WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 17, 2003, to examine the dangers to public health from the importation of exotic species. U.S. Sens. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., and John Ensign, R – Nev., who is a veterinarian, requested the hearing. Jeffords, the ranking member of the EPW Committee has been a leader in Congress in banning the importation of endangered animals as pets. The hearing, which was prompted by the recent outbreak of monkeypox in the U.S., will explore current regulations governing the importation of exotic species and whether they adequately address public health and safety concerns. The hearing will also highlight whether any shortcomings in current regulations governing the importation of exotic species should be addressed legislatively. “As the recent monkeypox outbreak demonstrated, our nation is highly vulnerable from the importation of unregulated exotic species such as the Gambian Pouched Rat. Tomorrow’s hearing will hopefully tell us how we can better protect the American public from these potential threats,” said Jeffords.
Committee on Environment and Public Works
Full Committee Oversight Hearing
To examine the importation of exotic species and the impact on public health and safety
July 17, 2003
406 Dirksen, 9:30 A.M.
Panel I: The Honorable John Ensign
United States Senator
The State of Nevada Panel II: Dr. John Clifford
Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Sciences
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
United States Department of Agriculture Mr. Lester M. Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Deputy Director
United States Food and Drug Administration
Department of Health and Human Services Mr. Marshall P. Jones, Jr.
Deputy Director
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior Dr. Stephen M. Ostroff
Deputy Director
National Center for Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control
Department of Health and Human Services Panel III: Ms. Gabriela Chavarria, Ph.D.
Policy Director, Wildlife Conservation
National Wildlife Federation
On behalf of the National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species Mr. Robert A. Cook, V.M.D., M.P.A.
Adjunct Professor of Environmental Affairs
The School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Mr. N. Marshall Meyers
Executive Vice President and Counsel
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council