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What is the Lacey Act?

Minnesota residents may have heard of the Department of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and likely understand that this entity governs fish and animals in the country. However, the agency is actually responsible for a lot more that what some may think. Among the many laws that it may enforce is the Lacey Act. Originally put into law in 1900, it has been updated most recently in 2008. Just what does the Lacey Act stipulate, provide or prevent?

The Lacey Act governs the sale, export and import of not just fish or wildlife but also plants. In addition, it has some control over the activities related to products or parts from those fish, wildlife or plans. For example, the importing of furniture or flooring made from wood that was obtained from illegal logging activity may be in violation of the Lacey Act.

The Lacey Act also oversees any importing of animal or fish species that may be protected under a United States law or an international law. One of the goals is to reduce the chance that an invasive species of animals or even plants may be introduced where not otherwise native as this may cause problems down the road. Understanding the origin of items being imported is important for those managing such imports in part to avoid violations of the Lacey Act.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Minnesota residents an overview of the provisions of the Lacey Act and any corresponding fish and wildlife violations.




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Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered

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Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 651-447-6719
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