That's an interesting point, NickAnter, about the destruction caused by housecats. They've decimated songbird populations in many areas from what I've read. I think the functional difference here is the threat insects pose to agriculture, which (if someone here knows better please correct me) is ultimately the driving force behind the laws in question. Imagine if cats started eating almonds from orchards here in CA! I'd love to hear from someone who has studied law, I have a feeling that protections and rules for business and commerce make up a large share of our laws, and most lobbying is centered around these as well. There are laws protecting the environment, but there are not enough - and it seems like a lot of the frustration in this thread is lack of rules for some obviously destructive behavior, and somewhat arbitrary rules that try to minimize moving ant queens around.
I think in this case, from an environmentalist perspective, we can celebrate that the interests of agribusiness and people who breath air and value natural ecosystems align in a crude way to try to keep some potential invasives in check. If there is any doubt which pigs are more equal than other pigs - success at reining in overuse of pesticides (see honeybees), fertilizer runoff (see lake eutrophication in the US), and other destructive behavior that save the agriculture industry money has been abysmal at the federal level, with states taking some action of there own (in Ohio it took a river catching fire first!).
Edited by MysticNanitic, August 13 2021 - 10:07 AM.