25-08 to 2-1-09

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#772125 - 04/29/09 08:36 AM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: Nara]
dry3210
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Nara
First I'd like to say thank you for the personal time and effort that you have put into this. I can only imagine some of the frustrations you came across while researching not only sugar gliders, but the numerous other wildlife possibly covered under these laws, as well as the laws themselves. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I appreciate it immensly (sorry to anyone who feels they'd like to be left out of that statement)!

While I respect the debate over these issues, I do feel that the PGC gave an excellent position as to why they prohibit sugar gliders, among other species. However, I don't believe that you were treated with respect. I'm sure the department handles numerous requests for information, such as your own, on a frequent basis, as one could tell by the thorough response that was given. To me it seemed like a generic response to hopefully put you in silence, without actually pointing you in the direction of the information you asked for.

Looking at it from the department's perspective, I'm sure that they have more pressing issues to look into than the amendments of laws pertaining to pet ownership. Afterall, "if something's not broke, don't fix it." I don't mean to say that the law is perfect, but it aims to "protect" the community, and at the very least, it does that through over-protection.

I personally would rather see something over-enforced, and nothing bad happen, than something unregulated causing a huge issue to the community. I think you make some excellent points about no outbreaks of disease or distruction caused by these wonderful creatures.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. I don't mean to anger anyone, or start and arguements. Again, thank you for the time and effort you have invested. Good luck, and best wishes on your endeavor!


Understandable. I'm more bothered by being blown off really. I fully understand that with all that goes on in the world, sugar gliders arean't really on the top of list of concerns. Out of the 3 people outside the PGC I contacted, only one got back to me. And that was to say "Wrong person, contact this guy".

And I do love oh so much the PGC's responses to me when I've talked with people who do indeed legally own sugar gliders in PA (due to zoo-like businesses).


Edited by dry3210 (04/29/09 08:38 AM)

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#772277 - 04/29/09 02:34 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
astronoc
Unregistered


I agree that their response sounded more like a canned response. You should be able to press the issue and be directed to someone else for assistance. Someone is paying them to do their job. Who is that? Sooner or later, you will come down to an elected official and they need to be held responsible. They either change the law or lose votes.

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#772731 - 04/30/09 10:53 AM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
Ridersuggie
Unregistered


Dry just to let you know that was a generic letter you got. I contacted my representative and he forwarded it to the PGC and i got the same exact letter. Which is why I contacted the senators office. As I've said before I am in contact with the Chief of staff for my local senator. I have put in the first post to this thread the 3 main reasons why sugar gliders are illegal in PA. Ive also stated what the Chief of Staff for the local senator has advised me would be the best to do. The purpose of this post was to see if anyone would like to help with research as to prove the 3 main reasons wrong mostly the reason about the ground birds. It has to be from a professional opinion tho like a vet or someone. So if youd all like to get statements from a vet or 2 and email them or PM them to me id appreciate that. Just please read the whole post so you beter understand. Sorry, I dont mean to offend anyone, however I feel this post has gotten a little off topic

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#774704 - 05/04/09 01:24 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
dry3210
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Ridersuggie
Dry just to let you know that was a generic letter you got. I contacted my representative and he forwarded it to the PGC and i got the same exact letter. Which is why I contacted the senators office. As I've said before I am in contact with the Chief of staff for my local senator. I have put in the first post to this thread the 3 main reasons why sugar gliders are illegal in PA. Ive also stated what the Chief of Staff for the local senator has advised me would be the best to do. The purpose of this post was to see if anyone would like to help with research as to prove the 3 main reasons wrong mostly the reason about the ground birds. It has to be from a professional opinion tho like a vet or someone. So if youd all like to get statements from a vet or 2 and email them or PM them to me id appreciate that. Just please read the whole post so you beter understand. Sorry, I dont mean to offend anyone, however I feel this post has gotten a little off topic


I'll see what I can do about getting some vets or what not to do a write up.

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#778087 - 05/10/09 09:46 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
MHoppes
Unregistered


I did some research on this about 6 months ago and still have the information. Basically, I was told suggies are not legal because no one has ever tried. They aren't legal because they aren't considered domesticated. I asked how a verbal was legal and was told because it was domesticated. To get re suggie status changed we just have to prove to the powers that be that suggies are domesticated already and pose no harm.

I'd be glad to be involved in this. What do you PA suggie lovers think about going as a group to see our representatives?

