Legal blue galacts? - Page 2 - Dendroboard
Dendroboard

Go Back   Dendroboard > Dart Frogs > Species > Adelphobates
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read Advertise


Support Our Sponsors
No Threads to Display.

facebook

Like Tree95Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2020, 04:57 PM
hypostatic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,469
Thanks: 124
Thanked 228 Times in 202 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Personally, my opinion is you should not keep anything that might get everything else confiscated (no matter how small the odds).
Not to mention the hefty fines that would accompany this.

And possible jail time.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #42 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2020, 05:05 PM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roscoe09 View Post
Thatís disappointing. I wish I had known about all this before I bought my galacts. I didnít know at the time all of them were illegal. Either way itís good to actually know what is going on with the blue galacts.
This is an understandable sentiment, and is the situation that many froggers find themselves in -- unknowingly bought animals that had some shadiness about them, feel bad about it, improve their own knowledge and move forward in a more responsible way.

No one here can say that about these new morphs getting laundered in, and that's why the accusations of hypocrisy toward "the hobby" are so childishly oversimplified and self-serving.
Scott likes this.
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #43 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2020, 07:17 PM
Kmc Kmc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 653
Thanks: 63
Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Human nature takes so much down.
Reply With Quote
 
  #44 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2020, 07:54 PM
Kmc Kmc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 653
Thanks: 63
Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Favorite colors are an undeveloped motive for involvement in what is best engaged as a citizen-scientific pursuit.

You caint always get, what you want.. If you feel that bad about it, as a grown up, check out Youtube sometime.

Those that complain the most about our "Animal Keeping Freedoms" are the most visually horrific examples of why we are in danger of not having them.

Please lets just reside in temperance, and cooperation. And grow up around candy attractions to colorful objects.

They are Alive - they arent Home Decor.
Ravage likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #45 (permalink)  
Old 06-23-2020, 04:25 AM
mpedersen's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Duluth, MN
Posts: 99
Thanks: 24
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Boy, if one apparent exception to a law invalidates that law every time, the world is gonna be a strange place...Ed has pointed out in the illegal frogs thread that USFWS treats plants and animals differently
1. The CITES rule that appears to do this covers both plants and animals.
2. I just happen to know of this USFWS example from firsthand experience at the time that it happened here in the US. The mechanism in place is, hypothetically available to any CITES signatory nation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
I hope that reasonable people will accept that not everything that USFWS does is in fact legal.
I don't believe that the USFWS get to make the decision to release a CITES Appendix 1 species to the worldwide trade without being able to legally do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
...such a case would look for all the world like an attempt to undermine endangered species protections, and who would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make such a confused point?).
1. Anyone with GOP leaning environmentally "who cares" type mentalities where the "ESA" and other laws "get in the way"?
2. PETA and PETA TYPE orgs?
3. Center for Biological Diversity and/or their allies? (they spent plenty of money trying to list the Percula Clownfish and Banggai Cardinalfish under the ESA...why wouldn't they devote money to other, similar things?)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
I hope that reasonable people will understand that exceptions are usually just, well, exceptions, and that nothing more hangs on them.
Except that what I'm proposing here is that all the "zoo-orignated frogs" that somehow entered "illegally" in the eyes of well-intentioned people may in fact be further further "examples" of the same legal mechanism.

I get the argument, you're trying to say that FWS commercialized Paphiopedilum vietnamense "illegally", and calling it an "exception" or "mistake", because it DOES poke holes in the realities around the Galacts and others.

I simply look at it the other way...it's a clear example of the US doing something that's set up in the CITES framework that, when another country does it, we call it "laundering" and whatnot. Simply put, there is discretion given to the management agencies that allow them to do what the US did with Paph. vietnamense, which wasn't legally harvested from Vietnam any more than Blue Galacts were harvested from Brazil.

Otherwise...why isn't Taron in jail, heavily fined, locked up, the frogs confiscated? Certainly, there were enough people who reported him. It would've been an easy high-profile enforcement win to lock him up. Unless they're playing the long game here (which would be entrapment in terms of allowing these frogs to be legally sold), I have to wonder if in fact, as much as you all really think it's unethical, the frogs may be here "legally".

FWS confiscates corals (also CITES appendix I) ALL THE TIME for infractions as simple as thinking the paperwork doesn't have the right name on it...e.g. it still may be entirely legal but the exporter makes a mistake and bam, kiss your corals goodbye "smuggler"? And yet watchful people report what appears to be a clear violation and they refuse to step in? I know this has to make a lot of people's blood boil, but logically, all the shouting it's illegal doesn't remove the multiple precedents.
Reply With Quote
  #46 (permalink)  
Old 06-23-2020, 05:01 PM
Kmc Kmc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 653
Thanks: 63
Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Admission here, to being politically inarticulate. But if these guys were a deep brown color, or olive green, this topic wouldnt even exist.

I have seen it with psittacines, far more heartbreakingly, because of flock bond mentality and consequential loneliness and serial relinquishment in human households. But it is also an active psychological impetus and Marketing Sequin in the herp "hobby".

I know I sound like an a*%*#*& sometimes and that it doesnt help. Im sorry.
Reply With Quote
  #47 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 06:53 AM
Tinc Tank's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ohio, US
Posts: 51
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Unhappy Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
This wouldn't surprise me. I've been seeing many of the "big names" cozying up with Taron -- he's even a vendor/sponsor for Frog Day. It would make sense that they are doing so to get access to frogs that have been out of reach to them. For what it's worth, I hear Taron is actually a pretty nice guy...
Someone needs to get him to join the conversation here. Maybe he can fully explain how his import worked. And I would hope, if everyone has as much respect for the hobby as they say they do, that we would all remain civil and courteous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmc View Post
Admission here, to being politically inarticulate. But if these guys were a deep brown color, or olive green, this topic wouldnt even exist.

I have seen it with psittacines, far more heartbreakingly, because of flock bond mentality and consequential loneliness and serial relinquishment in human households. But it is also an active psychological impetus and Marketing Sequin in the herp "hobby".

I know I sound like an a*%*#*& sometimes and that it doesnt help. Im sorry.
I would argue yes and no to your statement. To argue in agreeance with your statement, I find it fascinating that nobody is persecuting Josh's Frogs for selling Ceratophrys aurita, a species of Pacman frog endemic to Brazil. At the same time, as already mentioned, the French Guiana locales of the tincs, such as Oyapock and Matecho, would also be illegal. However, they are absolutely stunning but nobody argues legality or ethics over them. So my point is that it is not as simple as how beautiful they are. I really think this only became an issue due to a snowball effect and everyone following suit with the fad, perhaps indicative of a larger problem in society. At the core of the problem is the fickle and capricious nature of many people nowadays, which also contributes to the dangerous popularity cycles seen in the hobby. Perhaps due to human whimsy, many people seem to be possessed by the pursuit for the latest and greatest. Look at all the old froggers ditching tincs in favor of the large obligates. In several years time when the old tincs are on the brink in the hobby maybe people would care, but then it might be too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmc View Post
Human nature takes so much down.
Reply With Quote
  #48 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 03:39 PM
hypostatic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,469
Thanks: 124
Thanked 228 Times in 202 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
Paph. vietnamense, which wasn't legally harvested from Vietnam any more than Blue Galacts were harvested from Brazil.
This is the crux of the discussion in this thread. Those frogs directly come from people breaking local US law, and other countries' laws. No matter how anyone wants to justify or rationalize owning blue galacts, it doesn't change the fact that these frogs were illegally poached, and illegally smuggled from Brazil.

