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Old 06-30-2020, 01:25 PM
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Default Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

Woke up this morning with a desire to poke the bear ;-) The Legal Blue Galacs? thread (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/ad...e-galacts.html) made me want to explore this topic a little further. I think that thread has some really great work in it and I appreciate all of the thought and research that has gone into it. As an aside, I still think that Blue Galacs are illegal, in spite of what a lot of folks have written in that thread. Your efforts have at least shown me that the legality aspect is more complicated than I thought. For sure, the laws are pretty difficult to interpret based on how they were written (even if you believe, as I do, that the intent is clear).

However, there is little doubt in my mind that Blue Galacs (and so many before them) arrived here through smuggling. What I think I know based on the other thread is that Blue Galacs were described in 2012 and were smuggled not long after. We can be sure that they were smuggled because Brazil doesn't allow their animals out of the country. Is any of that in dispute?

What I want to know is, based on these presumptive facts (again, let me know if I am wrong), how do people justify owning these frogs? I know that there are always some bad actors that just don't care. Do you think that most or all people aware of the situation that buy these frogs are in the category of "don't care" and there is nothing else to discuss here? I think there are also people that believe they have a right to own these frogs. How does this thought process go? Do they think that because the law is written in a way that can be exploited that this makes it ok to own the frogs? How does a person ignore the damage to conservation efforts that is caused by smuggling (and supporting said smuggling by buying the frogs)?

You know where my bias is here, but help me understand the thought process that allows people to continue to purchase frogs that have, at best, questionable origins.

Really, I just wanted to pitch one slow, high, and down the middle of the plate for Socratic Monologue

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Old 06-30-2020, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

I've been following along with the the Blue Galacs thread but have had nothing to contribute to it as I am not familiar with the various laws. But legal theory? That I feel like I can say something about.

I think there are two issues here and its useful to separate them for purposes of a discussion.

1) A law was/was not at some point broken

2) Ownership of smuggled frogs/frog progeny encourages/does not encourage future smuggling

I separate these two issues out because they are not necessarily true/believed/interpreted the same for everyone. Some folks will focus on the first issue and say the law was not broken in their minds or that the law was arbitrary or poorly created etc. Other people will focus on the second and say that whether the original frog arrived as a result of an illegal act, it does not change the fact its here now and producing tadpoles. That they are far enough removed from the original act as its taint does not apply to them. That they are not directly supporting the smuggler so again it doesn't matter etc.

There are many justifications but it all comes down to this. The people that own these frogs almost certainly do not consider themselves a bad person. They will (assuming they have knowledge of the origins) have a reason why its ok for them to own them.

I will say that I actually don't have a dog in this fight. My feelings on these frogs and the relevant laws are completely neutral. I have met a lot of people who end up being prosecuted for criminal acts that are actually rather nice folks. And also a lot of folks that are horrible human beings. The same can be said for people who have been acquitted and just folks I have met in my own life. Where the ownership of these frogs would fit into this diversity of people I have no idea. What laws involved, how they got there, and their effect on the world as a whole combined with the smuggling of these frogs and their introduction to the hobby... also no idea. I can't speak intelligently about that but I am sure that people who do own the frogs and have knowledge as to their origin will have a justification almost certainly relating to one or both of the issues I listed above.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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However, there is little doubt in my mind that Blue Galacs (and so many before them) arrived here through smuggling. What I think I know based on the other thread is that Blue Galacs were described in 2012 and were smuggled not long after. We can be sure that they were smuggled because Brazil doesn't allow their animals out of the country. Is any of that in dispute?
This point can be made even clearer. The appeal to some blanket practice by Brazil, although mostly true, doesn't need to be made (since at least one poster has taken the fact that Brazil does legally export commercial WC aquatics to be a counterargument, and also it is a fact that Brazil does export a few CB native herp species [mostly Chelonoidis carbonarius)]; the CITES export records show no live galactonotus exports from Brazil at all during the years the blue morph was discovered and introduced to the commercial trade, and this more specific and documented fact is enough to show that blue galacs are entirely of smuggled origin.

Thanks for opening the discussion, Mark.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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I think there are two issues here and its useful to separate them for purposes of a discussion.

