COMPETES Act could change how ND non-profit helps animals

BOTTINEAU, N.D. (KVRR) – A Bottineau woman is worried about the fate of her non-profit organization because of changes made in a recent bill.

The Lacey Act amendments within the COMPETES Act of 2022, which was passed in the U.S. House in February, would make it illegal to transport exotic animals across state lines. That even includes those not used to cold climates in North Dakota or Minnesota.

“There are some things that are slipped in there and changed like instead of dealing with import restrictions. It’s restrictions to cross state lines with any animal that is injurious and injurious is animals that can survive anywhere in the United States out in the wild,” Kritter Krazy Exotic Rescue Founder Tasha Gorentz said.

Gorentz says the bill could make things difficult for her non-profit.

“They would not be able to cross state lines so we would not be able to rescue any animals that aren’t already in the state of North Dakota. Not only that, we wouldn’t be able to adopt any animals out to 100 percent proper vetted fitting homes unless they reside in the state of North Dakota. So, that causes a big issue for us. We try really hard to be a resource and support for so many people,” Gorentz said.

She’s not sure what the state of her non-profit will look like if it actually passes as the Lacey Act would prohibit Kritter Krazy Exotic Rescue from hosting programs in nearby states.

“Essentially if this were to pass, I don’t know what it’d mean for us. I don’t know what we would do in the future because a lot of the animals we service do come from out of state. And so, you know, we try to be a resource and one of the big things we offer as well as rescue, rehab and rehoming is our education program,”Gorentz said.

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven released a statement supporting Gorentz’s case as the Senate has yet to decide if they will pass the bill or revise their own version.

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