If you feel trophy hunting is bad, or that purchasing an elephant tusk is wrong, you should feel no different about these frogs. Purchasing these frogs DIRECTLY puts money into the hands of people who commit these illegal acts, and it further promotes illegal poaching and smuggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinc Tank View Post
Someone needs to get him to join the conversation here. Maybe he can fully explain how his import worked. And I would hope, if everyone has as much respect for the hobby as they say they do, that we would all remain civil and courteous.
I'm afraid the vast majority of the hobby isn't interested in participating in this conversation. They don't care about ethics or legality -- their concern is adding frogs to their collection, and profiting from selling frogs. As long as they see that there are no repercussions for what they're doing, "legality" is a moot point (see previous quote as an example)

Pat and Taron haven't been active on the Forum since 2016; they wouldn't waste their time with this discussion. If the conversation followed any sort of rational progression, it would be made clear that these frogs come from illegal origins. So, from their point of view, why bother?

And unfortunately, this is the direction the hobby is moving in. For example, Frog Day is supposed to be an event focusing on the "exchange of knowledge, and the promotion of captive breeding and husbandry" of frogs -- but recently they've added Taron, who is infamous for smuggling, to their committee. Most of the hobby has migrated over to facebook, where if you speak out against smuggling or illegal activities, the offender can simply block you from seeing their content, and the offender doesn't have to worry about dealing with anyone who disagrees with them.
Reply With Quote
  #49 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 05:11 PM
Dane's Avatar
Mod
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,518
Thanks: 153
Thanked 238 Times in 182 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
And unfortunately, this is the direction the hobby is moving in. For example, Frog Day is supposed to be an event focusing on the "exchange of knowledge, and the promotion of captive breeding and husbandry" of frogs -- but recently they've added Taron, who is infamous for smuggling, to their committee. Most of the hobby has migrated over to facebook, where if you speak out against smuggling or illegal activities, the offender can simply block you from seeing their content, and the offender doesn't have to worry about dealing with anyone who disagrees with them.
This has been discussed before. As I remember, Taron was barred from the West coast Frogday and Microcosm events for several years due to past and current transgressions. When Frog Day was moved to the East coast, other individuals took over the organizing/promoting duties, and that level of integrity went out the window. The phrase, "A man is known by the company he keeps", seems appropriate.
Scott likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #50 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 06:13 PM
Pumilo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 10,415
Thanks: 844
Thanked 1,852 Times in 1,350 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
This has been discussed before. As I remember, Taron was barred from the West coast Frogday and Microcosm events for several years due to past and current transgressions. When Frog Day was moved to the East coast, other individuals took over the organizing/promoting duties, and that level of integrity went out the window. The phrase, "A man is known by the company he keeps", seems appropriate.
That sucks. I always wanted to go to a Frogday, but never got the chance. Now I'll never get to attend one. To simply buy a ticket now, puts money in Taron's pocket.
Wow! Think about that. If you attend Frogday, which promotes captive breeding, you are actually supporting and funding the past, present, and yes, future smuggling efforts.
Scott likes this.
__________________
Doug aka Pumilo
The second "i" is silent. It's so silent it's not even there!
Reply With Quote
  #51 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 06:27 PM
hypostatic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,469
Thanks: 124
Thanked 228 Times in 202 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
When Frog Day was moved to the East coast, other individuals took over the organizing/promoting duties, and that level of integrity went out the window.
Oh, that's sad.

I know that in 2018 The Amphibian Foundation was involved with the event -- their main mission is conservation. I'm sure they would not want to be dealing with a known smuggler...

But yeah, regarding Coasts, if you look at most of the people who have been involved with Frog Day, 2016 is pretty much when everyone stopped being active on the forum...
Reply With Quote
  #52 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 06:51 PM
Scott's Avatar
Mod
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 8,578
Blog Entries: 6
Thanks: 108
Thanked 447 Times in 268 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

He's banned here, and for good reason.

Nothing to do with questionable imports. Just questionable frogs (that he was selling).

s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinc Tank View Post
Someone needs to get him to join the conversation here. Maybe he can fully explain how his import worked. And I would hope, if everyone has as much respect for the hobby as they say they do, that we would all remain civil and courteous.
__________________
Join the Southwest Frog Group FB Page!

Last edited by Scott; 06-24-2020 at 09:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #53 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 06:58 PM
Pumilo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 10,415
Thanks: 844
Thanked 1,852 Times in 1,350 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinc Tank View Post
Someone needs to get him (Taron) to join the conversation here. Maybe he can fully explain how his import worked. And I would hope, if everyone has as much respect for the hobby as they say they do, that we would all remain civil and courteous.
Pretty sure Taron has been banned from DendroBoard for life.
Besides that, I cannot help but object to that.
It is BECAUSE I respect and love the hobby this much, that I have zero respect for Taron. It is BECAUSE of my respect for the hobby, that I cannot promise to be civil or courteous to him.

Frankly, I don't care if he managed to find some obscure loophole allowing him to legally cross this border. He is still responsible for the theft of them from Brazil, and for smuggling them out of that country.
No matter what happens while crossing our border, he still admitted to removing them from Brazil. That can ONLY happen from their theft, and from smuggling them out of Brazil. It doesn't matter if he did it himself, or if he paid somebody to steal them and to smuggle them out. Either way, it falls on Taron's shoulders.
Taron is a big boy. He knew good and well, that there would be blowback from this. He did it anyway. He put his big boy pants on, and decided to continue with his ongoing smuggling efforts. He's just going to have to live with fact that many of us will never be civil or courteous to him. I shook his hand once before I knew who he was. You better believe that will never happen again.

I shook Taron's hand as he smiled, looked me in the eyes, and lied to me. I knew instantly to stay away from him. He tried to get me to buy whatever supplements he was pushing, by explaining to me that Allen Repashy bases all of his supplements in a powdered sugar carrier. He explained that Allen's dastardly plan was to get our frogs all hooked on sugar. That way, they won't eat flies dusted with any other supplement.
That, my friends, is one of the most outrageous statements I've ever heard in my decades in this hobby.
He actually challenged me to go home and taste my Repashy, and that I would find it very sweet. Maybe he figured I would just take his word for it?? Anybody else see me simply taking someones word for it? Yeah, that's not gonna happen.
It is not sweet.
There is no sugar in it. There is no dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and there is no sucrose.
There is no evil plan to get all our frogs addicted to Calcium Plus.
Allen Repashy is not actually Lex Luther in disguise.

I respect our hobby...but I refuse to respect Taron.
Scott, varanoid, Ravage and 1 others like this.
__________________
Doug aka Pumilo
The second "i" is silent. It's so silent it's not even there!
Reply With Quote
  #54 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 08:35 PM
Kmc Kmc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 653
Thanks: 63
Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

He %$&^*& with the wrong person. As crooked ppl usually do.