1) A law was/was not at some point broken

2) Ownership of smuggled frogs/frog progeny encourages/does not encourage future smuggling
A useful distinction. I'd like to add one more consideration, though:

3) Ownership of the offspring of smuggled frogs is itself morally wrong, regardless of future effects even if those effects are positive, because an egregious moral violation in the past makes this act in the present possible.

This is at least part of the presumptive reasoning behind, for example, museums refusing donations from the Sackler family.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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A useful distinction. I'd like to add one more consideration, though:

3) Ownership of the offspring of smuggled frogs is itself morally wrong, regardless of future effects even if those effects are positive, because an egregious moral violation in the past makes this act in the present possible.

This is at least part of the presumptive reasoning behind, for example, museums refusing donations from the Sackler family.
Ah but what does it mean when you say "moral". A dictionary would define it as concerning right and wrong behavior. Doesn't this relate back to one of the two issues?

A facebook group linked an article (one I have been searching for since first reading the blue galacs thread but now can't find... facebook is worthless for this) that Brazil is thinking of loosening their restrictions on animal exports. So let me pose a hypothetical. Assume for a moment that next week Brazil does this and now a certain number of frogs can be exported each year into the hobby. Assume that blue galacs are one of these frogs legally exported. In this hypothetical, are the existing smuggled frogs/progeny morally wrong to own? What if they breed with legally exported frogs, would those progeny be morally wrong to own? What if 50 years from now those lines of frogs are hopelessly intermingled, would it be wrong to own a blue galac at that point? The answers to these questions most likely vary wildly with the person and their interpretation of the value of laws.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

I feel everyone have to ask themselves what the difference is between smuggled frogs and 'legaly' exported frogs.

The line between legal and illegal is ver very thin on this subject.

Look at all those 'legal' Oophaga (pumilio) imports over the years. As far I understand it, they are just all laundred.. But laundred means made legal correct?

Just because a (corrcupt) government allows people to catch wild frogs and export them so they both profit, does this make it less or more ethical?

or the otherway around :

I recently talked to Brazilian Herpetologist and they told me they are (illegaly) catching wild frogs to save them from certain exctiction. There are no laws in habitat destruction, so the people act themselves to save since they are not legaly allow to keep them. Is this wrong or just?


Imo the whole ethical question of these topics is : 'is not keeping any kind of foreign frogs (or other wildlife for that mather) as pets, promoting illegal trafficing it self?' By showing off our exotic animals, we are creating an audiance who wants to keep frogs themselves. When we create 'demand', that audiance needs suply.. That suply is mostly or always given by dirty fingers. Imo only Tesoros, WIkiri and Understory provides 'legal' animals. I have no knowlegde of other legal frogfarms. So the only frogs we should have in this hobby need to originate from those.

As stated a numerous times before. Most people don't even know they are buying or bought legal or illegal animals.. How can you be sure you did? Every single frog in the hobby came from nature at one time.. It is impossible to trace that back and to justify that 'legal' (almost always laundred) exported animals are more ethical to keep than those who are not.

There is just so much more to all this..
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

The ethics of keeping completely legal frogs neglectfully is more troubling to me.

Also the behavior of sellers and shows that drink thirstily from the garden hose of consumer appeal with misfired, dumbed-down husbandry directives and animal suffering an accepted reality of doing business.

I guess we can culture-control, within our own circles, those among us wanting legally questionable frogs with age old tribal ways of exclusion, and disdain, even shame. Whilst the other thing has been decided, is impossible to stop.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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[...] I recently talked to Brazilian Herpetologist and they told me they are (illegaly) catching wild frogs to save them from certain exctiction. There are no laws in habitat destruction, so the people act themselves to save since they are not legaly allow to keep them. Is this wrong or just? [...]
The above example is very easy for me to reconcile.

It seems to me a clear case of ethics taking precedence over legality, made especially easy because these animals are being saved by trained scientists who presumably know what they're doing in managing a population of rescued frogs.

In this case it's either risk a species over bureaucracy while their habitat literally burns, or act for a greater good.

This is not to say that laws are meaningless bureaucracy, but if said laws don't actually protect the species, scientists have an ethical obligation to act, in my opinion.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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Ah but what does it mean when you say "moral". A dictionary would define it as concerning right and wrong behavior. Doesn't this relate back to one of the two issues?
No, it does not. As to your 'issue #1': An act can be immoral without being illegal (this should be obvious without an example). As to your 'issue #2': an act can be immoral regardless of whether it, intentionally or otherwise, leads to future benefits (e.g. torturing prisoners).

