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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2020, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
Why would someone want these for research?
Academic biology study, probably? Taxonomy, physiology...

Academic institutions registered with CITES are probably not engaged in much of the 'wide interpretation of science' sort of stuff.

Also, if you call up all the trade in the galacs (here) you can see that some countries (ahem, Germany, Belgium...) exported them before they imported them. That's where the captive US trade got started.

As to the blue morph, which was first discovered in 2012 and hit the hobby in the same year (source), there were no listed live exports from Brazil from 2006 until 2014, when 22 WC went from Brazil to Australia. Australia has no exports listed after that date.

My point with the last two paragraphs is that smuggling explains the existence of both the earliest galacs, and the more recent blue morph, fully and with documentation. Any alternative explanation might well be expected to be equally full, and with documentation.
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  #82 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2020, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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) says:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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 or sold 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:
Quote:
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?
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  #83 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2020, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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But since the captive bred animals have not been taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, they are perfectly legal.
If the captive-bred animals are "the offspring thereof" ('thereof' = 'from that cause or origin', i.e. 'from those original animals', 'from that wildlife') smuggled animals, then those offspring are not legal.

From Lacey, inserting 'the offspring thereof' clause from the listed definition of 'wildlife' in for clarity:

It is unlawful for any person -
(1) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or offspring from that wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law;
(2) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce -
(A) any fish or wildlife or offspring from that wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law;

I just don't think you're reading the 'offspring' clause the way it -- judging from the rest of the text -- is intended.
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  #84 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2020, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

I'm not here on this thread to opine on this subject (I have very strong opinions regarding this, but not nearly the patience or time to keep fighting the fight, a million thanks to those who are), but I would really like to see a stickied thread about frog species, morphs, locales, lines, imports in the hobby from "questionable" origins. I think it would go a long way to potentially dissuade hobbyists from purchasing questionable frogs, especially if they are all outlined and consolidated in a clear and concise thread.

I was unaware for years that galacs were questionable, at one point they were a desired species for me. My searches and research for information at the beginning of my frogging career was much more oriented towards their care and husbandry than ethical issues surrounding them. Legal jargon is hardly interesting to me. I didn't think to question that if something was available on the open market, in plain sight in public view, it might still in fact be illegal.... or at the very least unethical.

Anyways, this is something I have wanted to see on the forum for years and am publicly requesting it. I'm not sure it's possible. I've seen this same discussion over and over devolve into arguments over legal semantics, case studies about black markets, etc. I certainly don't want to start another thread rehashing this. But I really wish there was an easy place for beginning hobbyists to see questionable frogs to avoid in the first place before they become obsessed with keeping those frogs.
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  #85 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2020, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
If the captive-bred animals are "the offspring thereof" ('thereof' = 'from that cause or origin', i.e. 'from those original animals', 'from that wildlife') smuggled animals, then those offspring are not legal.

From Lacey, inserting 'the offspring thereof' clause from the listed definition of 'wildlife' in for clarity:

It is unlawful for any person -
(1) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or offspring from that wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law;
(2) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce -
(A) any fish or wildlife or offspring from that wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law;

I just don't think you're reading the 'offspring' clause the way it -- judging from the rest of the text -- is intended.
That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. I read it as two separate things individually "any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported..." or "any offspring taken, possessed, transported...". See that is the problem with this. Judges and legal professionals may interpret it slightly differently. I may be wrong. That's fair. I am not trying to hurt any feelings.

I also just noticed another problem with this issue. In order for legal action to take place, it needs to be proven that they are illegal. While not necessarily pertaining to galacts, in regards to the peacock tinc, how can you prove that a specific Tinctorius specimen is illegal? They are so variable and frankly many populations look similar. One of the theories with how Tumucumaque were smuggled out of Brazil in the first place is they were included in an import of Robertus. Robertus can look surprisingly similar to peacock tincs sometimes. And how would a non-scientific judge, with a complete lack of understanding of these species, say that these frogs weren't legally imported from a population that occurs in a country where it is legal to export from (i.e. Suriname)? Maybe that is why they won't touch this particular species.
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  #86 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2020, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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I also just noticed another problem with this issue. In order for legal action to take place, it needs to be proven that they are illegal. While not necessarily pertaining to galacts, in regards to the peacock tinc, how can you prove that a specific Tinctorius specimen is illegal? They are so variable and frankly many populations look similar. One of the theories with how Tumucumaque were smuggled out of Brazil in the first place is they were included in an import of Robertus. Robertus can look surprisingly similar to peacock tincs sometimes. And how would a non-scientific judge, with a complete lack of understanding of these species, say that these frogs weren't legally imported from a population that occurs in a country where it is legal to export from (i.e. Suriname)? Maybe that is why they won't touch this particular species.
Well, on the last point about judges, it isn't up for the judge to know, but rather up to the prosecutors to convince.