I love when that happens. Thanks, Pumilo.
Pumilo likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #55 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2020, 01:08 AM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinc Tank View Post
To argue in agreeance with your statement, I find it fascinating that nobody is persecuting Josh's Frogs for selling Ceratophrys aurita, a species of Pacman frog endemic to Brazil. At the same time, as already mentioned, the French Guiana locales of the tincs, such as Oyapock and Matecho, would also be illegal. However, they are absolutely stunning but nobody argues legality or ethics over them.
That last sentence isn't entirely accurate. It has been mentioned in this thread that some people simply don't purchase any animals with smuggled progenitors of the species/morph/locale in captivity. There are also many threads here on DB about various species/locale/morph import history.

Part of the lack of pushback over other illegal-origin animals is simple human limits. How many captive herps have smuggled origins (a little unfair of me to expand the group to all herps, but many of us spend our hobby time with reptiles as well, which are equally trafficked) ? A quarter of the species seems to me a conservative estimate -- and many new additional lines of previously legally-imported animals (there are even new lines of leopard geckos apparently smuggled recently, of all the species a person wouldn't suspect). There simply isn't time in a life to argue about all those animals.

Part of it is temporal proximity. Blue galacs were smuggled very recently, and the further in the past something has happened the less impact it has on people. Irrational? Perhaps. A practice shared by every single human who has ever lived? Yes. Ethical discounting of events that are temporally (or spatially, or socially) distant is a basic human feature.
fishingguy12345 and Apoplast like this.
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #56 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2020, 02:08 AM
Apoplast's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Twin Cities, MN, USA
Posts: 45
Thanks: 13
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

I've read this thread with great interest as a holder of both CITES and import permits, as well as having done paperwork for legal distribution of ESA material to hobbyists.

I do not wish to weigh in on the issue with the blue form Adelphobates galactonotus (despite the recent increase in the American cultural view that there can be no neutrality in any discussion). I take this stance often when I see a great deal of emotion on a topic, and firmly entrenched beliefs.

I would like to say that I believe the more general issue is at the very least... Complex. In working through the different legislation to obtain these permits, always in conjunction with the relevant agencies, I have found that they themselves are often unclear where the lines are drawn and which particular piece of legislation supersedes another in various cases. Maddeningly so at times for someone who is attempting to ensure everything is done to the complete letter of the law. Indeed the complexities are likely why legal scholars are unafraid decreased demand for their talents. I'm not clear if anyone here is a legal scholar in this arena. Neither am I. These are all simply my impressions from my experience.

Behind the curtain it is much more slipshod than might be presented. I know the person who was the outside advisor to FWS for approving or denying access to an entire group of listed plants. He is honest, concerned, and diligent. But it was clear that were he not, he could just as easily have been capricious in his decisions and that would have been accepted as well. There is also the issue of permitting versus enforcement, which is not necessarily handled by the same agency. Complex.

Additionally, I think that two terms/concepts have been confounded in this discussion. I would argue that illegal is not necessarily equivalent to immoral. I think this particular discussion has rightly become closer to the national discourse of late.

In this regard, Brazil makes for an interesting case. I read several defenses of Brazil's rights to their biota, or their ownership over it. I have a bit more of a nuanced view of this. Brazil has made it virtually impossible for any material to leave the country legally, yet they continue to act to imperil their biota with little actual protections granted for the same. This imperils their biota and virtually seals the doom for many species unless outside conservation is possible. In taking the stance they have, Brazil has tied the hands of many interested parties, including those of genuine conservation interest.* They have become so restrictive as to force people of all interests to ignore their laws. This has been even been the case for colleagues of mine, who are nationals, doing research in country. Indeed, they were advised to ignore the laws by the relevant agency in country.

Mexico has done this with their cacti. After a specific date Mexico considers all new endemic cacti species in cultivation to be illegal. This fuels illegal collection. Which means conservation groups can't work with interested growers. Despite this, it is no overstatement to say these species are absolutely everywhere. I realize plants are a bit of a different case in terms of ease and speed of propagation when compared with dart frogs as far as their ability to satiate a demand. Still, I worry the motivation behind this type of legislation is profit driven (I have other stories about other nations as to why that might be the case) and not for the good of the species. Illegal to remove from imperiled habitat. Immoral to willingly let go extinct.

*Just so we are clear, I am in no way shape or form arguing that hobbyists are typically engaged in conservation in any biologically meaningful sense. Yes, there are cases where it has been true that species have been saved by cultivated material from hobbyists, but those are desperate situations I hope we can all agree are best avoided long before it comes to that.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Apoplast For This Useful Post:
Socratic Monologue (06-25-2020)
  #57 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2020, 04:25 AM
mpedersen's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Duluth, MN
Posts: 99
Thanks: 24
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
This is the crux of the discussion in this thread. Those frogs directly come from people breaking local US law, and other countries' laws. No matter how anyone wants to justify or rationalize owning blue galacts, it doesn't change the fact that these frogs were illegally poached, and illegally smuggled from Brazil.
But now you've changed the argument, and in this regard, I don't disagree with you. If the frogs were harvested in the wild, then taken to a European country, and then just redirected to the US in a second change of hands, that would 100% be illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
Purchasing these frogs DIRECTLY puts money into the hands of people who commit these illegal acts, and it further promotes illegal poaching and smuggling.
Uncontested if the chain of custody is as I described it, paraphrasing from above.

However...if Brazil to Europe, wound up at a zoo, bred, offspring distributed with government sanction, CITES paperwork to the US...that's not the same thing, and as I have repeatedly posted, from the CITES framework, that's legit. The community here doesn't "like it", thinks it's unethical and/or immoral, claims it's "illegal" but in fact, is not. That IS how Paph. vietnamense made it into the trade, and the mechanism for that is the same for plants and animals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
Pat and Taron haven't been active on the Forum since 2016;.
Well, even I quickly came to learn that Taron was banned here. I asked him about that, and he was very up front..."I made some mistakes when I was younger"...that was the straight-up answer to me (with much more behind it..but that's the gist).

I'm not here to DEFEND Taron...you guys can all form your own opinions and have your own interactions. But I will continue to be interested in this "complex issue" and I don't shy away from asking questions or taking an unpopular stance if the facts support it.

No one bothered to address my "why isn't Taron in jail and all the frogs seized" claim...and I maintain that is very telling considered how vocal many people here claim to have been to the USFWS. Maybe at some point I'll just have to reach out to the USFWS...but that's an idea for another day.

I also know that getting straight answers out of government officials is VERY difficult. E.g. nearly two decades ago, inquiring about a sporting goods excise tax question with THE GUY at the IRS who manages it...I got a response like "it's not our policy to comment on a scenario which would circumvent the tax."

In other words, I had no tax liability in the particular scenario, but he couldn't actually just come out and say that
Reply With Quote
  #58 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2020, 02:32 PM
Scott's Avatar
Mod
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 8,578
Blog Entries: 6
Thanks: 108
Thanked 447 Times in 268 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

When he was younger (17 or 18).

Ten years later (flipping frogs he knew were not healthy).

And now.

He's consistent.

Bored? Google his name. Heck look at his own requested feedback here on DB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
... Well, even I quickly came to learn that Taron was banned here. I asked him about that, and he was very up front..."I made some mistakes when I was younger"...that was the straight-up answer to me (with much more behind it..but that's the gist).
__________________
Join the Southwest Frog Group FB Page!

