In addition to offences specifically related to wildlife trafficking and other forms of wildlife crime, other more general offences under environmental laws, animal welfare laws or general criminal law can play an important role in combating this offence. 53 Keller, R. P.; Cadotte, M. W. & Sandiford, G. (2014) „Working between disciplines to understand and manage invasive species“, in Keller, RP; Cadotte, M. W. & Sandiford, G. (Eds.) Invasive species in a globalized world: Ecological, social & legal perspectives on policy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 1-20. To be understood, the issue of wildlife ownership or control must be considered in a historical context. In Roman times, wild animals were considered the property of the community and did not belong to anyone until they were captured.
It does not appear that the Roman state exercised any control over the abduction or use of wild animals by private individuals. However, a caveat has been added to the transposition of these legal terms into the English common law system. As Blackstone noted, this right of access „always exists for every individual, unless restricted by the civil laws of the land.“ In several areas, including wildlife, English laws were numerous, complex and very restrictive. While this highly structured and controlled approach to wildlife rights has clearly set a precedent for government control, it has not taken hold very well on U.S. soil. The rich abundance of wildlife, the character of immigrants and the wide open spaces led to a sharp reduction of English ideas, almost to Roman roots. The spirit of the border supported the idea of free expulsion, and states (colonies) could not do much about it. However, the most important of these enlargement changes was that of 1970, which brought two major changes. First, he ordered that the existing federal excise tax on pistols and revolvers be directed to the Wildlife Restoration Fund and that half of the annual revenues from this source be allocated to the states for hunting safety programs, including the construction, operation and maintenance of outdoor target ranges. This particular „fund in the fund,“ which since fiscal year 1975 also includes half of the federal bow and arrow tax, is divided among states solely on the basis of their population and can be used at the discretion of the state for traditional wildlife restoration projects rather than hunter safety programs. Article 341 of the Criminal Code of the People`s Republic of China criminalizes the illegal purchase, transport or sale of rare and endangered game species.
The offence is punishable by up to five years` imprisonment and a fine. In serious cases, the maximum penalty is increased to ten years` imprisonment. According to the Supreme People`s Court, the Supreme People`s Court`s judicial interpretation on several issues concerning the specific application of the law in criminal proceedings in criminal cases affecting wildlife resources includes, as of 11 December 2000, „rare and endangered wild species“ such as species, including captive-bred species, listed in the Register of Wild Animals under the Protection of the Key State, and species listed in CITES Appendices I and II. However, it was also decided that cases of captive-bred species are less severe. Wildlife trafficking offences are spread across several laws in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For example, article 8 of the Nature Protection Act of 22 August 1969 criminalizes poaching (i.e. illegal killing) of certain protected species punishable by up to one year`s imprisonment or a fine. Article 41 of the Decree of 28 March 2000 regulating international trade in endangered animal and plant species makes the import or export of protected species punishable by a fine. Articles 86 and 87 of Act No. 82 of 28 May 1982 regulating hunting provide for offences punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine, possession of a protected animal or part of a protected animal and hunting without authorization. Tax offences can also be linked to wildlife trafficking. For example, high-value cash can be falsely declared to save VAT.
Tax evasion and non-payment of fees are also often linked to money laundering and corruption (UNODC, 2012). 71 Asa, C. & Moresco, A. (2019) „Fertility Control in Wildlife: A Review of the Current State, Including New and Future Technologies,“ in Comizzoli, P.; Brown, J. L. & Holt, W. V. Reproductive sciences in animal conservation, 2nd edition, pp. 507-543. The original Pittman-Robertson Act was more than just a conduit for funneling federal tax revenues to the states; It also prescribed certain standards that had to be met before States could receive funding. In particular, through a carrot-and-stick approach, it has forced states to base their wildlife conservation programs on a stable financial footing by providing that: To understand how individuals or organizations might help wild animals in the United States, it is important to first know the basic legal status of wildlife. Student unions also participate in the Animal Legal Defense Fund`s two annual weeks of action: Farm Animal Freedom Week, dedicated to raising national public awareness of the lack of meaningful legislation to protect farm animals from cruel treatment, and National Animal Justice Week, dedicated to raising public awareness of animal abuse.
The legality of aiding and harming wild animals in the United States is shaped by many variables, such as the type of animals the animals live in and the type of activity. Indeed, wildlife1 of different species and populations is treated differently by law across the United States. In addition, many of the laws that affect wildlife fall under the jurisdiction of state governments, and as a result, many laws are not uniform across the United States. A number of federal, state, and local laws and regulations provide some form of protection for certain wildlife species in certain cases. Of course, police power over wildlife must not be exercised in a way that violates the federal rights of U.S. citizens. If the state is inconsistent in its practice of denying or granting access to wildlife, individuals may invoke denial of the same protection or interference with their „privileges and immunities“ such as those recognized in the Federal Constitution. For example, South Carolina passed legislation in 1947 imposing a $25 license fee for state shrimp trawlers and a $2,500 license fee for out-of-state vessels to operate in state waters. (Most shrimp boats operated from Georgia at the time.) The United States Supreme Court found that the law constituted an undue interference with individual privileges and immunities. The fees affected a non-resident`s right to engage in business activity in South Carolina almost to the point of complete exclusion. In a recent case, the court allowed a fee difference of $9.00 versus $225 for state and state moose hunting fees in Montana. The Court did not consider that recreational hunting (as opposed to shrimp shooting, which was a commercial activity) was protected by the concepts of the privilege and immunity clause of the Federal Constitution.
See Baldwin v. Montana Fish and Game Commission, 436 U.S. 371 (1978); see also Conservation Force Inc. v. Manning, 301 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 2002) (Court says state must justify a 10% cap on out-of-state hunting licenses as the least restrictive method, even if the state has an interest in preserving the species). ICCWC further states: „This can start with the illegal exploitation of natural resources, such as poaching an elephant, uprooting a rare orchid, unauthorised felling of trees or unauthorised sturgeon netting. It may also include subsequent acts, such as the transformation of wild animals into products, their transport, offering for sale, sale, possession, etc.