Chair: Joshua Willard – Josh’s Frogs


Foster collaboration among the herp community on pet reptile and amphibian regulatory and legislative issues impacting businesses, hobbyists, and environmental stewardship in the United States.


The volunteer-led Herp Subcommittee has existed in various forms throughout the Pet Advocacy Network’s history and was re-established in late 2015.


Legislative and regulatory issues will inevitably be a major part of the Herp Subcommittee’s responsibility, and the Pet Advocacy Network does not oppose reasonable regulation – developed with input from the industry – as one part of managing risks associated with reptiles. However, it is imperative that risks are determined through sound science rather than unfounded speculation, and that regulatory solutions are imposed only within the context of other effective risk management approaches. 

To that end, the Herp Subcommittee will engage in a broader, proactive approach that strongly encourages industry-driven management practices to anticipate and avert controversial or damaging incidents. A successful example is the “Tick Interception Protocol,” which was developed by reptile importers, the Florida Reptile & Amphibian Association and other industry trade associations. This protocol was endorsed by the U.S.D.A. and the State of Florida, in lieu of the possibility of additional federal or state regulations that might have restricted importation of commercially important species.


  • Reviewing the legislative and regulatory activity that may impact herp business practices and ownership at the federal, state, and local levels of government.
  • Encouraging industry-driven best management practices as an alternative to government regulation.
  • Coordinating grassroots activities with other like-minded organizations to improve outcomes.
  • Discussing newsworthy issues surrounding the general promotion of herp ownership, the hobbyist community, and responsible reptile and amphibian pet businesses.
  • Addressing opportunities for collaboration on other pet industry and pet ownership issues.

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