Last edited by Scott; 06-25-2020 at 04:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Scott For This Useful Post:
mpedersen (06-26-2020)
  #59 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2020, 09:52 PM
hypostatic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,469
Thanks: 124
Thanked 228 Times in 202 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
No one bothered to address my "why isn't Taron in jail and all the frogs seized" claim...and I maintain that is very telling considered how vocal many people here claim to have been to the USFWS. Maybe at some point I'll just have to reach out to the USFWS...but that's an idea for another day.
Except for murder, assault, and violent crimes, the vast majority of the crimes in the USA go unpunished (source). I'm sure you can think about many times where people have broken laws without paying the consequences (think about speeding).

As you've alluded to, "why" is a question for gov't officials, and it can be impossible to get straight answers from them sometimes. I'm sure you've seen in other animal hobbies as well, that not everyone is punished for doing something that beaks a law. I'm sure USFWS reserves most of its energies for 'tiger kings' and other more visible hobbies. Relatively speaking, frogs are a tiny portion of their concerns.

That said, it's ridiculous to assume that BECAUSE they aren't being punished, everything they are doing is legal.

Which brings me back to the original point: there frogs were illegally smuggled and trafficked.
Reply With Quote
  #60 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2020, 11:21 PM
Boondoggle's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Vacaville, California
Posts: 1,696
Thanks: 197
Thanked 216 Times in 133 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
When he was younger (17 or 18).

Ten years later (flipping frogs he knew were not healthy).

And now.

He's consistent.

Bored? Google his name. Heck look at his own requested feedback here on DB.
I was curious if I'd recorded my Taron experience there so I had a gander. I didn't run across it but Oh My God it was like going back in a time machine. So many familiar names and memories.
__________________
- Jeremy
Frogs have it easy, they can eat what bugs them.
Reply With Quote
  #61 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 04:24 AM
mpedersen's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Duluth, MN
Posts: 99
Thanks: 24
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
I'm sure you can think about many times where people have broken laws without paying the consequences (think about speeding).
Comparing smuggling CITES-listed wildlife to speeding tickets is an outlandish and wholly inappropriate analogy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
I'm sure USFWS reserves most of its energies for 'tiger kings' and other more visible hobbies. Relatively speaking, frogs are a tiny portion of their concerns.
Naw, I think they tend to take CITES violations pretty seriously, especially when they are high profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
That said, it's ridiculous to assume that BECAUSE they aren't being punished, everything they are doing is legal.
I've never discounted the idea that there could be ongoing litigation or surveillance or cooperation with law enforcement to catch "bigger fish"...but I think with the length of time, and the fact that these animals are being openly distributed to the general public, and that people were vocal about it the moment it happened TO FWS, you're painting a pretty grim picture of the FWS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
Which brings me back to the original point: there frogs were illegally smuggled and trafficked.
What *proof* do you have of that? Have you examined the CITES documents firsthand? Have you traced these frogs back to the exporting country, talked to those CITES authorities in that country, investigated where these animals originated from in that country?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Realities on the ground, past examples, and the CITES rules all contradict the claims on which this is being framed as "illegal".

I'm not saying it isn't illegal. I'm not saying Taron did not smuggle or launder these frogs in. I'm saying I don't have enough evidence to get on that bandwagon, and what I've looked into suggests to the contrary.

So at the moment, it's kinda like Trump throwing around the word "treason" 24/7. Believing it doesn't make it true. Repeating it doesn't make it true.

At the end of the day, to convince me, you're going to have to come up with more compelling evidence than trying to simply hang the claim on the generalized notion that ALL these animals are here "illegally" top to bottom due to the Lacey Act. That has been disproven, in my mind, as simply not an airtight slam dunk case closed type reality for the many reasons I've already cited.
Reply With Quote
  #62 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 05:12 AM
Pumilo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 10,415
Thanks: 844
Thanked 1,852 Times in 1,350 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Some of us don't give a crap about convincing you. Some of us are just taking names.
__________________
Doug aka Pumilo
The second "i" is silent. It's so silent it's not even there!
Reply With Quote
  #63 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 11:59 AM
kblack3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 344
Thanks: 26
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post

So at the moment, it's kinda like Trump throwing around the word "treason" 24/7. Believing it doesn't make it true. Repeating it doesn't make it true.

.
Or the media throwing around white privilege, racism, or face masks. Believing it doesnít make it true. Repeating it doesnít make it true.

Political Scales Balanced YW

Donít profit from other peopleís theft (opinion stated not that it matters) I will gracefully exit

Round 12

Ding ding ding


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
American Dad Living the American Dream
Reply With Quote
  #64 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 01:22 PM
Encyclia's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 2,343
Thanks: 168
Thanked 274 Times in 257 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
At the end of the day, to convince me, you're going to have to come up with more compelling evidence than trying to simply hang the claim on the generalized notion that ALL these animals are here "illegally" top to bottom due to the Lacey Act. That has been disproven, in my mind, as simply not an airtight slam dunk case closed type reality for the many reasons I've already cited.
You are mistaking legality with enforcement. It couldn't be more clear to me from the work done by numerous people in this thread that blue galactonotus were illegally brought out of Brazil and to this country. The laws quoted by others are more than enough evidence for me. You are trying to say that because the law has not been enforced in a small number of cases (and my gosh, you are expecting a SINGLE example of a particular orchid species to carry A LOT of water), that this means that these frogs are not illegal. You are confusing inaction by enforcing agencies with the truth of the law. This is faulty logic, in my opinion. There are numerous reasons why USWS and any other agency with jurisdiction might be choosing not to act. Lack of enforcement is not the seal of approval that you think it is. The really important difference between what you seem to think and reality is that there is absolutely nothing that prevents these enforcement agencies from suddenly enforcing the law as it already is on the books. Then, it would suddenly become apparent how flawed your argument really is.

Beyond all of that, some people are just more comfortable hiding behind the letter of the law. To me, all of your hand waving about whether or not a frog is legal by the strictest definition of the law is irrelevant. Bringing those frogs out of Brazil was just wrong. I think you know that and that all of this bluster is just a smoke screen, or maybe you have drunk your own Koolaid. Regardless, I think it's wrong to continue to bring frogs into the hobby that are not here through legitimate means. The logical gyrations you are having to resort to in order to justify the frogs' presence here makes that fact more evident to me than ever. You have to do what you think is right, but for other folks reading this thread, just do the right thing and feel good about it. If you buy these frogs, you are on shaky ethical ground at best, if not on the wrong side of the law.

Mark
Socratic Monologue likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #65 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 07:21 PM
hypostatic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,469
Thanks: 124
Thanked 228 Times in 202 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
Comparing smuggling CITES-listed wildlife to speeding tickets is an outlandish and wholly inappropriate analogy.
How is this outlandish? Smuggling breaks international laws, and results in wildlife death. In the USA alone, speeding results in about 10,000 human deaths every year (source). Both of these crimes have harmful consequences; both are also not taken seriously by many people...


