Press Releases

Crawford Introduces Bill to Protect Arkansas Aquaculture

Washington, September 18, 2013 | Jack Pandol (202.225.4076)
Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) issued the following statement after yesterday introducing H.R. 3105, the Aquaculture Risk Reduction Act, which provides a common-sense exemption for producers in cases of accidental inclusion of undocumented animals in shipments of fish across state lines:

"No farmer should face the threat of criminal prosecution by the federal government for simply doing their job. However, today this is the case in the aquaculture industry - with the threat of legal action in the case of minor, even accidental Lacey Act infractions. The Lacey Act is a well-intentioned law, passed in the year 1900, but is in great need of modernizing to accommodate 21st century agriculture. Tragically, the Act’s unintended consequences are driving producers out of the industry because of the federal government’s heavy-handed penalties – killing jobs and economic activity at home in Arkansas.

“My bill, the Aquaculture Risk Reduction Act, is a common-sense solution that proposes a technical fix to the Lacey Act for accidental infractions without changing the original intent of the underlying law. Farmers need the freedom and flexibility to cultivate a product that provides great value to our economy – my bill ensures they are given ample breathing room to do so. I look forward to working with House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings on this common-sense bill.”

A copy of the letter Representative Crawford sent to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings recommending that he hold a hearing on the newly introduced bill is attached.