USARK Member Alert: Herp Imports

Sep 25, 2017
USARK
by Editor in Chief

USARK - In at least three separate incidents this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) seized or refused to clear entry into the U.S. for reptiles that were captive-bred in Europe. These have included species native to Australia, New Caledonia, Mexico, and certain Caribbean nations. Some of these have long prohibited most exports of native species and/or have export permit requirements.

The apparent theory behind these actions is that the original export from their native country to Europe of the foundation stock may have occurred unlawfully, sometime in the distant past. What USARK does know is that FWS enforcement officials have requested production of copies of the export permits for the foundation stock.  In most instances, this information is impossible to obtain, if it even exists. Simply because there is a current law on exportation does not mean this was the case at the time of the original export of the founding animals.

In light of these incidents, USARK believes there is risk in importing species captive-bred in countries outside of their native ranges, particularly species native to the nations identified above.

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