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
Quote:
the frogs were illegally smuggled and trafficked.
What *proof* do you have of that?
I would like to direct you to Brazilian law Nļ 9605, known as the "Environmental Crimes Law" (source). Chapter V, Section I, Art. 29 clearly states the following:
  • It is illegal to "kill, pursue, hunt, catch, use species of the wildlife animals" without proper licenses.

Brazil only allows the the collection of native flora and fauna for important reasons such as scientific study, and conservation efforts. Brazil does not allow capture/ownership/trade/export of endemic flora and fauna for personal collections.

FURTHERMORE, for anyone interested in the CITES aspect, you can actually search the CITES trade database yourself. If you search the last 20 years, you'll find that no galactonotus (alive, or in parts) has ever left Brazil for anything other than scientific study (source). No frogs have been exported for any other use, including commercial, educational, or zoological purposes. This happens to fall exactly in line with what we have been saying: these animals were illegally smuggled out of Brazil.

You can go further with CITES also. The main poison dart frog smugglers are usually from Germany, Denmark, or the Netherlands. So it is unsurprising that you'll see first evidence of the blue galactonotus appearing in Germany in the early 2010s (source). Any LEGAL trade of the species would be documented by CITES. If you search trade in/out of those countries and the USA, you'll notice that both Germany and S. American countries are conspicuously absent from this list (source). In fact, Germany has no CITES record of ANY galactonotus trade, ever (local laws must not care about the Convention).

CITES documentation shows:
1- No legal galactonotus exports from Brazil have occurred for any commercial reasons.
2- No legal galactonotus imports from South America into Europe have occurred in the last 20 years.
3- No legal trade in galactonotus has ever occurred in Germany.

There's a nice CITES trail of paperwork that shows that there is NOTHING legal about these animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
The "extraordinary claim" here isn't that animals were illegally smuggled, since this is extremely commonplace worldwide. What IS out of the ordinary, is for someone to claim that they've managed to export one of Brazil's endemic protected species legally, without providing any Brazilian legal documents proving this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
At the end of the day, to convince me
If someone has made up their minds about any subject, no amount of words or "evidence" is going to convince them otherwise.

For anyone who actually cares about any type of "evidence", I usually try to back up what I say with sources. I've linked directly to primary legal documents, trade databases, studies, etc. These sources should be helpful if anyone wants to learn more about the subject.
Scott, Encyclia, bssknox and 1 others like this.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to hypostatic For This Useful Post:
fishingguy12345 (06-26-2020), Socratic Monologue (06-26-2020)
  #66 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 07:21 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 60
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I've been following this post with interest. So, as someone who works at an AZA zoo I looked up galacs in the database to see who has them in the US. There are quite a few zoo who have them. Unfortunately, as far as some paperwork goes, zoos don't really distinguish between the morphs, so I wasn't able to tell who has what exactly.

Does anyone 100% know that US zoos never traded with any Brazil zoos to get galacs? Even if it's illegal to take wildlife from Brazil's borders, most countries legislation provides exceptions for accredited zoos. With some more digging I may be able to figure out where some came from, but I'm not sure.

If they did receive them from Brazil legally, then released some offspring to the hubby here, that could mean that not ALL galacs are illegal. But again, I'm not sure who was what morphs, or even if any have the blues.
Ravage likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #67 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 07:34 PM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
If they did receive them from Brazil legally, then released some offspring to the hubby here, that could mean that not ALL galacs are illegal.
As hypostatic implies above, export permits to zoos and research institutions do not allow for any commercial trade to follow from the exported specimens. What would need to be shown for galacs to be legal under Lacey is a commercial export permit, which there have been none to date.
Ravage likes this.
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman

Last edited by Socratic Monologue; 06-26-2020 at 07:36 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #68 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 07:45 PM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
Brazil only allows the the collection of native flora and fauna for important reasons such as scientific study, and conservation efforts. Brazil does not allow capture/ownership/trade/export of endemic flora and fauna for personal collections.

FURTHERMORE, for anyone interested in the CITES aspect, you can actually search the CITES trade database yourself. If you search the last 20 years, you'll find that no galactonotus (alive, or in parts) has ever left Brazil for anything other than scientific study (source). No frogs have been exported for any other use, including commercial, educational, or zoological purposes. This happens to fall exactly in line with what we have been saying: these animals were illegally smuggled out of Brazil.

Some useful info on the 'purpose codes' in the linked Cites export document above:

[quote]
Purpose-of-transaction code

A letter used on CITES permits and certificates to indicate the purpose of trade in the specimen covered therein, as follows:

T Commercial
Z Zoo
G Botanical garden
Q Circus or travelling exhibition
S Scientific
H Hunting trophy
P Personal
M Medical (including biomedical research)
E Educational
N Reintroduction or introduction into the wild
B Breeding in captivity or artificial propagation
L Law enforcement / judicial / forensic
[end quote]

From https://cites.org/eng/resources/terms/glossary.php
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #69 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2020, 08:15 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 60
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post

As hypostatic implies above, export permits to zoos and research institutions do not allow for any commercial trade to follow from the exported specimens. What would need to be shown for galacs to be legal under Lacey is a commercial export permit, which there have been none to date.
On the rare occasion an AZA zoo let's one of its animals go to a non zoo person, aza regs stipulate that they can not charge for said animal. So if a zoo did let some into the hobby, it would not have been for commercial gain. Most likely would have been a keeper or a friend of someone's. Yes, at some point someone did decide to start charging for them, but it would not have been the zoo. Once animals transfer from the realm of imported and hobbiests, usfws is no longer involved. USDA regulates the animals at zoos and other exhibitors. I wonder what kind of bearing that has.
mpedersen, Ravage and Apoplast like this.
Reply With Quote
  #70 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2020, 12:08 AM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
Once animals transfer from the realm of imported and hobbiests, usfws is no longer involved. USDA regulates the animals at zoos and other exhibitors.
USFWS enforces Lacey, the ESA, and CITES. Presumably these are relevant at zoos and research institutions?

Edit to add: though apparently uncommon, here's a case of USFWS investigating care at an AZA zoo:

https://www.chronicleonline.com/news...148125243.html

As to your larger point: this would have had to start with the institution in Australia that imported the only 22 legal live frogs, in 2014, and the export from Australia would have to be permitted. This would have had to happen between accredited institutions, since Australian law prohibits possession of Dendrobatids. So again, no, that apparently didn't happen.
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman

Last edited by Socratic Monologue; 06-27-2020 at 12:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #71 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2020, 01:56 AM
xdfireguy's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: SE Penna.
Posts: 20
Thanks: 6
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

I must say that, although a few collars got warm, this entire discussion has been greatly enlightening. Thank you all for contributing! As someone who has an amateur interest in both the law and our four-legged friends, this has given me much to explore.
I come from the reef-tank community and waaaay back was drawn into herps by the San Diego Herpetological Society. I have always been a proponent of housing only CB species and yet this thread has made me really think about their origins further. Truly a moral and ethical issue that we can each individually take a stance on. Legally? I'll leave that for the experts, but I won't be supporting the trade of any questionable species. There are plenty of beautiful creatures out there that don't have such a dubious background.
Reply With Quote
  #72 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2020, 04:07 AM
Nick_'s Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vacaville Ca
Posts: 293
Thanks: 12
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Personally, my opinion is you should not keep anything that might get everything else confiscated (no matter how small the odds).

