Commentary: Pythons should be banned

Pythons and other nonnative species got a hearing in Washington last week, and none too soon. In response to real concerns about pythons and other exotics overrunning the Everglades and the Keys, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security considered changes to the Lacy Act, which regulates what plants and animals can be imported into the United States.

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez, and other Florida lawmakers are asking the House to ban three species of pythons as "injurious animals."

Florida's Sens. George LeMieux and Bill Nelson are sponsoring a similar bill in the U.S. Senate. Congress should approve the measures without further delay.

Calling pythons and other predator snakes "injurious animals" is an accurate if somewhat mild description. In October the U.S. Geological Survey reported that five giant, nonnative species pose a "high risk" to our ecosystem, particularly in the welcoming confines of the Everglades.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.