Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs
I've been following along with the the Blue Galacs thread but have had nothing to contribute to it as I am not familiar with the various laws. But legal theory? That I feel like I can say something about.
I think there are two issues here and its useful to separate them for purposes of a discussion.
1) A law was/was not at some point broken
2) Ownership of smuggled frogs/frog progeny encourages/does not encourage future smuggling
I separate these two issues out because they are not necessarily true/believed/interpreted the same for everyone. Some folks will focus on the first issue and say the law was not broken in their minds or that the law was arbitrary or poorly created etc. Other people will focus on the second and say that whether the original frog arrived as a result of an illegal act, it does not change the fact its here now and producing tadpoles. That they are far enough removed from the original act as its taint does not apply to them. That they are not directly supporting the smuggler so again it doesn't matter etc.
There are many justifications but it all comes down to this. The people that own these frogs almost certainly do not consider themselves a bad person. They will (assuming they have knowledge of the origins) have a reason why its ok for them to own them.
I will say that I actually don't have a dog in this fight. My feelings on these frogs and the relevant laws are completely neutral. I have met a lot of people who end up being prosecuted for criminal acts that are actually rather nice folks. And also a lot of folks that are horrible human beings. The same can be said for people who have been acquitted and just folks I have met in my own life. Where the ownership of these frogs would fit into this diversity of people I have no idea. What laws involved, how they got there, and their effect on the world as a whole combined with the smuggling of these frogs and their introduction to the hobby... also no idea. I can't speak intelligently about that but I am sure that people who do own the frogs and have knowledge as to their origin will have a justification almost certainly relating to one or both of the issues I listed above.