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#778198 - 05/11/09 08:23 AM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
MHoppes
Unregistered


Here is an overview of a call I had with the PGC local office...I am 'Question' and they are 'Answer':

Question: Harrisburg gave 137.1 for the law, which states that game or wildlife taken from the wild are illegal. But this should state that a gerbil is also illegal.

Answer: Sugar Gliders are classified as a wild animal, but hamsters or gerbils are not, they fall under the definition of domestic.

Question: How does the PGC define wildlife? Why is a Sugar Glider wild?

Answer: Because they live in a wild state.

Question: Wouldn't a gerbil or hamster also be wild at one point?

Answer: No, it's like a dog or cat.

Question: But a gerbil at some point would have had to be wild and then was domesticated.

Answer: Hrmm, I really don't know.

Question: What would someone have to do to petition to change a type of animal from wild to domesticated.

Answer: I don't know if you could, you have definitions and statutes and laws, at some level and some at federal but that doesn't pertain to our conversation. We're talking about definitions in title 34 (game and wildlife code), and then also definitions under agriculture (not sure of the code). When you say to petition, it would need to go through the legislature.

Question: A gerbil or hamster would have had to at some point be wild and then was domesticated, how did they become domesticated? Is there a procedure for that?

Answer: In theory, boy, you could probably do that. I think if something like that were to happen, it would probably happen with time, I think one species I am familiar with the reindeer. The question is asked are they wildlife or domesticated? Arguments... at one point in time if you look at all time I guess, in the history of the earth, there was not a single one in captivity, but now there are some quarters that argue there are no reindeer any more that are not in a domestic state. So are they domesticated or not? Some people argue yes, some argue no. The argument for yes is time. The species hasn't changed, just people have herded them as time has gone on. There is such a large number of its group that have been in captivity for such a large period of time that they are considered domestic. So, for a Sugar Glider to be considered domestic, I would say probably it would take time and there would have to be a lot of them in captivity, and I'm not even sure that would do it as long as there were substantial numbers of them in the wild state.

Question: So they aren't necessarily banned because they might proliferate in the wild, but rather because they are considered wildlife not domestic.

Answer: Correct, they are a member of a wild species, and 137.1 forbids the importation of any wild species that is being held in a captive state or was bred in another state or nation with the few exceptions which you can read in 137.1 where they are under a controlled circumstance being allowed to be brought in.

Question: Ok, you were very helpful, thanks so much.

Answer: And it's sort of a blanket shot-gun approach. The spirit of it comes out of a broad.. the commonwealth... the broad concern is just to prevent the introduction of diseases or to a lesser extend something that may come in that could be communicable to the domestic species. Right now one of the concerns is with feral swine that are being brought in. There was just a case with the Supreme Court that... we have always taken the point that feral swine by their very nature are pigs that have been in a domestic state that have escaped.. and pigs will do that they will revert to the wild.. we've always taken the position that once swine have escaped were domestic, they were feral or domestic. An interested party put that to the state Supreme Court and the court said no under the supreme court definition, feral swine were considered to be wild life... which we didn't really like. But basically the big push came from the fact that these feral swine which are running at large in states like LA, GA, are being.. people are going out and capturing them and shipping them up to PA and then putting them in shooting preserves, and then they are escaping, and then once they get out they can become established. And the swine industry in PA is very concerned, because the feral swine have been shown to be able to have much disease. So what is happened with the law it has broad stroked all wildlife, the law is trying to prevent disease. So it ripples down to something as seemingly innocent as a Sugar Glider to something big like a lion or tiger.

Question: Understood. And that's kind of what I thought, but I couldn't make heads or tales of all of the laws, so I thought I'd call the local office.

Answer: That's as good as I can do.

Question: Thanks so much!

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#796623 - 06/20/09 02:27 PM Re: I need your help..Let's make a change. [Re: ]
matt81
Unregistered


Calling all residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Now is the time to act to get your cute little Sugar Gliders legalized.

A good friend of mine who works at the Pennsylvania Game Commission recently told me that the PGC is undergoing a restructuring effort, which includes changing laws and how they regulate everything.

Someone at my work office was telling me he was reading on-line that the PGC was going to be legalizing some animals that are currently illegal (no specifics on what).

Now is the time to write to your state senator and urge them to petition the PGC to legalize the cute little critters. You can send the article about the GA senator that introduced the bill into the house to legalize them.

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