'Moral' is a very, very small subset of right and wrong behaviors. It is wrong to make a cappuccino using espresso and orange juice, but it isn't morally wrong. It is right to push the big red button if the goal is to launch the nukes, but it isn't morally right to push the big red button.

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A facebook group linked an article (one I have been searching for since first reading the blue galacs thread but now can't find... facebook is worthless for this) that Brazil is thinking of loosening their restrictions on animal exports. So let me pose a hypothetical. Assume for a moment that next week Brazil does this and now a certain number of frogs can be exported each year into the hobby. Assume that blue galacs are one of these frogs legally exported. In this hypothetical, are the existing smuggled frogs/progeny morally wrong to own? What if they breed with legally exported frogs, would those progeny be morally wrong to own? What if 50 years from now those lines of frogs are hopelessly intermingled, would it be wrong to own a blue galac at that point? The answers to these questions most likely vary wildly with the person and their interpretation of the value of laws.
It isn't clear what your point is here. The last sentence seems to imply that the moral questions are irrelevant, or simply subjective, based on the suggestion that a clear moral answer to a borderline hypothetical case isn't agreed upon.

There are all sorts of ways to figure this one out. Consider R vanzolinii -- all can be assumed to be of smuggled origin except the UE line (this isn't hypothetical, this is true). Are all vanzolinii equally ethically possessable? I'd say no, for obvious reasons. What if they are crossed (I know of at least one breeder who offers such frogs). Harder to make a judgment on, but different people can give differing but reasoned considerations in favor of one judgment or another. There doesn't have to be one answer for there to be good answers; there doesn't have to be one right answer for us to be able to say that some answers are wrong.

Another: I offer to sell you three diamonds as a group, but you and I both know one of them is stolen property. What say you to the sale?

Another: I offer you a great price on my collection of DVDs as one lot, but you and I both know that one of them contains material that is the most illegal video material there is (I ain't gonna name it here). What say you?

Anyone can produce different cases -- thought experiments -- that appeal to different intuitions, and talking through them enables us to figure out what we think, morally speaking.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:10 PM
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Imo only Tesoros, WIkiri and Understory provides 'legal' animals. I have no knowlegde of other legal frogfarms. So the only frogs we should have in this hobby need to originate from those.
I could easily agree with this stance.

Perhaps, though, species for which there are many records of legal exports might be considered morally safe as well. Some species have many legally-originated animals in the trade, even if we cannot document that all of the individual animals necessarily are such. Is there a possibility that some non-fair-trade coffee got into the fair-trade bin at the coffee shop? Yes, but maybe that's not worth worrying about. A person can be morally worthy without being a moral rigorist.

At the far end of this continuum we might place the species/morphs for which there is overwhelming evidence that few or none left their native country legally.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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No, it does not. As to your 'issue #1': An act can be immoral without being illegal (this should be obvious without an example). As to your 'issue #2': an act can be immoral regardless of whether it, intentionally or otherwise, leads to future benefits (e.g. torturing prisoners).

'Moral' is a very, very small subset of right and wrong behaviors. It is wrong to make a cappuccino using espresso and orange juice, but it isn't morally wrong. It is right to push the big red button if the goal is to launch the nukes, but it isn't morally right to push the big red button.



It isn't clear what your point is here. The last sentence seems to imply that the moral questions are irrelevant, or simply subjective, based on the suggestion that a clear moral answer to a borderline hypothetical case isn't agreed upon.

There are all sorts of ways to figure this one out. Consider R vanzolinii -- all can be assumed to be of smuggled origin except the UE line (this isn't hypothetical, this is true). Are all vanzolinii equally ethically possessable? I'd say no, for obvious reasons. What if they are crossed (I know of at least one breeder who offers such frogs). Harder to make a judgment on, but different people can give differing but reasoned considerations in favor of one judgment or another. There doesn't have to be one answer for there to be good answers; there doesn't have to be one right answer for us to be able to say that some answers are wrong.

Another: I offer to sell you three diamonds as a group, but you and I both know one of them is stolen property. What say you to the sale?

