This article is almost a year old, but well worth the read as it was reposted on Defenders of Wildlife site today regarding products smuggled into the United States from Latin America: Do you know what you’re buying?
Please hop over to one of the hardest-working charities out there to check out this article to learn more about what you can do to make sure you aren’t unwittingly purchasing an illegal product.
Buying an exotic animal? RESEARCH to see if the species you want is protected under national or international laws. Ask the seller for documentation to prove the live animal was acquired legally.
Coral is lovely, but it’s also endangered. If you purchase coral overseas you need a permit to bring it into the states. If you purchase coral stateside, inquire about the species, whether it is protected, and ask for proof to show it was acquired legally.
Skins of endangered animals are often made into accessories for us. Imagine, owning a handbag made from an endangered species? Really need the handbag that badly? Please do your research before buying any kind of garment or accessory made of fur, skin, scales, so that you do not contribute to wild animal trafficking. Ask about the species and for proof that it was not acquired through illegal means.
Taking responsible action is just as important as being aware of what you’re purchasing. If you come across a shady retailer who can’t provide proof or documentation that the wildlife products are being sold legally, then report the business to a law enforcement official.