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RE: Federal 4-Inch Turtle Law Clarified Here

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Posted by: EdK at Sun Feb 5 19:17:19 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EdK ]  
   

quote "The definition of "bona fide" from Merriam Webster is as follows: "made in good faith, without fraud or deceit." endquote

So there is no legal precendent for a definition of "bona fide" in this context?

So if you set up a tank at a school is that bona fide exibition? How about if you allow tours of your collection or use it say once a year for a talk for the local scout group? How about if you have plans to do those things? Does that preclude the definiton of use as a "bona fide" exibition?... The legal counsel for the pet store referenced above pointed out all of those issues..as well as a few issues...

quote "I cannot make an educated guess on whether or not a law enforcement agency decides to prosecute an individual case or not. I can say that your store was in violation of the law. The signed disclaimer, ID validation or not, means nothing if the person cannot prove when challenged, that the animal is to be used for that purpose. My guess would be that most, if not all of those customers were buying "pet" turtles using your disclaimer and that your store, as a business "should" have been in federal trouble. "

So how does a person go about a reasonable attempt to determine if the person is an actual hobbyist or is engaged in "bona fide" exhibition or scientific research? There is no official paperwork issued that determines whether a person is a hobbyist (and by the way how do you discriminate between a begining hobbyist and a person who just wants a pet?) or engaged in "bona fide" exhibition... In the definition you are providing (and examples) the only way would be to avoid any sales since a person who would want one as a pet could just as easily show up at a hobby meeting and purchase one from a breeder etc (and since the breeder could be routinely selling them there it could be construed as a business).... There is no way that the hobbyist (since there is no official paperwork saying you are a turtle fancier of any level) or the person who purchased it could prove that they aren't just getting it as a pet...

The entire grey area is why there is little enforcement on this issue since proving that a person who just purchased a small turtle whether it is at a club or hobbyist meeting or elsewhere is actually a violation of the whole bona fide exhibition and hobbyist clause... since the prosecuting agency would not only have to prove that 1) you were actually not a hobbyist and 2) you actually just wanted it as a pet and were not intending to engage in any exhibition usages...

Ed


   

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