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house Bill H.R. 30

Removing Non-Native Animals From the Endangered Species List So It’s Easier For Zoos and Breeders to Move Them Between States

Argument in favor

This bill would eliminate a duplicative permitting requirement for buying and selling non-native endangered species across state lines by delisting those species, making it easier for zoos and breeders to ensure the survival and genetic diversity of at-risk animals.

Argument opposed

Eliminating protections for non-native endangered species like elephants by delisting them could create enforcement challenges related to wildlife trafficking by making it more likely that populations of those species will face threats in their native territory.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 30?

This bill ― known as the SAVES Act ― would delist all nonnative species from the Endangered Species Act, meaning that animals which don’t naturally have a habitat in the U.S. wouldn’t be considered endangered or threatened. By doing so, the requirement that individuals buying or selling such nonnative species across state lines (like zoos and private breeders) obtain a permit through the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for captive bred wildlife would be eliminated. Captive bred wildlife permits apply only to living, exotic wildlife born and held in captivity in the U.S. and allow for activities that “enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species.”

The bill's full title is the Save America's Endangered Species Act.


Non-native endangered species and their owners, zoos, and breeders; and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 30

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to delist non-native species from the endangered species list, which would have the effect of removing an “onerous” and “counterproductive” permitting requirement for transferring such animals across state lines between breeders and zoos:

“How is this promoting conservation of the species? Removing unnecessary, outdated, redundant regulatory authority over interstate movement of non-native endangered species… will enhance conservation and that’s why we’re doing it.”

A zoo owner wrote to Rep. Gohmert in support of delisting non-native endangered species because of the regulatory burden created by the designation:

“Our zoo provides daily care and maintenance for more than 1,000 animals, representing 125+ species, many of which are endangered. We… have a long history of reproducing many of these endangered species. However, our access to genetic diversity for these animals is severely hampered by their listing in the ESA. Managed breeding programs are truly stifled by ESA listings as interstate movement is largely prohibited and the licenses to allow this, called CBW permits, are becoming difficult to renew.”

At the House Natural Resource Committee’s hearing on this bill in the previous Congress, the Acting Director Greg Sheehan of the Fish and Wildlife Service said that this bill “could create enforcement challenges related to wildlife trafficking,” but acknowledged the value of reducing duplicative regulations between the Endangered Species Act and international conventions.

In the 116th Congress, this bill doesn't have any cosponsors. In the previous Congress, it had 21 cosponsors in the House, including 20 Republicans and one Democrat.


Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: / WoodenDinosaur)



Official Title

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that nonnative species in the United States shall not be treated as endangered species or threatened species for purposes of that Act.

    If the animals are being moved to other zoos in order to breed and help repopulate their species or for more resources this seems like a good idea