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Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 9th March 2016   #1
DartFrog180
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Exclamation PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

Hi Folks:
I noticed some people are still offering here or in other places sales of the banned species to "in-state" buyers and offering to ship.

I am not an attorney, but I think that practice may present some risk, potentially considerable, of violating the Lacey Act under the interim rule banning 201 species from interstate transport. Here's why...

When you ship to a buyer within your state you should NOT assume that the package will stay in state. My understanding of the shipping/logistics industry (a good friend is an exec in one such company and confirmed this) relies on complicated software to profitably get packages from point A to point B. This does NOT mean the packages follow a straight line, and in fact, depending on your location and that of the buyer it is possible the package could stop in one or even MORE states on its way to the final destination.

As an example I first learned of this after buying a (non-live) item on EBAY a couple years ago. The seller sent an automated tracking number and I found out they were located only five miles from me. However, as I tracked the package, I was amazed to see it was picked up from the seller, taken to the nearest large airport (one of the world's busiest passenger and cargo hubs) and put on a plane ( I assume because it was scanned here about three hours before it was scanned there, which would have been impossible by ground transport) to Dayton, OH. There it was scanned, again, and put back on a plane, flown back to my state and delivered (48 hours after initial pickup from the seller) to my doorstep. I found this quite inefficient (okay, asinine), so I asked my logistics friend, and he confirmed this is common if not standard practice for most such companies. In the scheme of things a small package put on a plane or a big truck to go to a sorting hub elsewhere can still be profitable, and the routes are all calculated to keep the packages flowing for profitability and efficiency within a companies systems.

So, why I think this applies to the interstate ban should be obvious, but in case not...

IF you sell even to a buyer in-state, and the salamander/newt crossed state lines in the process of shipping, as the package I described above, I bet it could technically be enforced. The courier just provides the service of transport and delivery, and would not bear responsibility because you shipped the merchandise. Again, I am not an attorney, nor am I trying to scare anyone. But the Lacey Act has very tough penalties available, so unless someone can confirm this interpretation is wrong, and why, I would urge great caution in shipping even "in-state" until there is more clarification after the comment period and final rule issued by USFWS.



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Old 9th March 2016   #2
Heather Jewett
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Default Re: PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

Quote:
Originally Posted by DartFrog180 View Post
Hi Folks:
My understanding of the shipping/logistics industry (a good friend is an exec in one such company and confirmed this) relies on complicated software to profitably get packages from point A to point B.
So does the USPS fall under the "shipping/logistics industry" and if so do they also use this method to ship? If memory serves, I don't think I have ever received a newt related package from a private individual that was not shipped via USPS (instead of UPS, FedEx, etc)... Anyway, interesting point.

HJ



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Old 9th March 2016   #3
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Default Re: PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

Although you're right about the process, I doubt it would lead to enforcement, much less prosecution. There's no demonstrable intent to cross a state line, even though it may occur incidentally/accidentally. As far as the buyer and seller know, it's a completely legal intrastate movement. Under other circumstances of accidental transport, USFWS has been unable to do anything [water moved intentionally between states, and injurious species being moved accidentally with it].



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Old 12th March 2016   #4
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Default Re: PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

As I said in my initial post, I am not positive of this interpretation, but as I also said, the potential penalties if there was a decision to enforce on this are severe enough that most people would probably not want to take the risk...your choice.

From the communities perspective, I also submit that we should discourage finding, claiming to find, and especially exploiting perceived loopholes. That just makes it look like we're already disregarding the rule rather than trying to work in ernest to try to improve it by addressing the parts that may not have been well conceived.



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Old 14th March 2018   #5
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Default Re: PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

Did anyone experience any repercussions due to these regulations?
Should I worry about this and contact some cargo company?
_______________________________________
Alexandra from Cargolution logistics



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Old 14th March 2018   #6
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Default Re: PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

The ban is over.



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Old 15th March 2018   #7
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Default Re: PLEASE READ: Risks of Intrastate Shipping of Banned Species

Rephrase - the ban is NOT over. The interstate movement portion of the ban was never legal, and the courts agreed and ruled a year ago that USFWS had no authority to ban interstate movements. It is [and always was] legal to ship within the USA, EXCEPT to Hawai'i, Puerto Rico, USVI, or DC. Ship within any state or territory, and ship between the 49 mainland states, but not into any territory, any island territory or state, into the 49 from anywhere else, or anywhere into the USA from another country.

It sounds complicated, though it's really not. There are 49 mainland states [DC is a territory and not legally a mainland state]. These are considered one unit under this law, and any shipping inside this unit is okay. Shipping between regions isn't okay, and most of the named regions are actually islands with respect to one another, and would be hard for invasives to move between on their own. Conversely, any invasive species already in CONUS can theoretically move on its own over any state line, making a ban on shipping somewhat pointless [and contrary to other laws and state and personal rights].

The import ban is also only for those 200+ identified species, allowing for the fact that there are errors and some species are banned without being listed by name.



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