this is taken from the reptilia website (www.reptilia.org
) and has some very good points
Wildlife Regulations - Like Most Other Laws_ The Intention is To Do the Right Thing - Comment on the Laws That Govern Us.
On a few occasions, we all probably disagree with the 'Good Intent' of the laws which govern us - especially if we really weren't going THAT MUCH over the speed limit, but in most cases the laws are appropriate and represent the best abilities of our law makers, given all the parameters within which they must cope, to embody words into actions. Not always perfect, but a huge step in the right direction..
This suggests that when each of us are faced with a law with which we disagree, we must first consider the theory of common good before drawing a hard and fast negative conclusion.
As reptile keepers and those interested in reptiles, our horizons are world wide and an overview of the regulations intended to preserve the reptiles of our world is given to help you. Bear in mind, that an international treaty such as the one in place demonstrates the good will and commitment of the signatories - but it is impossible to think that a written document really does anything other than provide the framework within each country for officers of that country to best to enforce the regulations. But, as is common with all regulations - they are ignored or broken by persons who have placed their own self centered interests before the interests of the animals which these well meaning regulations are designed to protect.
The world wide regulation of the movement and/or sale of a major part of the order reptilia is part of a treaty between many of the world's countries to control the harvesting of threatened or endangered wild species of animals and plants. It is known as the CITES treaty which is an acronym for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This piece of legislation deals with the movement and sale of all endangered species in the world including animals, fish, birds, reptiles etc.
Category of Restriction
CITES recognizes the status of listed species as either endangered (E) or threatened (T). The term 'pe' ( possibly extinct) is used for species which may be extinct.
Some species may be under great pressure in one area while doing well in others. These are distinguished in the treaty. The treaty is revised annually at the end of October, and is found on the net in the 'Species' area at http://www.fws.gov/~r9endspp/endspp.html.
Depending on the condition of the species - that is to say - it is almost extinct, under severe pressure, or may be under some lesser degree of pressure the treaty provides for Appendices which rank the species category as Appendices I, II, or III. Appendix I being the most threatened species, an example of which is the Komodo Dragon, the heaviest species of lizard in the world. They are successfully reproducing in the wild and in captivity, but they inhabit such a small area that is subject to volcanic action which could render the species extinct. Thus, many factors - including population size, distribution, reproductive rate, habitat loss, etc. - are considered when placing species in their respective categories.
When importing any animal into your country, when either the exporting or importing country is a signatory to the treaty, application must be made and permission given by the country exporting the species. Your own country will require paperwork at the time of importation. When exporting, CITES export documentation is always required. Import permits are necessary only for species listed in Appendix I. As well, some species listed in CITES may be subject to regulation by in the importing or exporting country over and above the normal restrictions placed by CITES. This varies quite dramatically by country with countries like the US being one of the more restrictive. The obligation to satisfy all applicable regulations is on the applicant.
The usual length of time required for CITES permits to be issued, if they are issued, is 60 days or longer. Details required are fairly extensive but not ridiculous, considering what is taking place, and why the regulations exist.
Species are threatened with extinction. As you can well imagine, any attempt to import or export any of these species is subjected to the appropriate level of scrutiny. For example, import for primarily commercial purposes is prohibited in the US. Similarly in many of the Western nations. Permits are only granted when the applicant has established that the purpose complies and that the import or export of the animal will not be detrimental to the survival of the species.
Appendix II species are not threatened with extinction at the moment, rather the regulations are in place to prevent their extinction. Import permits are not needed, however an export permit or re-export certificate (for example, species imported to the US and subsequently exported to Canada) from the exporting country is required. This category of permit may be issued for any purpose, with the sole test being that the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species.
Appendix III species are regulated by their country of origin and self regulation is to prevent or restrict exploitation which requires the cooperation of other countries to accomplish. The country of origin must issue an export permit for any species leaving the country. If the appendix III species was born in another country, a Certificate of Origin must be issued. As well, if the Appendix III species was imported into one country to then be exported, a re-export Certificate is required.
Most species which are collected that are CITES animals will fall into Appendix II. This includes many of the most popular reptiles and if you are planning to import any, you should be aware of the need to plan ahead to do your paperwork and get approvals before buying the animal, in case delays or rejections occur. It is difficult in some cases, to get a deposit back from a supplier because the paperwork was not approved.
Imports From the US to Canada (Example)
In most cases, private collectors will purchase species in the US, for importation to Canada. Do not go to a reptile show or store in the US and simply buy an animal and then show up at the border. If the animal is controlled, you must have all the paperwork done and approved first, and this generally takes about 60 days
If this seems a bit unfair, Reptilia supports the need for some measure which levels the playing field. Reptilia's position is that application should be able to be made in plenty of time to receive scrutiny and approval prior to the show, but that the details of the animals birth cannot be given because no one knows what they will purchase until going to the show. We feel that the regulations are properly respected if completed, stating the species are to be purchased within a certain prescribed period of time, and details will be provided on the animals birth etc. to the Inspecting Officer at the time of export from the US. Reptilia has taken this up with Fish & Wildlife some months ago, and Fish & Wildlife have been conspicuous only by their inability to reply. Several follow-ups have not elicited any response to date.
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