Another: I offer you a great price on my collection of DVDs as one lot, but you and I both know that one of them contains material that is the most illegal video material there is (I ain't gonna name it here). What say you?

Anyone can produce different cases -- thought experiments -- that appeal to different intuitions, and talking through them enables us to figure out what we think, morally speaking.
If we broaden the scope of the question beyond this thread and talk about all acts humans commit against/with each other then I can't help but agree that there are many many more factors to consider then the two I outlined. However, if we confine ourselves to just the question posed by the OP of this thread I really don't see morality and legality as differing. My hypothetical was designed to answer the question of whether there is still an issue of morality if the law changes or does the morality of the issue created entirely by the law itself. Clearly I think there is no difference. If next week Brazil says 'ok, now you can legally export blue galacs' I would not shake my finger at someone who chose to buy some legally exported frogs.

Morality in many situations can be quite tricky as it is frequently in the eye of the beholder, I just don't see how morality differs in this specific case from the law itself.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:48 PM
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Morality in many situations can be quite tricky as it is frequently in the eye of the beholder, I just don't see how morality differs in this specific case from the law itself.
Bizarre. Morality regarding frog-keeping is different than morality sensu lato? I ain't buying that, not for a second.

This also implies that moral=legal in general? Unless there is something fundamentally different about frog keeping, somehow.

Also, this implies that while morality is typically subjective (note that I'm sure not making this claim), morality just happens in this case to be objective and furthermore is completely described by legislation (and what's more, legislation that is somewhat in disagreement [Lacey and CITES don't square entirely]). Wow.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:51 PM
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[...]It is wrong to make a cappuccino using espresso and orange juice, but it isn't morally wrong.[...]
I beg to differ, sir.

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*EDIT: ...actually it just occurred to me I don't know if you're a "sir". No offense intended if otherwise.

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Old 06-30-2020, 05:55 PM
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At the far end of this continuum we might place the species/morphs for which there is overwhelming evidence that few or none left their native country legally.
But that is exactly my problem.
Even paper that makes them 'legal' is ethicly very very VERY questionable imo.

Its impossible to find out if those papers and quota's are not bribed, influenced, corrupted, laundred,.. This can and will happen already in the native country if possible for the exporters. It is something I've seen and heard many times before. It's a simple as money makes the world go round..

That's why I gave the example of the pumilio. Every single 'legally' pumilio exported out of Panama came from a farm. But the farm where they were 'bred' was closed down a few years later since they found out the frogs wernt bred at all.. It was all frogs collected in the wild.
The buisnessmodel of 'farming' pumilio still happens to this day.
Now hundreds pumilio and other oophaga enter Europe as 'bred in the US'. Probably it's also the other way around, just like the 'blue Galactontus'. We all know this is BS and plain laundrying.. Does this stop annyone from keeping Pumilio? There is absolutely no differnce with the galactonotus imo..

Another example to question ethical leaglity is who decided the quotas of collecting Tinctorius in Suriname the last decades? As far I understand there was never much real research done whatsoever to decide what were healthy numbers to catch without hurting the populations.

I'm pretty sure this is how it goes for every form of exotic animal keeping/trade in the world..
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

Whew, caught my breath.

Mark, to answer your question: I have a pair of Uhern line imitator. I don't know whether they came in legally back in the day; maybe soon I'll try to figure that out.

When I bought them, I didn't know about any of this legal issues, really; no more than I knew that lots of herps have smuggled origins. I wouldn't buy frogs again without having some idea that they are very likely or certainly of legal background.

Since I bought them in a state of relative ignorance (culpable, maybe; perhaps I should have known better, or done more research, but that didn't seem crucial then), I don't feel too bad about it. If I had known about it, and overrode any moral qualms anyway, I would regret it much, much more (I don't think I would have in fact overruled the moral issue, though the legal aspect is less troubling to me), and certainly would not continue to own them, if only because it is better to admit mistake and stop making it than to admit and continue.

I used to own a pair of Mexican Sceloporus; I suspect (but don't know) that these have smuggled origins. I no longer have them (lost one, sold one) and feel much better not having to worry about even the suspicion that they originated from smuggling.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:09 PM
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I am a cis male (he/his/him), but 'sir' might go a bit too far.

Yeah, I thought that example might not work for some people.

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I beg to differ, sir.

