The Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3371-3378, protects both plants and wildlife by creating civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations. Most notably, the Act prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold. Thus, the Act underscores other federal, state, and foreign laws protecting wildlife by making it a separate offense to take, possess, transport, or sell wildlife that has been taken in violation of those laws. The Act prohibits the falsification of documents for most shipments of wildlife (a criminal penalty) and prohibits the failure to mark wildlife shipments (civil penalty). The Lacey Act is administered by the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, and Agriculture through their respective agencies. These include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Lacey Act was first introduced by Iowa Congressman John Lacey in the House of Representatives in the spring of 1900. It was signed into law by President William McKinley on May 25, 1900. The original Act was directed more at the preservation of game and wild birds by making it a federal crime to poach game in one state with the purpose of selling the bounty in another. It was also concerned with the potential problems of the introduction of non-native, or exotic species of birds and animals into native ecosystems. Finally, it sought to buttress state laws already in existence for the protection of game and birds.
The Lacey Act has been amended several times since its inception in 1900. The most significant ones occurred in 1969, 1981, and 1988. The 1969 amendments expanded to include amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans. The maximum penalty was increased to $10,000 with possible imprisonment for one year. Additionally, the mental state required for a criminal violation was increased to "knowingly and willfully;" civil penalties were expanded to apply to negligent violations. -- Lacey Act Overview.
Feds target 60 hunters in Kansas hunting probe.
Poor pragmatic Fudds. So willing to throw us evil black rifle folks under the Federal bus, so vulnerable to the same kinds of outrages.