When it comes to wildlife violations, there are a number of laws that many people are completely unaware of. However, violating any of these laws may lead to harsh consequences (such as years behind bars and a six-figure fine) and lead to federal charges that turn an individual’s life upside down. In Minneapolis, and across the state of Minnesota, it is essential for anyone who plans on acquiring or selling wildlife to familiarize themselves with the Lacey Act and other relevant federal and state laws.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it is unlawful for people to obtain, buy, sell export or import wildlife that was taken illegally under U.S. law or Indian law. Transactions outside of the country or across state lines are also unlawful when they involve wildlife that was sold, obtained or possessed in violation of the local laws that are present in another state or in another country. if Moreover, transactions involving wildlife also violate the Lacey Act if the wildlife was transported, put up for sale or possessed in violation of these laws.
The Lacey Act, which has been in place since 1900, also covers plants as well as plant products (such as items made from wood that was unlawfully harvested). Furthermore, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service states that the Lacey Act covers seeds, roots and any other part of the prohibited plant. A 2008 amendment led to the inclusion of additional prohibited plants and the Act also aims to stop invasive species from spreading.