He grew up catching lizards and little snakes in Middle Tennessee. Now he breeds boa constrictors worth hundreds of dollars in a garage behind his Murfreesboro home.
Most of the mature snakes he keeps were bought outside Tennessee. When he sells one of the young snakes they produce, it typically goes to a buyer in California or another state. But those transactions might soon be against the law.
Federal officials are considering new rules that would make it illegal to import several types of large snakes to the United States or transport them across state lines. Snake owners like Duggin say the laws would make it hard for responsible owners to legally get pythons and boas.
“Laws should not take a hobby away from people,” said Duggin, 36, who has a full-time job and breeds snakes for fun. The proposed transportation bans “would absolutely decimate the hobby of it,” he said.
Over the last 30 years, more than 1 million boas, pythons and anacondas have been imported to the United States, and domestic production of some of the species likely exceeds the import levels, according to the federal government.
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