That is just common sense.

But many of us would take it a step further and say that ethically, we're not going to keep anything that the "host" country has said has never left their country legally.

s
Serious question here, as I have watched the invertebrate hobby arise from the very "issue" addressed by the op.

Was the major portion of this hobby not formed this way? I am in no way in favor of non approved exports....but reading the people above passionately quoting small excerpts from DWFG is making it obvious at how little people know about wildlife export in South America.

As far as I know originally and to this day alot of the exports from countries similar to Brazil were done under the guise of "shakras" (spelling?) in which natives where allowed to collect and transfer wildlife to other areas to be exported from acceptable countries. This being for all animals, not specifically frogs but they certainly were as well from what I heard.

For instance basically the entire centipede hobby and many of the tarantulas "legally" brought into the US bypassed DWFG full on in many ways.

Why has no one simply CB the PBBF (poor blue bastard frogs) for a couple in another country and then legally imported them just like most other current hobbies?
mpedersen, Ravage and Tijl like this.
__________________
Nick
Reply With Quote
  #73 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2020, 04:40 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 60
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post

USFWS enforces Lacey, the ESA, and CITES. Presumably these are relevant at zoos and research institutions?
Once animals are considered captive and part of a collection with an exhibitors license, cites only really applies if you are trying to import/ship them out of the country, in practice Lacey only applies if they are an endangered species and you are trying to sell them across state lines. USFWS has almost 0 to do with zoos outside of travel/import permits, and that's only if you are going between states and selling and they are a protected species. It's all USDA regs once they are considered a captive animal with an exhibitors license.

If a zoo acquired galacs from a private collection who had individuals that were of the questionable legality you speak of, having them there as part of a usda permitted facility would almost give them a another layer of "legitimacy" even further pushing away from USFWS.

Also, fyi, I'm not taking a position on any of this. Just very curious and interested considering AZA zoos DO have some kind of galacs, I'm guessing reds, in their collections. Myself working at an AZA facility, this is important to me. Having offspring of smuggled animals is not something they would want to have anything to do with, it's literally what they actively try educate the public about. I also wonder if any were from confiscations now that I think of it. We have a few black breasted leaf turtles and a bunch of chinese big head turtles that were all given to us by USFWS that were confiscated. It's pretty common for confiscated animals to wind up at zoos.
mpedersen, Ravage, Tijl and 1 others like this.

Last edited by Drthsideous; 06-27-2020 at 04:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #74 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2020, 08:23 AM
mpedersen's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Duluth, MN
Posts: 99
Thanks: 24
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
On the rare occasion an AZA zoo let's one of its animals go to a non zoo person, aza regs stipulate that they can not charge for said animal. So if a zoo did let some into the hobby, it would not have been for commercial gain. Most likely would have been a keeper or a friend of someone's. Yes, at some point someone did decide to start charging for them, but it would not have been the zoo. Once animals transfer from the realm of imported and hobbiests, usfws is no longer involved. USDA regulates the animals at zoos and other exhibitors. I wonder what kind of bearing that has.
AZA membership and compliance is voluntary and has no bearing on the discussion per se, but I certainly understand why you'd bring it up here. I've had some AZA dealings and it's very rigorous...and I'll leave my personal disclosures at that.

It would be interesting to know if the European "zoo" or "zoos" involved in this particular morph is an AZA-accredited facility or not. You certainly don't have to be an AZA member however to run a zoo, get government sanction to do whatever it is you do...so...

I know some really excellent facilities here in the US who've chosen to NOT be AZA Accredited. One of the benefits is that they don't have all those AZA-related restrictions...they only have the letter of the law to comply with. Those types of facilities have much greater latitude in what they do with their collections, including how they interact with commercial interests and the pet trade.

One other interesting tidbit that I will share...zoos and aquariums routinely utilize the pet trade to source livestock; when a specimen or its progeny originated from the pet trade (and thus would be hypothetically also readily available to private individuals), the barrier of release back to private hands is very different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
...my gosh, you are expecting a SINGLE example of a particular orchid species to carry A LOT of water), that this means that these frogs are not illegal. You are confusing inaction by enforcing agencies with the truth of the law. This is faulty logic, in my opinion. There are numerous reasons why USWS and any other agency with jurisdiction might be choosing not to act. Lack of enforcement is not the seal of approval that you think it is.
A "single example"? Actually, I'm looking directly AT many actions by enforcing agenecies as proof to the contrary!

First, FWS seizes smuggled, illegal orchids.

Then, FWS ultimately orchestrates the high profile release of a charismatic and coveted CITES APPENDIX I plant species originating from seized smuggled plants by the USWFS to the public in the US.

Then, subsequently, repeatedly, the FWS sanctions the export of this species over multiple years, multiple instances, to other countries, with proper CITES paperwork, all documented in CITES.

All this at the hands of the USFWS? Is there some conspiracy at play here that the USFWS is willfully flouting international law to suit some sinister purpose to distribute this one species far and wide?

This isn't just a "single example of a particular orchid species". In my opinion, it's a poster child and easily-researched case study for our own government and institutions doing the exact thing here, in the US, that this community decries and holds in contempt when modern European countries do it.

It appears to be 100% "legit" per the rules of CITES. As such, being legal, these plants CANNOT violate the Lacey Act.

In order to say that CB frogs from Europe, whose ancestors may have been smuggled, are illegal to own here in the US despite proper and authorized CITES paperwork, then all those Paph. vietnamense around the world ALSO must be illegal to own at home and abroad.

It's starting to seem a bit hypocritical, and willfully ignoring evidence that's right in front of all of us.

Simply put, the case of Paph. vietnamense is too big, too broad, and too high profile, too ongoing, to simply be a "f-up" on the part of the USFWS.

Are we really going to say that the USFWS is complicit in the ongoing laundering of a CITES APPENDIX I species on a global scale?

The arguments just fall apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Beyond all of that, some people are just more comfortable hiding behind the letter of the law. To me, all of your hand waving about whether or not a frog is legal by the strictest definition of the law is irrelevant.
It is relevant when you start accusing people of doing things that are "illegal". Not making a personal stance or opinion, just logically thinking this through.

If it is "legal" in the "strictest definition of the law", then it's legal. Case closed. You don't get to still say people are smuggling or breaking the law...if/when they're not.

I'm of course very curious, and willing to keep an open mind and consider the evidence before me. So far, the more I've dug around, the more it's driven me to an unpopular conclusion, but I don't really care about my conclusion being popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Bringing those frogs out of Brazil was just wrong. I think you know that and that all of this bluster is just a smoke screen, or maybe you have drunk your own Koolaid.
Bringing Paphiopedilum vietnamense out of Viet Nam was wrong and illegal, but here we are today. I had no qualms buying them when they were released to the trade with USFWS sanction. No smokescreen or Koolaid there. And some 15+ years later, if I wanted to purchase the species of orchid again, I would not feel conflicted in the slightest.

No, I think the real smokescreen is hanging condemnation on all of this via the Lacey Act, while ignoring the CITES-related aspects of the situation. I think that's really more of a smokescreen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Regardless, I think it's wrong to continue to bring frogs into the hobby that are not here through legitimate means.
Condemn the smuggling, the original sin. Absolutely. It is a crime and the smugglers absolutely should be punished for their crimes.

