COMPETES Act Could Change How ND Nonprofit Helps Animals
BOTTINEAU, ND (KVRR) – A Bottineau woman is worried about the fate of her non-profit organization due to changes in a recent bill.
Amendments to the Lacey Act as part of the COMPETES Act of 2022, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February, would make it illegal to transport exotic animals across state lines. This even includes those unaccustomed to the cold climates of North Dakota or Minnesota.
“There are some things that are slipped in there and changed like instead of dealing with import restrictions. These are restrictions on crossing state lines with any animal that is pest and pest is animals that can survive anywhere in the United States in the wild,” said Tasha Gorentz, founder of Kritter Krazy Exotic Rescue. .
Gorentz says the bill could make things difficult for his nonprofit.
“They couldn’t cross state lines, so we couldn’t rescue animals that aren’t already in the state of North Dakota. Additionally, we would not be able to adopt animals from properly 100% vetted homes unless they reside in the state of North Dakota. So that’s a big problem for us. We really try to be a resource and a support for so many people,” Gorentz said.
She doesn’t know what the state of her nonprofit will look like if indeed passed, as the Lacey Act would prohibit Kritter Krazy Exotic Rescue from hosting programs in neighboring states.
“Essentially, if this were to pass, I don’t know what it would mean for us. I don’t know what we would do in the future because a lot of the animals we care for are from out of state. And so, you know, we try to be a resource and one of the big things that we offer as well as rescue and rehabilitation and relocation is our education program,” Gorentz said.
North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven released a statement supporting Gorentz’s case, as the Senate has yet to decide whether it will pass the bill or revise its own version.