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General Business Discussions This is a general purpose forum open to business related topics concerning Reptiles and Amphibians that are neither appropriate for the Board of Inquiry, nor sales, purchase, or trade solicitations.

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Old 07-23-2002, 02:22 PM   #1
The Federal Lacy Act makes it a felony if you ship a box of reptiles across state lines without labeling the box, as to what species are contained inside. I know two people who have been fined in federal court for shipping unlabled boxes. This is a big problem since Airborne Express and UPS wont ship live snakes without a special permit, so most reptile sellers are putting their snakes in unmarked boxes! Both the shipper and buyer are breaking a heavy duty law. I have been told by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that they are very concerned with amount of people selling reptiles over the web and shipping them illegally in unmarked boxes! In 1981 they ran a successful sting operation buying protected reptiles and lots of people went to jail. I hope this doesnt happen again because over half the shipments going out today are in unmarked boxes! You can call the USFWS at 800-358-2104 and get a coply of the laws. Please be carefull !!
Old 07-23-2002, 02:31 PM   #2
Ken Harbart
Actually, the severity of the offense (felony vs misdemeanor) is dictated by thr value of the animals being shipped. It is not automatically a felony.

Also, labeling has been a reqirement of the Lacey Act for quite some time now.

Finally, it is my understanding that the aforementioned sting operation was directed at the illegal commerce of protected species and not labeling of packages.
Old 07-23-2002, 03:16 PM   #3
Dave Lawson
Ken , you are correct. The sting operation was more to catch people dealing in protected animals.But as we all know there are people that are using Airbourne and UPS to ship snakes and that is against those 2 companies rules and if they do catch you the snakes are taken and it gives the reptile industry a very "BIG" black eye.We do have someone who has been working very hard to get ups to allow the legal shipping of snakes with them but I am sure that it will all come to a end fast if a UPS employee reads the kingsnake python classified section sellers are advertising that they will only ship snakes UPS.So part of what Lilley is saying is correct,Be careful, If caught both parties out put out money and the snake not to mention they hurt the entire reptile world.But then some people only care about themselves.So sellers and buyers beware when you ship illegally you are taking a big risk.
Old 07-23-2002, 04:14 PM   #4
Cheryl Marchek AKA JM
What are the legal methods of shipping? &nbsp;I know USPS is a no-no, and from reading this I understand the UPS is. &nbsp;I thought Air Bourne Express allowed it though as long as you labeled the box as containing live I mistaken? &nbsp;Any other "Legal" methods for those who find Delta Dash difficult? &nbsp;(I hate going to the LAX Delta pickup since they LOST my 120 pound dog several years ago....HOW DO YOU LOSE A DOG THAT BIG!!! &nbsp;They finally found her, but it just gives me a sour taste in my mouth to imagine going back to those people&#33<img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=''>

Disclaimer~ I ask as a buyer. &nbsp;I am not illegally shipping animals, I'm just wondering what the legal methods of having them shipped to me are.
Old 07-23-2002, 04:19 PM   #5
Dennis Gulla
Is UPS' policy for shipping reptiles, snakes in particular, a "no exceptions" policy? The reason I ask is because I know of someone that ships reptiles out on a daily basis and they use UPS. I spoke to these individuals about this policy and they informed me that is not the case. They told me that the UPS account rep was there at their facility when they set up there account. I myself have been there on many of occasions when the UPS driver comes in and asks if "there is anything going out today?" I have even talked snakes with him (UPS driver) when he has stoped by for pick-ups. That seems a little odd to me. Perhaps this policy is relatively new and they were "grandfathered in" as they have been doing this for many years.

