73. Trafficking Controlled or Protected Materials and Livestock

The importation and selling of exotic species should be banned (preferred), heavily restricted, or at least taxed to various degrees depending on the potential dangers posed to ecosystems due to their potential introductions into or removals from the wild. ┬áThe rule of thumb regarding allowing the importation of any living species should be to ban all imports (even exports) unless the species in question is on a ‘clean’ list of approved animals for importation. ┬áSuch a ‘clean’ list would be constructed by academics and researchers who have vetted the species to ensure against possible harmful effects in the local ecosystems into which importation is allowed.

Everybody, but especially primary school children should be intensively educated about the potential problems associated with the global transplantation of species. Perhaps the revenues generated due to both the taxation of these activities as well as the revenues generated through the fines and penalties imposed upon the violators of these rules could be used to educate the general public and to help fund exotic species removal programs.

People stealing or trafficking illegal materials, such as elephant ivory tusks, endangered animals (birds, monkeys, etc,), certain kinds of wood or plants, drugs and maybe some minerals or anything else of value, should be charged with theft and be required to pay up to several times the estimated market value of the material in question.

The confiscated material would be owned by the level of government responsible for the seizure and would be returned to the rightful owners if possible, unless it is illicit materials. If they are live animals, attempts would be made to return them to the wild, if that is from where they were taken. The government may have the option of declaring the seized materials legal (such as elephant tusks) and could sell it on the open market, keeping all the revenues that are generated. Such actions would tend to slow the slaughter of more animals by partially satisfying the market with the seized supply. It would also prevent the stash from going to waste.

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