POSTED: 6:11 p.m. HST, Jan 4, 2012
State Rep. Barbara Marumoto plans to introduce legislation this year that would enable officials to resume cargo inspections to prevent brown tree snakes from sneaking into Hawaii on planes and ships from Guam.
Marumoto (R, Kalani Valley-Diamond Head) said in a statement Tuesday state budget cuts have allowed Hawaii's inspection program to lapse. She says dogs used for cargo inspections have been given away.
The federal government funds a program to trap and poison the snakes on Guam. The money also pays inspectors to search cargo leaving the island.
Brown tree snakes would threaten Hawaii's environment if they ever became established here.
The reptile native to Australia and the Solomon Islands ate into extinction nine out of 11 forest birds on Guam since it was accidentally introduced there after World War II.