*henceforth regards Socratic Monologue with narrowed eyes*


*EDIT: ...actually it just occurred to me I don't know if you're a "sir". No offense intended if otherwise.

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Old 06-30-2020, 06:28 PM
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I consider you a Sir.

Just sayin.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:49 PM
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I am a cis male (he/his/him), but 'sir' might go a bit too far.
LOL... 'sir' it is! Yeah, I just did a double-take in the middle of it because I realized your voice-in-my-head is a male around my age give or take ... not everyone's "voice" defaults like that for me, but yours did for some reason.

Interacting solely with paragraphs of texts gets weird every now and then.

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Yeah, I thought that example might not work for some people.
Coffee aficionado and veteran of the hospitality industry. Almost fightin' words.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:55 PM
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Not to go off tangent but with regards to morality many advanced surgeries are built off of horrible research done in concentration camps by the Nazi’s. Good can come from evil though not justification for the evil itself.


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Old 06-30-2020, 07:07 PM
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Bizarre. Morality regarding frog-keeping is different than morality sensu lato? I ain't buying that, not for a second.
Heh, everything I have said in this thread is applicable specifically to the question posed by the OP. You keep trying to widen the scope to levels where my statements are no longer applicable. Seriously though, asking you point blank, if next week Brazil said blue galacs are legal to export, is there a moral issue now with buying a legally exported blue galac?

Quote:

This also implies that moral=legal in general? Unless there is something fundamentally different about frog keeping, somehow.
No... still just applicable to this thread and only this thread. Not making broad definitive statements about life, the universe and everything.

Quote:

Also, this implies that while morality is typically subjective (note that I'm sure not making this claim), morality just happens in this case to be objective and furthermore is completely described by legislation (and what's more, legislation that is somewhat in disagreement [Lacey and CITES don't square entirely]). Wow.
I can if we were to go down this path come up with examples were morality is subjective and where it is most definitely not. We can trade hypotheticals back and forth and talk about theory ranging from Hobbs to Locke and talk about Natural Law, then delve deep in to Rousseau; BUT doing so serves zero purpose since this thread is just about blue galacs and maybe about other frogs as well which I'm pretty sure John Locke was not much concerned with and Rousseau might have been grossed out from. ;P In other words broadening this thread to include all forms of human interaction is not particularly helpful given the subject.

Edit: I would also like to point out that we reached Godwin's Law at post 19 ;P Neither good nor bad, just sayin.

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Old 06-30-2020, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

Here’s what I see,

1. The demand for exotic animals has always(several thousands years) and will always exist, the only difference between historical times and 20th/21st century is we are fifthly stinking rich now. A large percentage of people in 1st and 2nd world countries can afford these exotic animals. No longer a “privilege” reserved for the nobles. Thinking this demand will be lost is naive. Sure some species may fall out of fashion the general demand for exotic species will always exist, as long as we remain wealthy enough to keep the spreadsheet look good.
2. Smugglers have always and will always exist. Again it’d be naive to think otherwise, again what is smuggled will surely change with cost(risk) and demand driving those changes.

From what I understand Brazil is simply making it illegal to export their wildlife, they ignore the fact there is demand, and it’s difficult to stop smugglers(we’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with smugglers since the invention of agriculture). They should be supplying the market not blacklisting it. What I picture is Toreso De Colombia , all though I know there are questions with how legit this operation is, never the less at the least concept of a country breeding and supplying the market with the highly desired and trafficked animals.

1. Hire people to breed various animals that are both in high demand and at the highest risk(lowest population numbers). It doesn’t need to be some crazy fancy facility, I’ve seen operations with people raising Pumilio(as well lizards, turtles, etc)in paddock style farming much like you would raise a small group of chickens.
2. This generates jobs as well as contributes to GDP, while using officers(whatever the appropriate law enforcement agency) is all cost with the only benefit being preservation of natural resources. Obviously preservation of species diversity, and beauty of natural resources has value we just haven’t found a effective way to price this higher than the value of destroying it(smuggling to extinction in the wild, deforestation).

Shaming people who own illegal animals is hardly a effective strategy. Sure you might feel good about yourself for being “morally better” but it does little to alter demand and isn’t a legitimate solution to the issue(not calling anyone out we all have our stick, be it this or that, simply pointing out what I see).