But what happens thereafter? Do we send the frogs back to Brazil? Do we kill the frogs?

You say the frogs are not here "through legitimate means"...but then you must also condemn the USFWS for what they did with Paph vietnamense as "illegitimate". Every CITES export permit they've granted for the species must also be "illegitimate".

Generally speaking, seized organisms are given to approved facilities where they try to keep them alive and hold them while awaiting the fate of the organisms. And that's up to the receiving country to decide. So what happens from there?

We know very clearly what happened with Paph. vietnamense in the US. And what happened with that orchid was 100% "legitimate" to the best of my knowledge. If you think that purchasing and owning that species of orchid supports the original sin...then hold that opinion and don't buy that orchid. But you don't get to claim that the people who are now trading in that orchid are violating the Lacey Act or that all the orchids are "illegal". They're just not.

To see people making similar accusations here is simply troubling when I view it framed against the orchid reality. It's more that you "want" it to be illegal so you're just going to repeatedly say that it IS illegal.

Don't buy the frogs if you don't want them. It's fine to take a moral or ethical stance and to say that maybe the "laws" that may actually allow these frogs to be here are "wrong". And if you believe that the laws that permit this are bad or wrong, then it's up to you to devote as much or as little time as you want to change the law. But you don't get to claim that people who are following the letter of the current law are somehow "breaking it."

All of these arguments hanging on the Lacey Act's implications making these frogs illegal disregard the CITES side of the argument. You're simply not seeing the whole picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
The logical gyrations you are having to resort to in order to justify the frogs' presence here makes that fact more evident to me than ever. You have to do what you think is right, but for other folks reading this thread, just do the right thing and feel good about it. If you buy these frogs, you are on shaky ethical ground at best, if not on the wrong side of the law.

Mark
I think the laws are absolutely in conflict. I also think many of these laws are outdated and require modernization (ESA, CITES, LACEY and probably others). For example, I think it's insane that the entire world can somehow find a way to have a legitmate, above-board trade in Sclerophages formosa, yet people in the US can't participate in that hobby/trade due to what I'd consider an overreach and antiquated aspect of the ESA.

I think in order to understand what's going on, it IS a rather complex logical examination. Having recently reexamined the rules and what's occurred past and present, whether the Blue Galacts are here legally or not most likely hinges on whether they were captive-bred or not, and whether the exporting country really did their homework before approving the exports to the US. And you also have to remember, the US had to approve the CITES import permits too...so did TWO governments in modern countries really BOTH screw up here???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_ View Post
Why has no one simply CB the PBBF (poor blue bastard frogs) for a couple in another country and then legally imported them just like most other current hobbies?
This is exactly what is purported to have happened here with these frogs. Some people believe they are still illegal. My research, and other high profile examples, tell me otherwise.

But as I wrote above, I think it all hinges on whether the animals were wild being laundered as CB, or were legitimately CB. In this case, it is another country's responsibility to determine whether the claim of CB is authentic or not. Their CITES authority sanctioned the export.

Obviously, other people's arguments effectively say there is NOTHING that can overrule the Lacey Act. Their arguments require that nothing in CITES permits for captive-bred frogs, descended from illegally-harvested animals to *become* legally available.

In my opinion that is demonstrably false, and the clearest example that I know of is the program that released Paph. vietnamense. USFWS didn't have to make P. vietnamense legal...they CHOSE to, and they had a legal framework in CITES under which they could do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
I would like to direct you to Brazilian law Nļ 9605, known as the "Environmental Crimes Law" (source). Chapter V, Section I, Art. 29 clearly states the following:
  • It is illegal to "kill, pursue, hunt, catch, use species of the wildlife animals" without proper licenses.
Brazil only allows the the collection of native flora and fauna for important reasons such as scientific study, and conservation efforts. Brazil does not allow capture/ownership/trade/export of endemic flora and fauna for personal collections.[
THIS INTERPRETATION IS JUST FLAT OUT WRONG.

If it was remotely true, then projects like Project Piaba couldn't and wouldn't exist. Brazil's aquarium fish trade could not exist. Brazil couldn't have just revised its export laws to transition from a whitelist to a blacklist scenario in the last 2 months.

Fish are certainly part of "Flora and Fauna". I wonder how many CITES Appendix I orchids have been exported from Brazil...22 exports of ENDEMIC Phragmipedium alone in just the last 10 years, and every single one flagged as commercial trade.

This statement has more holes than a slice of Swiss...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
FURTHERMORE, for anyone interested in the CITES aspect, you can actually search the CITES trade database yourself. If you search the last 20 years, you'll find that no galactonotus (alive, or in parts) has ever left Brazil for anything other than scientific study....CITES documentation shows:
1- No legal galactonotus exports from Brazil have occurred for any commercial reasons.
2- No legal galactonotus imports from South America into Europe have occurred in the last 20 years.
3- No legal trade in galactonotus has ever occurred in Germany.

There's a nice CITES trail of paperwork that shows that there is NOTHING legal about these animals.
Unfortunately for your argument, even if every one of those statements is airtightly true, none of those 3 scenarios matter as it pertains to the CITES mechanism by which these frogs (or any number of other organisms) *can* be made legally available.

You can also search for Viet Nam's history for Paph. vietnamense and find no legal export for trade for that species from that country (only the 1999 seizure by USFWS), and yet the species is legally present in the trade now at the very hands of USFWS. There are numerous examples of approved exports from the US by the USFWS if you go search that.

So wait...how can this be?

Why is the USFWS approving exports of this species all over the planet if it's supposedly "illegal" and was never "legally" exported from its country of origin?

Yes, I hang my hat on that because it is ongoing and fundamental proof that the argument being put forth over these frogs being ILLEGAL is simply invalid.

Immoral? Unethical? Wrong? I'm not disputing any of those opinions, and you have every right to hold them.

Defending Taron and those who own these frogs? No. Just pointing out the facts that claiming this is "illegal" appears to be untrue, as evidenced by the mechanism in CITES that created the pathway for legal distribution of Paph. vietnamense, but also, as far as I can ascertain, these frogs.

If you want to continue to make the case that all the Blue Galacts are here illegally, here's what I think you're up against.

1. You have to prove that the frogs that arrived here were not captive-bred (aka. they were wild frogs all along, which is a CLEAR violation of several laws, not just the Lacey Act). I do not dispute this for a moment. If someone has clear evidence that the frogs that arrived in the US were wild, all the claims around these frogs being illegal are 100% valid. No one should buy them, people should face consequences.

2. Or you have to prove that the exporting country didn't properly certify these animals as CB in a manner that is compliant with CITES or their country's internal laws. In other words, you could invalidate the export permits if they were filed with misinformation/fraud. But that's a problem/mistake over in Europe. If you can prove this, if you can invalidate the export permit, then even if these frogs were CB, you could make the case that they are here illegally. Of course, stupid "paperwork" mistakes are often the case for organism seizures anyway...even if the animals/plants would otherwise be LEGALLY here. Put the wrong name on the paperwork, even if it's allowable, it will still get seized. So really, you'd have to say that someone lied in Europe...really more circling back to #1.

