Here is an amalgamation of the relevant text I could find regarding this subject so please bare with me...
Under Article VII: Exemptions and Other Special Provisions Relating to Trade (see here
) subsection 5, it says:
5. Where a Management Authority of the State of export is satisfied that any specimen of an animal species was bred in captivity or any specimen of a plant species was artificially propagated, or is a part of such an animal or plant or was derived therefrom, a certificate by that Management Authority to that effect shall be accepted in lieu of any of the permits or certificates required under the provisions of Article III, IV or V.
Article III, IV and V covers all regulations relating to the regulation of trade in specimens of species included in appendices I, II and III respectively. In the instance where a Management Authority of the State of export, Germany for example, certifies that the animal has been bred in captivity
(i.e. not smuggled from the wild and then re-exported to another country), Article VII would then supersede all other regulations included in Article III, IV and V.
The original founder animals may have been illegally smuggled from Brazil. But the offspring are then considered the property of the country they were propagated in. Animals brought in from Europe are not illegal unless they were born in Brazil. It would be like going up to a person of African descent and telling them to go back to Africa. They are going to tell you to f%$# off I was born in America.
A commonly referenced document (see here
) submitted to CITES by the IUCN says:
According to CITES rules, all descendants of illegal breeding stock are also illegal.
The document also says "The responsibility for the contents of the document rests exclusively with its author." It doesn't appear to be something officially published by CITES, just a document submitted to CITES by someone else, in this case a member of the IUCN. I personally cannot find any direct verbiage in the CITES rules that would indicate progeny of illegal specimens are also illegal. This might have been a mistake so I would take it with a grain of salt.
Another document published by the IUCN (see here
In other words, all captive-bred specimens, other than Appendix I specimens bred for commercial purposes, can be traded freely, with no permit requirements, provided a certificate that they were bred in captivity can be produced.
All members of CITES are obligated to the laws set forth by CITES. To confiscate animals and say they are a violation would be a big deal and would have consequences for both countries. I think it is pretty clear that these captive bred animals are not in violation with CITES. Previous posters apparently would agree. So lets move on to the Lacey Act because CITES allows its member countries to create even stricter measures.
This is the only relevant verbiage I could find under the Lacey act (see here
). Under § 3372. Prohibited acts it says:
It is unlawful for any person -
(2) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce -
(A) any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law;
Quite clearly, captive bred animals were not taken
in violation of any law. Their parents may have been, but they themselves have not been. They also have not been transported
in violation of any law because their European home country permits this. Brazil only regulates the act of taking
of its native flora and fauna. They cannot dictate whether or not someone can possess
an animal that logically might have had origins in their country but was not
directly taken from their country. So we can knock off the words "taken, possessed, transported, or sold".
The previous poster, Socratic Monologue, probably tried hitting the law with a technicality. They quoted a part of the definition list:
For the purposes of this chapter:
(a) The term "fish or wildlife" means any wild animal, whether alive or dead, including without limitation any wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, coelenterate, or other invertebrate, whether or not bred, hatched, or born in captivity, and includes any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof.
So yes, while "fish or wildlife" does include captive bred animals in the definition, the individual captive bred animals have not been "taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law". This is a part of the definition that obviously had to be included so that smart asses couldn't just do whatever with their animals because technically
they aren't wild. But since the captive bred animals have not been taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, they are perfectly legal.
I have provided direct links and quotes of the actual legal verbiage. I personally think its black and white unless I missed something. I am trying to learn here so please back up any arguments against my logic with actual legal verbiage. I hate to say it, but whether you guys like it or not, they may be perfectly legal. What else is left that would make them illegal?