Illegal Reptile Trafficking

March 19, 2009

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger issued the following statement in response to the reported completion of a two-year investigation of illegal reptile trafficking in New York State:

“I want to commend the state and federal investigators, and their Canadian counterparts, who participated in “Operation Shellshocked.” Laws are only as good as the enforcement that puts teeth into them, and the men and women who worked on this investigation have contributed to making our state a safer place to be.

Schimminger authored the 1996 state law (Chapter 324 of the Laws of 1996) that bans the possession, transport, import or export of venomous reptiles without first obtaining a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The legislation was prompted by the 1995 case of a Tonawanda man bitten by his pet viper.”