If you can't prove either of those scenarios, then you don't have a case.

And, to be sure, repeatedly claiming someone is doing something "illegal" when in fact they likely aren't, does tend to the side of libelous behavior. You of course are free to type whatever you want...I doubt folks like Taron are even going to devote the time to pursue a libel suit against someone on the Internet. The opening lawyer fees are 10K the last time I looked into it.

I'm just more concerned with the truth, even if it's unpopular.

But since so many here are willing to throw around opinions, let me just change the tone of the arguments with these two hypothetical questions:

1. What if the "Lacey Act" didn't exist?

2. What if the USFWS came out and said, "These frogs are here legally."?
Tijl likes this.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to mpedersen For This Useful Post:
IceSyDesigns (06-27-2020)
  #75 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2020, 02:44 PM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpedersen View Post
I think in order to understand what's going on, it IS a rather complex logical examination. Having recently reexamined the rules and what's occurred past and present, whether the Blue Galacts are here legally or not most likely hinges on whether they were captive-bred or not, and whether the exporting country really did their homework before approving the exports to the US. And you also have to remember, the US had to approve the CITES import permits too...so did TWO governments in modern countries really BOTH screw up here???
Uhh...there aren't any CITES export permits on file for galacs, as hypostatic cited above. Galacs are Appendix II, so no import permits are required.

https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/ad...ml#post3098798

Ignoring plain and simple facts sure makes arguments much easier to formulate, I'll grant that.
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman

Last edited by Socratic Monologue; 06-27-2020 at 03:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #76 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2020, 12:29 AM
Apoplast's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Twin Cities, MN, USA
Posts: 45
Thanks: 13
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Hi SM,

So, I am absolutely still not weighing in on the Adelphobates galactonotus issue, nor am I attempting to get into a confrontation with anyone on this issue. Much like @Drthsideous I am simply interested in the process as I deal with import issues for my job. The layers of regulation are labyrinthine, and so I'm always curious about others' information.

Where are you getting records for CITES imports? I'd be curious to look up my activity and how they are registered.

I'd also like to detail my experience importing CITES material. Full disclosure: I work with plants so there is likely to be variation in aspects of regulations.

I have a CITES permit to import Appendix II material. Technically this permit is granted to a location, but I am the permit holder. The feds like to have someone to go after just in case there are "irregularities". The CITES permit stipulates that I can import Appendix II material with the appropriate import permits. It says nothing about whether that material is animal or plant. I was told technically I could import animals with this permit, assuming I had the appropriate import permits for to do so. I have the appropriate USDA plant import permits.

So, once I source the material, the exporting country was required to provide two documents. A sanitary certificate to state that the material is free of contaminants and disease. This is standard for any import with the permits I have. The other documentation is that the exporting country views the material as "legal" in their country. That designation seems to vary widely between countries. Even CITES signatories.

Once those documents are in hand for the exporter, they ship directly to the USDA for inspection. They check the state of the material for identification and cleanliness (note: Customs can confiscate on the way in, though because I've only had issues with that once, I don't really know the details of how their process works - in that case the USDA contacted Customs on my behalf to let them know I was legally allowed to have the material from their standpoint, and it was returned to me). The USDA then makes sure the ID of the material is correct and matches the allowed material on the import permit. If that material is CITES listed, then they look for the CITES permit and the export clearance.

Once those things have been done, they then let you pay to have them ship the material to you. So, at least from my experience, it seems possible that people could easily "sanitize" material through other countries based on different national legislation, which was in fact at first poached. It's not a fool proof system, and there are ways around the laws. As is so often that case.

Additionally, I will say that confiscated specimens often end up at zoos and botanical gardens as Drthsideous mentioned. They need to get a permit for that too, and it comes with loads of regulations, many of which are burdensome. However, the progeny of these organisms can make it's way to be cleared and distributed depending on a number of factors and different steps of ownership each subsequent transfer becoming less and less regulated. And at least for plants this does happen. Often.

Again, I am absolutely not making any arguments about the morality of any of this. Nor am I making a case for what the precise details of the law state. I am only explaining what I have seen, and how I have been advised when speaking to the relevant agencies. Essentially, I'm saying this is how I have seen the system work in practice.

I hope no one takes offense at this. These are only my observations. I feel completely confident I have always acted as all of the relevant agencies have advised me. I also try never to act in a way that would imperil any species in its habitat. In the Venn diagram of life, those two things do not always overlap, but I have done my best to remain only in the region of overlap.
Reply With Quote
  #77 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2020, 12:43 AM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoplast View Post
Hi SM,
Where are you getting records for CITES imports? I'd be curious to look up my activity and how they are registered.
@hypoplast linked to the galac record above. I found it again simply with the search bar on cites.org using the species name, and then sorted through the results. Not all species show such records on a general CITES search, so hopefully someone else can chime in with tips on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoplast View Post
I have a CITES permit to import Appendix II material. Technically this permit is granted to a location, but I am the permit holder. The feds like to have someone to go after just in case there are "irregularities". The CITES permit stipulates that I can import Appendix II material with the appropriate import permits. It says nothing about whether that material is animal or plant. I was told technically I could import animals with this permit, assuming I had the appropriate import permits for to do so. I have the appropriate USDA plant import permits.
As far as I can tell, your import permit for Appendix II material is according to a US regulation, not a CITES regulation. CITES requires export permits but not import permits for Appendix II (though CITES does require both for Appendix I):

https://cites.org/eng/app/index.php

"International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires)." (I have underlined a point that plays a larger role in the wider discussion here.)
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #78 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2020, 12:48 AM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoplast View Post
Additionally, I will say that confiscated specimens often end up at zoos and botanical gardens as Drthsideous mentioned. They need to get a permit for that too, and it comes with loads of regulations, many of which are burdensome. However, the progeny of these organisms can make it's way to be cleared and distributed depending on a number of factors and different steps of ownership each subsequent transfer becoming less and less regulated. And at least for plants this does happen. Often.
Yes, there is a US Plant Rescue Program that is a collaboration between CITES and USFWS. I searched but could not find evidence of any such program for animals.

Link to info, but USFWS site is down through tomorrow, so I haven't read this particular file:

https://www.fws.gov/international/pd...er-program.pdf
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #79 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2020, 12:52 AM
Socratic Monologue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Central WI
Posts: 1,988
Thanks: 90
Thanked 257 Times in 237 Posts
Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

Apoplast, try this:

https://trade.cites.org/
__________________
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
Reply With Quote
  #80 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2020, 02:14 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 60
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

So, question. I looked through the permit history that SM linked. Brazil did export them for a few years in the early 90's to a couple countries. Then again in the late 2010's to various countries including the US. But each one of those exports was for scientific purposes, correct? Why would someone want these for research? Did these actually end up at zoos or private hands? I was in the animal medical research field for a bit and can't think of anyone working with dart frogs, not that I know ALL the research either. And a Google search didn't bring up anything. And could someone have brought them in under a scientific permit to breed them "for science"? I feel like scientific research could be interpreted widely. Does anyone know or can link what CITES defines as scientific purposes? I couldn't find it. The glossary and linked relevant document does not define it.

Last edited by Drthsideous; 06-28-2020 at 02:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.