On the point regarding 'in order for legal action to take place', you're right, but that's not the half of it. Criminal penalties under Lacey only can be laid in the case of intentional violations -- "knowingly engaged in conduct prohibited" by law. Likely it takes a bit of work to show this in any certain case, since the mere possession of illegal animals isn't enough (unless they are taped to your thighs in the airport, I suppose).

None of this should be relevant for responsible keepers, though. It is, honestly, quite disturbing that so much of this discussion is focusing on the enforcement of legislation rather than the conservation aims of the legislation.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
It is, honestly, quite disturbing that so much of this discussion is focusing on the enforcement of legislation rather than the conservation aims of the legislation.
I think it is exactly what we need to focus on if you want to fight the broken system. This helps prove the laundring and the way and how easy it is done..

The ethics of this topic we all know and agree or disagree on. There is no point in disscusing that since evey person differs on this.
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  #88 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2020, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
On the point regarding 'in order for legal action to take place', you're right, but that's not the half of it. Criminal penalties under Lacey only can be laid in the case of intentional violations -- "knowingly engaged in conduct prohibited" by law. Likely it takes a bit of work to show this in any certain case, since the mere possession of illegal animals isn't enough (unless they are taped to your thighs in the airport, I suppose).
So essentially you're saying most galact keepers should not necessarily be concerned? Especially the newbies, I can almost guarantee that at least 80% of galact keepers have no idea about their origins or that they might be considered illegal.
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  #89 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2020, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

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So essentially you're saying most galact keepers should not necessarily be concerned? Especially the newbies, I can almost guarantee that at least 80% of galact keepers have no idea about their origins or that they might be considered illegal.
As far as I understand, very many herp species are illegal under Lacey: many frogs, as we know, and also everything from Australia (bearded dragons, Aussie blue tongue skinks, a couple dozen gecko species (and more all the time...), all the Aussie pythons, etc). I have read that many 'farmed' animals out of Indonesia (such as green tree pythons) are laundered as well.

I do not know of any cases in which hobbyists have been prosecuted for possessing these animals. I also don't think that "concern" should end simply because of inadequate law enforcement, for the record, but I'm trying to keep my disappointment to myself.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Legal blue galacts?

NAIB had Galacs in the 90's and did release some to hobbyists, legal? I have no idea however as high profile as NAIB is I can only assume they had to be legal. However at the same time a Dutch guy laundered suitcases full of Galacs through Surinam, by the time he was caught hundreds had been sent to the US, of all color varieties, or the colors known at the time (but of course the rarest stayed in Europe).
As for the blue. one import was confiscated and after USF&W was presented with all of the facts they had to release them back to the importer as they could not find fault with the documents.
I have known Pat Nabors for many years, he is pretty conservative in his approach as this is his business, he was convinced these were legal imports FROM EUROPE (Lacey Act and offspring etc was not discussed). We probably have 30 or 40 morphs and species that have not or were not at the time legally exported in our hobby.
What worries me most is the destruction of the rain forest, some of these animals are near extinct in the wild and based on what the Brazilian president has in mind, MANY will be extinct in the near future. If a zoo in Europe is legally exporting CB offspring from confiscated illegal smuggled animals what is the answer?
If the blue population gets swallowed up by a hydroelectric reservoir or burned out for palm oil production, what should the zoo do, produce and distribute as many as possible to keep them alive or destroy all offspring and let them parish? I would be in the produce and distribute camp.
The blue Galacs and Peacock Tincs are here, nothing will change that, approve or not it is everyone's choice to make on their own. There are only 4 real, export CB dart frog business that have ever existed, if you want to be completely clean buy animals that originated from CRAC (though I don't think they do darts any more), WIKIRI, Tesoro's or the originator in this effort Understory Enterprise.
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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2020, 06:31 PM
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What worries me most is the destruction of the rain forest, some of these animals are near extinct in the wild and based on what the Brazilian president has in mind, MANY will be extinct in the near future. If a zoo in Europe is legally exporting CB offspring from confiscated illegal smuggled animals what is the answer?
If the blue population gets swallowed up by a hydroelectric reservoir or burned out for palm oil production, what should the zoo do, produce and distribute as many as possible to keep them alive or destroy all offspring and let them parish? I would be in the produce and distribute camp.
Zoos (and other conservation organizations) can, and do, establish wildlife preserves and community-benefiting conservation programs in coordination with those nations. They can, and do, partner with legitimate conservation organizations to buy land, lobby governments, fund research, and educate the public here and in the target nations. They can, and do, maintain programs like the AZA's Species Survival Plan program, which notably doesn't, AFAIK, include any provisions to distribute the program's animals under the table at Repticon, or any sort of vigilante conservationism.

Also, the fire that Brazil is currently heaping fuel onto is being fanned by a certain event that took place here in the US in 2016. That chain of events is more important than any number of frogs in vivs.

-- Helpfully intended but undeniably snarky comment intended to give pause to any newcomer who stumbles on this and fools themselves into thinking they are somehow engaged in wildlife conservation when they buy the next new hot morph.
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