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Old 01-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Illegal Wildlife Trade; The Kingpin

I just finished reading an article in National Geographic , Asia's Wildlife Trade.
I was shocked, outraged and then felt hopelessly defeated.

It gives an account of the world leading wildlife exporter, how he manipulates governments so he can "legally" sell endangered animals.

Most of the lizards, snakes and other reptiles that are available as pets are imported. It seems most of these reptiles imported to the US are wild caught, legally and illegally.

The US imports 4,734,836 live animals a year and 5,534,165 animals parts a year, legal trade from Asia. Out of the top five importer, we're number #1.
The number one import item: stony coral.


Asia's Wildlife Trade — National Geographic Magazine
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:44 AM   #2
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Sickening isn't it...
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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dragonfly01 Dis-GUST-ing!

I've known for years that the trade in illegals is huge, but this is bigger than huge. Only there's no word for it, except maybe dis-gust-ing! Keep passing the word.. And past the suffering of the illegals themselves, there's endangering their species & all the indigenous species they compete with here.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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Despite the gross numbers of animals brought to the USA to be kept as novelty items, there is a hostile crowd of otherwise conservation friendly folks who try to get bans shot down. Although the wildlife trade would continue to flourish elsewhere, taking US dollars largely out of the equation seems to be one of the more important things our government could do. Not to mention with every species and shipment brought here, the chance for disease transmission grows. I also think educational institutions and medical labs should have to agree to proper disposal techniques before they are allowed to import wildlife.

Some people have argued it would create a black market. However, I'm having trouble seeing someone's grandma going into a seedy back alley and risking going to jail to purchase a reptile I think the black market items would be restricted to only the most serious keepers.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
there is a hostile crowd of otherwise conservation friendly folks who try to get bans shot down.
Would you please elaborate on this?
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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Midwesterner,
The impression I got from the article is that its already a black market trade. The animals are gotten illegally or a morally and corrupt goverment officals are giving out required papers or looking the other way.
Aminals that come into the country legally arent neccesarilly aquired legally.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:45 PM   #7
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milkweed, that doesn't surprise me at all. Lorax, go to any of the reptile keeper forums and do searches on the proposed bans. A lot of the keepers are quite hostile toward anyone wishing to curb demand for imported reptiles, and quite a few are opposed to further restricting commercial collecting inside our borders as well. Basically, they seem to take the position that their rights to keep reptiles supercede any benefits a ban could bring.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:17 PM   #8
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This is quite illustrative of the pet industry as a whole.

I have not found the pet industry to be in the least bit conservation minded. It has been my experience they think nothing of harvesting from the wilds.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #9
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It's hard to believe most of these are lizards and frogs and so on. For a number like 5,534,165; that has to mostly be fish.

I'm happy to see the south getting such cold temperatures for once. Hopefully it kills off a lot of those exotic snakes that escaped during Katrina.

You'll all might get a kick out of this but Ants are imported as well. In the US I think Ebay is the biggest offender. AntStore is one of the biggest names over in Europe though. They don't ship to the US so I don't mind posting this here. (Note English is not the first language of this site so there are odd spelling errors such as Klick instead of click)

This website makes me laugh every time I visit. One of the ants they sell is Paraponera clavata, The Costa Rican Bullet Ant. The workers are just over 1 inch long and have a powerful sting worthy of the name Bullet Ant, which contains a powerful neurotoxin. Just one ant sting will result in agonizing pain that doesn't go away for 24 hours (but does weaken after the 12 hour mark usually).

AntStore describes this as "Hazards: This Ants can sting, the sting is more painful than the Myrmecia pavida."

And for the people who try to buy ants, you should know three things. 1) Not all their ants are Identified. 2) They offer price matching. So if you find another store online selling that unidentified ant, they will happily match the price. 3) In order to buy some ants they demand you sigh this color coded, kid friendly form that basically states You The Customer are responsible for any economic damage or bodily harm brought on by the ants you're buying.
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