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Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Discussions and analysis of Elephant Ivory
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DSW90049
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Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby DSW90049 » Thu May 19, 2016 5:28 pm

"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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DSW90049
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby DSW90049 » Mon May 23, 2016 5:18 pm

"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby AFNetsuke » Mon May 23, 2016 8:30 pm

Quote from first news story:
"The video generated 1.4 million views across various channels and more than 80,000 letters to support legislative action, a group spokeswoman said."
As usual the feel good liberal crowd will fix it with yet another law.
I saw a commercial for elephant protection last night on a nature-oriented program which was sandwiched between two of those fund-raising ads that show abandoned dogs and cats with sad eyes who will not be euthanized if you give just fifty cents a day. Last time I checked out one of these fundraisers they were actually giving about 9 cents of every dollar contributed to shelters. Few of the people who scream for new laws to protect wildlife have ever done any volunteer work at the wildlife rescue centers we've worked in and supported. But I bet they all feel very proud of themselves spouting off about supporting legislation at cocktail parties or on the UC Berkeley campus.
Alan

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Clive
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby Clive » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:51 pm

* Big Announcement*

Final Ivory Rule Issued.
http://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/fi ... ant-4d.pdf
To be published in the Federal Register on Monday, June 6 and will become effective July 6 (30 days after publication).

Still working my way through this line by line so not in a position at the moment to offer any in depth analysis but thoughts that US F+W were backing away from their initial proposals would appear to have been too optimistic. :(

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DSW90049
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby DSW90049 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:47 pm

It is 114 pages, so will take some reading
- thanks for posting this, Clive.

P.S. There is a hearing in court tomorrow morning - the downtown, Los Angeles County Superior Court - in the pending case, challenging the new California law banning ivory commerce, on various grounds, including that California's law, which comes into effect July 1, 2016, is Unconstitutional and is Pre-Empted by Federal law.
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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DSW90049
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby DSW90049 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:33 pm

While studying the Legalese of the actual text, here is the NYT article link, stating the essence in Plain English:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/03/world ... ction&_r=0
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby DSW90049 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:27 pm

I have received a report in private correspondence on the hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday in the pending case seeking to declare unconstitutional California's Ivory Ban law, due to come into effect on July 1, 2016, popularly known as "AB96," and I share here some pertinent information from that correspondence, without my personal comment.

"[This was] the only case on Judge Fahey’s docket yesterday. The hearing had been set last February to determine if the case was “ripe” for adjudication and how the matter was to be decided. The State and the 5 animal welfare groups intervening to defend California’s AB 96 agreed with [Plaintiff] that the case was properly brought before the court and that it involved a challenge of unconstitutionality on its “face” without any showing that we have been harmed in some way by the statute. The Judge, as before, was expansive, interested, and respectful to [Plaintiff] as well as the other side. He accepted his responsibility to decide the matter with a touch of anticipation. [Plaintiff's counsel] had the feeling that this was not your usual slip and fall, car accident, or contract question that generally comes before [Judge Fahey]. He recognized that this is a case with public policy implications and that there is interest in this matter in jurisdictions far beyond Department 69 of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In fact, at one point the Judge again asked if this is more a political than a legal matter and [Plaintiff's] lawyer responded . . . that it is all about politics, that the Natural Resources Defense Council had pushed for Legislative approval of AB 96 as a money raising device given the fact that there are no wild animals tromping around California that have to be saved from poachers and that the Federal government has absolutely supremacy in dealing with matters that go beyond our shores. The State and the NRDC lawyer said nothing in response to this. The [J]udge then accepted the fact that [Plaintiff] will make a motion for a [Summary Judgment]. . . . he set the date for the hearing on [Plaintiffs] motion for November 8th [2016, which is the U.S. election day]."
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

warburg
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby warburg » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:20 pm

The New York Times article does not help netsuke collectors understand what they need to know. Without presumption to legal expertise, and with only a scan of the new ivory regulations, my conclusion remains as it was when this political boondoggle began. For the immediate future, legal netsuke collecting is dead in the United States.

Under the final Department of the Interior rules, import of most elephant ivory, excluding museum exhibits, sports hunting trophies, parts of musical instruments and other items removed from the wilds prior to 1976, none of which are relevant to netsuke, remains prohibited.

The final rules prohibit sale and offer for sale of ivory in interstate commerce and export except for antiques qualifying for an ESA exemption, and certain manufactured items that contain a small (de minimis) amount of ivory and meet specific criteria.

To qualify for an ESA exemption the seller must demonstrate that the item is 100 years old or older; has not been modified with ivory after December 27, 1973; was imported through an endangered species port of antiques. The burden of proof is entirely upon the seller or exporter. Whether or not it will be possible to export ivory netsuke or to sell them across state lines–legally, that is–depends upon how F&WL interprets the regulations. If my recent attempts to obtain CITES is any illustration, they are applied strictly and literally. Unless you have a piece with a provenance back to the likes of Trower or Behrens, you aren't going to get a CITES.

warburg
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby warburg » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:00 pm

Apparently, the new F&WL regulations haven't gotten much of a buzz out of anyone. It's as if this isn't a cataclysmic event for netsuke collectors and for the INS but just a minor matter to be noted under "Materials." Anyway, two years ago, in April 2014, when the Obama administration first stated its objectives, there was a great deal of discussion on this forum about likely modifications and mysterious behind the scene activities. At that time, I expressed the opinion that the administration would do precisely what it proposed and that hearings and requests for public commentary were simply political camouflage. Here are the proposed rules as published two years ago:

Fish & Wildlife will:

Prohibit Commercial Import of
African Elephant Ivory: All commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques, will be prohibited
.
Prohibit Commercial Export of Elephant Ivory: All commercial exports will be prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, certain noncommercial items, and in exceptional circumstances permitted under the Endangered Species Act.

Significantly Restrict Domestic Resale of Elephant Ivory: We will finalize a proposed rule that will reaffirm and clarify that sales across state lines are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, and will prohibit sales within a state unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants, or under an exemption document.

Clarify the Definition of “Antique”: To qualify as an antique, an item must be more than 100 years old and meet other requirements under the Endangered Species Act. The onus will now fall on the importer, exporter, or seller to demonstrate that an item meets these criteria.

Restore Endangered Species Act Protection for African Elephants: We will revoke a previous Fish and Wildlife Service special rule that had relaxed Endangered Species Act restrictions on African elephant ivory trade.

Support Limited Sport-hunting of African Elephants: We will limit the number of African elephant sport-hunted trophies that an individual can import to two per hunter per year.

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AFNetsuke
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Re: Elephant Ivory Legal Issues in the News

Postby AFNetsuke » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:50 pm

warburg wrote:. Whether or not it will be possible to export ivory netsuke or to sell them across state lines–legally, that is–depends upon how F&WL interprets the regulations. If my recent attempts to obtain CITES is any illustration, they are applied strictly and literally. Unless you have a piece with a provenance back to the likes of Trower or Behrens, you aren't going to get a CITES.

Stan, would you enlighten us on what EXACTLY transpired when you tried to obtain CITES permits? What documents did you offer and what more did they request? Are you concerned because you still have ivory pieces to dispose of in the very near future within the U.S. where it is still legal?
Alan


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