The question is then why isn’t Brazil currently doing this? I don’t have an answer. It could be economic, not enough money to organize and regulate such a system. It could purely be an organizational issue. Yes, you need money to fund a project but the organizational aspect is the hard part. Maybe some one here to point out why this currently is not being implemented by Brazil, or maybe it is and I’m just woefully ignorant.

Ive said all this under one assumption, we want to prevent the destruction of a country’s wildlife and other various natural resources. How we do that is the interesting part. Just some ramblings from this morning.


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Old 06-30-2020, 08:45 PM
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Heh, everything I have said in this thread is applicable specifically to the question posed by the OP. You keep trying to widen the scope to levels where my statements are no longer applicable. Seriously though, asking you point blank, if next week Brazil said blue galacs are legal to export, is there a moral issue now with buying a legally exported blue galac?
You were the first to widen the scope, implicitly permitting it:

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Ah but what does it mean when you say "moral". A dictionary would define it as concerning right and wrong behavior.
Answer to the point blank question: no, there isn't any moral issue then since the only problem with the not-legally exported frogs is the 'not-legally exported' part. You weren't asking this before, though (your examples were of the frogs smuggled before the hypothetical change in export policy, and also of hypothetical frogs of mixed smuggled and legal descent, as far as I can see even after a reread). Also, the link between "morality and the law itself" in this particular case cannot hold, unless you also hold that the moral fact of the matter is internally contradictory (not just an internal tension, but actually a contradiction), since the laws applicable to the matter are in conflict (CITES says they are importable, Lacey says they aren't) -- that simply isn't a sensible claim to make.

Most importantly, most of my ire was directed at the concurrent incompatible and frankly dangerous (see the world and its history for examples) claims that morality is subjective, except when it isn't.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:48 PM
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But that is exactly my problem.
Even paper that makes them 'legal' is ethicly very very VERY questionable imo.

Its impossible to find out if those papers and quota's are not bribed, influenced, corrupted, laundred,.. This can and will happen already in the native country if possible for the exporters. It is something I've seen and heard many times before. It's a simple as money makes the world go round..

That's why I gave the example of the pumilio. Every single 'legally' pumilio exported out of Panama came from a farm. But the farm where they were 'bred' was closed down a few years later since they found out the frogs wernt bred at all.. It was all frogs collected in the wild.
The buisnessmodel of 'farming' pumilio still happens to this day.
Now hundreds pumilio and other oophaga enter Europe as 'bred in the US'. Probably it's also the other way around, just like the 'blue Galactontus'. We all know this is BS and plain laundrying.. Does this stop annyone from keeping Pumilio? There is absolutely no differnce with the galactonotus imo..

Another example to question ethical leaglity is who decided the quotas of collecting Tinctorius in Suriname the last decades? As far I understand there was never much real research done whatsoever to decide what were healthy numbers to catch without hurting the populations.

I'm pretty sure this is how it goes for every form of exotic animal keeping/trade in the world..
Tijl, I think I agree with you on all this. Still, though, can't we make some distinction between the frogs that were exported based on what you describe here, and frogs that left the country stuffed in a soda bottle in someone's underpants? Isn't one less bad than the other?
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:51 PM
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[...]What I picture is Toreso De Colombia , all though I know there are questions with how legit this operation is
First I've heard of this -- could you either point me to some reading I can do or otherwise fill me in? Feels like I can never keep up with all of this stuff...
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:54 PM
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I consider you a Sir.

Just sayin.
Aw, shucks.

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LOL... 'sir' it is! Yeah, I just did a double-take in the middle of it because I realized your voice-in-my-head is a male around my age give or take ... not everyone's "voice" defaults like that for me, but yours did for some reason.
Yeah, people whose posts make it is obvious that they are complete jer....I mean confident and assertive, I usually interpret as male, too; I appreciate you asking, though. Keep our age to yourself, though, ok?
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:09 PM
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1. Hire people to breed various animals that are both in high demand and at the highest risk(lowest population numbers). It doesn’t need to be some crazy fancy facility, I’ve seen operations with people raising Pumilio(as well lizards, turtles, etc)in paddock style farming much like you would raise a small group of chickens.
2. This generates jobs as well as contributes to GDP, while using officers(whatever the appropriate law enforcement agency) is all cost with the only benefit being preservation of natural resources. Obviously preservation of species diversity, and beauty of natural resources has value we just haven’t found a effective way to price this higher than the value of destroying it(smuggling to extinction in the wild, deforestation).

