What is the Lacey Act?
The Lacey Act is a United States law, a landmark piece of legislation, which bans the trafficking of illegal wildlife, fish, plants and other natural resources into the United States.
Under this act, it is against the law to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase any of the aforementioned products and wildlife if they are taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of U.S. or Indian law or in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken, possessed, or sold in violation of State or foreign law.
In accordance with the law, all fish, wildlife and their parts or products, plants protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and those protected by State law, are covered. Commercial guiding and outfitting are considered to be a sale under the provisions of this act.
The Lacey Act was amended in 2008 to include plants and their products, such as timber and paper. This legislation is the world’s first to ban on trade in illegally wood sourced products. Additionally, the law enforces civil and criminal penalties for the illegal trade of animals and plants. Its point is to protect international or domestic law and to prevent the spread of invasive, or non-native species.