Lanthanotus borneensis -- Borneo Earless Monitor - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 12-10-2022, 10:41 AM   #22
Socratic Monologue
If it can be documented (with appropriate paperwork) that USFWS did indeed transfer ownership of confiscated animals to a private party -- rather than, as sometimes happens, USFWS retains ownership of specimens that are in the care of private parties -- that would be a relevant consideration.

But since Lacey's criteria for legality involves the actual history of the very specimen in question, supposing that such transfers of smuggled animals do happen doesn't entail that any given specimen has such a history.

Given that sellers won't even show (even in private; I've asked multiple sellers and not only here) their claimed CITES paperwork to back up the claims that a given specimen is legal, I doubt that there is any paper trail of the sort you point out to be theoretically possible that will see the light of day. Lots of hand waving and 'possibility' on these sorts of things, but so far no evidence whatsoever.

There is a lot of bluffing in these sorts of discussions, of all sorts of species, and always has been. When someone seems to be bluffing and won't show their hand, that means that they don't have the cards they want others to think they do.

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