Shaming people who own illegal animals is hardly a effective strategy. Sure you might feel good about yourself for being “morally better” but it does little to alter demand and isn’t a legitimate solution to the issue(not calling anyone out we all have our stick, be it this or that, simply pointing out what I see).
Though I haven't looked into it, there are citations in the big 'illegal frogs' thread to studies that disprove the idea that captive breeding reduces wild collection much. Though not smuggling, exactly, it took a radical oversaturation of the ball python market, with attendant problems, to put a serious dent in imports. The issue of imported O. pumilio in the face of captive breeding has been raised here, too.

I don't know if I agree that peer pressure ("shaming people") can't/doesn't reduce demand. I mean, when we all started shaming people about wearing parachute pants as the '80s wore on, the demand went way down.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

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You were the first to widen the scope, implicitly permitting it:
As with so many disagreements I feel we are a victim of language. I never intended to widen it, and I am not sure where that did/could have happened. Always my posts were written with the intent of limiting my posts to the OP's topic.

Quote:

Answer to the point blank question: no, there isn't any moral issue then since the only problem with the not-legally exported frogs is the 'not-legally exported' part. You weren't asking this before, though (your examples were of the frogs smuggled before the hypothetical change in export policy, and also of hypothetical frogs of mixed smuggled and legal descent, as far as I can see even after a reread). Also, the link between "morality and the law itself" in this particular case cannot hold, unless you also hold that the moral fact of the matter is internally contradictory (not just an internal tension, but actually a contradiction), since the laws applicable to the matter are in conflict (CITES says they are importable, Lacey says they aren't) -- that simply isn't a sensible claim to make.
That there is more then one law I consider relatively imaterial. The importance that once the law is removed there is no moral issue thus the moral issue in this case derives from the law.

Quote:

Most importantly, most of my ire was directed at the concurrent incompatible and frankly dangerous (see the world and its history for examples) claims that morality is subjective, except when it isn't.
There is a wide range of morality. I feel that once again we may be a victim of language. John Locke was of the opinion that certain rights (such as right to life) are 'natural rights' meaning they do not require a law to exist, they exist regardless of any such law. But he was not of the opinion that all laws are 'natural rights'. I am of the opinion that what John Locke would call 'Natural Rights' are not subjective morality but most definitely objective. But there is more to 'right and wrong behavior' then 'natural rights'. My wife would be quite upset for instance if a visitor to our household were to wear shoes inside. She would consider that immoral behavior. My childhood home however saw nothing wrong with this and I was in college before I found out that there are real live folks not in kung fu movies who care about shoes being on inside a house. This would be an example of subjective morality.

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Old 06-30-2020, 11:41 PM
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I don't have much to add to this thread yet as I have only read part of it and not read the original yet. However I did want to make one distinction. I am seeing what appears to be an interchangeable use of ethics and morals. This can make the conversation apples vs. oranges. I just wanted to put out there that ethics and morals are different (someone may have said this already as I haven't made it all the way through). Remember morals are generally a personal standard of what is right and wrong. So what I consider right someone else may not as we have different morals. Where as ethics tend to be more set in a larger sense such as a group or society. Therefore something can be moral but not ethical and vise versa. Just remember this when you respond to someone's post about morals and ethics. Otherwise we may be discussing different things.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:35 AM
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I don't have much to add to this thread yet as I have only read part of it and not read the original yet. However I did want to make one distinction. I am seeing what appears to be an interchangeable use of ethics and morals. This can make the conversation apples vs. oranges. I just wanted to put out there that ethics and morals are different (someone may have said this already as I haven't made it all the way through). Remember morals are generally a personal standard of what is right and wrong. So what I consider right someone else may not as we have different morals. Where as ethics tend to be more set in a larger sense such as a group or society. Therefore something can be moral but not ethical and vise versa. Just remember this when you respond to someone's post about morals and ethics. Otherwise we may be discussing different things.
Hmm. Is this a distinction used in anthropology? In contemporary philosophical metaethics the distinction is quite different, although often enough the terms are used interchangeably. I suspect general civilian discourse is pretty casual about the words.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:00 AM
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Hmm. Is this a distinction used in anthropology? In contemporary philosophical metaethics the distinction is quite different, although often enough the terms are used interchangeably. I suspect general civilian discourse is pretty casual about the words.
I honestly cannot state where that truly derived from, though it is more based on what the "definition" of what each is. I agree, that they tend to be used interchangeably in conversation. Though they are closely related, there is a distinct difference between the two. Morals are derived from ones sense of right and wrong based on environment and experience. Where as ethics are a code set forth, (for example by society) by which people are expected to abide by. I just think most people do not realize there is a difference, which is why most people use them interchangeably. Sorry to derail from the original topic.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:51 AM
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Tijl, I think I agree with you on all this. Still, though, can't we make some distinction between the frogs that were exported based on what you describe here, and frogs that left the country stuffed in a soda bottle in someone's underpants? Isn't one less bad than the other?