Dennis Gulla
Old 07-23-2002, 04:51 PM   #6
Hi everyone,

Okay it goes like this.
The LACEY ACT pertains to all fish and wildlife and their parts or products, and plants protected by Federal, State,Indian, or
Foreign laws, and animals listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Any animal
protected by one of these mentioned above if illeagally imported or exported results in automatic felonies. Or if caught
domestically with animals(protected ones) valued over 350$.
Misdemeanor penalties can be up to a 10,000$ fine and 1 year
in prison. Felony penalties can be up to 250,000$ for individuals and 500,000$ for organizations.
&nbsp;Legally speaking , from every lawyer, warden, shipper, and state official I've talked to, &nbsp;it is not illeagal to ship a reptile (that is not protected under one of the listed above) from state to state (unless via USPS of which you are not violating
company policy but government USPS policy). &nbsp;I myself do recommend to others and have been myself shipping with boxes marked on the bottom with - Scientific name, Common name, and quantity. Its best do always do this in my opinion
just to be on the "safe side".
&nbsp;No shipper has allowed snakes with written consent that I know of. Plenty of shippers give verbal "okays" but not written
permission with snakes. Everything else -yes-, but not snakes.
It also varies on location (whether the distict manager for your shipping company likes the idea of reptiles), &nbsp;whether your a company or not, volume of shipments, etc...
&nbsp;Yes , many people ship snakes with mis-marked packages and that should be stopped in my opinion. Especially those shipping venomous. The fact remains that its against company
policy, not the law, to ship unprotected species.
&nbsp;With this said , let me know if there is a part of the Lacy Act
I'm failing to see that states that all snakes, protected or not, must be labelled in the manner mentioned above.

Thanks and God Bless to all of ya'll!!!!! <img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=''>
Ben Sparks
Christian Reptile Center
Tahlequah, OK <img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=''>
Old 07-23-2002, 06:10 PM   #7
I ship USPS some times for customers who want to save money... I label it Live harmless reptiles really big on every side of the box... And the post office has never had a problem... I mostly ship bearded dragons.. Is this against any laws? If so why would they except this? They always read before they accept it... Just wanted to know.
Old 07-24-2002, 12:03 AM   #8
It is not against the law to ship harmless lizards via the mail. &nbsp;Snakes are a definite no-no via mail.

The problem some people have had is that their local post offices have refused to ship reptiles. This is a result of the 9/11 confusion and some contracted airlines refusing to carry live animals, and is most likely at the discretion of the area post master. &nbsp;I don't know how much leeway the postmaster in each area has, but he's the person to contact, or the express mail office for your area, to find out what the situation is in your area.

Locally (Sacramento, CA), the post office will accept legal to ship live animals (the list is somewhere on <-- notice they're no longer .gov, boy what a sucky commercial enterprise, losing so much money. Should've left it .gov) if they are taken to certain main branches and if the weather isn't extreme. &nbsp;What needs to be done here is to call the express mail office to confirm a flight is going out that day, and tell them which branch you will ship from. &nbsp;They'll notify the branch and you can ship that day. &nbsp;Said to call same day. &nbsp; I haven't shipped anything yet, but likely will in a few weeks. &nbsp;

One more thing: Anything you ship should be sent post office to post office to avoid it being out on a truck all day. &nbsp;The last live crix and superworm shipment I recieved rode around for hours on the outside wall of the truck in 110 degree heat... don't underestimate the stupidity of anyone. &nbsp;Best to have them held for pick up as they will get to your customer much earlier and remain in a temperature controlled (we'd hope) environment while in the branch office. &nbsp;So far, I have had excellent luck recieving both bearded dragons and leopard geckos in this manner. &nbsp;Most of the time I get the call between 8 and 10 to come pick up the package.
Old 07-24-2002, 12:12 AM   #9
I use ups to ship all the time, and they know what i am shipping. &nbsp;I had the driver who picks up call and ask his main boss, and they said as long as it wasn't illegal, posionous, or a 20 foot snake, they didn't have a problem with it.

Ryan Cocchiara
Old 07-24-2002, 09:45 AM   #10
Hi Jon and Brian,

Back in winter sometime, all the USPS's around here recieved a
memo from the U.S. Postmaster stating that the USPS would
no longer accept any live animal shipments period. I dont know if that has since been retracted, changed, or left up to regional P.M. like it usually is with UPS etc...However; I do have a good friend and fellow herper that works for our local
USPS and says they have not recieved any change since the
last memo that stated all live animal shipments were to cease.

Hi Ryan,
That is a good example of power each regional manager has with UPS. Its weird how some will say its okay, and some wont. If you can get the permission in writing, that would be
worth its wieght in GOLD !!! &nbsp;
&nbsp;As a matter of fact if ANYONE has a written letter of permission to ship live snakes via any carrier (not airlines) please let me know !!!

God Bless!!
Ben Sparks
Christian Reptile Center
Tahlequah, OK <img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=''> &nbsp;<img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=''>

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