Believe me,
I'm pretty sure this oldskool way of smuggling still happens, but these occasions are quite rare and I think these happen for more 'rare' animals on demand by collectors.. I'm not sure if there is a big differnce is tbh.. Not saying one way is better than the other. Both ways are wrong. My guess would be that the rare frogs that get smuggled in small amounts (in pants) probably end up in a better place and are taken better care of than the ones that go out in bulk.

If you think the galactonotus are smuggled this way, I'm quite sure thats not the case. Every reptileshow I've visited for the last 2-3 years before covid-19, had hundreds of Blue Galactonotus (all captivebred probably) on the tables. This means origainaly more than just a few were 'smuggled' or 'laundred' out of Brasil and this could not be done by putting them in your pocket.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:59 AM
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If you think the galactonotus are smuggled this way, I'm quite sure thats not the case. Every reptileshow I've visited for the last 2-3 years before covid-19, had hundreds of Blue Galactonotus (all captivebred probably) on the tables. This means origainaly more than just a few were 'smuggled' or 'laundred' out of Brasil and this could not be done by putting them in your pocket.
Do you have any information or even informed speculation (I assume Europeans in the hobby have more 'street knowledge' on these issues since these imports sound like they often come in through Europe) on how these laundered imports are illegitimately documented? Do the frogs first get carried over a national border and then export from a neighboring country under a different species name? Do they leave Brazil in aquatics shipments? Are the EU inspectors complicit in the operation? I've read (in popular press books, so take that for what it is worth) of these sorts of procedures, but not specifically in regard to frogs.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:18 PM
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Do you have any information or even informed speculation (I assume Europeans in the hobby have more 'street knowledge' on these issues since these imports sound like they often come in through Europe) on how these laundered imports are illegitimately documented? Do the frogs first get carried over a national border and then export from a neighboring country under a different species name? Do they leave Brazil in aquatics shipments? Are the EU inspectors complicit in the operation? I've read (in popular press books, so take that for what it is worth) of these sorts of procedures, but not specifically in regard to frogs.
I think you answered your own question here. That are few ways of how it's done as I understand. You already gave a few examples. There is also laundring trough confiscated animals given to Zoo's by corrupt zoorworkers. Those people working for the Zoo's sell or give people papers to make their frogs legal. Or sell a handfull of animals and change the numbers given.
I also heard of people buying Tesoros or Wikiri animals, buy a bunch of illegaly imported Oophaga and sell those as their captivebred offspring from the Tesoros or Wikiri parents..
Anyway, all this is not just a one man operation and there are many layers and ways to all this.
Laundring also happens in the US or other contries. I've said it in a previous reply, first shipped to the US, than sold from to US to Europe as 'captive bred'. Than EU offspring sold back to the US..

This more or less how Tumucumaque and Galactonotus will 'legaly' get into the US.

I always see a lot of fingerpointing to Europe when it comes to illegal activities wityh animals, but Im convinced these activities happen in every part of the world.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Ethics of keeping legally questionable frogs

interesting topic!

for those that are against (which seems most), how far would you go to protect the integrity of the law and the species?

if you went to your local store or herp show and saw a few there, would you confront the store owner? Call someone?

How about a friend who knows they're illegal, picked one up at a show (or some other source)? Would you turn that person in? (and to who, now that I think about it, lol)

Or, if (and this is absurd for most of us) you found or were given one through an unknown source. Do you have an obligation to surrender it to the proper authorities?
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