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11/28/11

In response to this offer for an Ingber leopard handbag:

"I own a pre 1973 real Leopard purse that belonged to my mother. As it is way pre 1973, can I sell it and if so would you be interested???"

I looked into the law governing resale of pre-1973 items made from materials for Endangered Species. This informative article by Lisa Marcinek is posted on the This Old Fur web site and the pertinent information is quoted below.

"Restyling is the only option available for old leopard, ocelot, sea otter and monkey coats and any other fur that's currently considered endangered or threatened. In general, IT IS ILLEGAL TO BUY OR SELL GARMENTS MADE FROM ENDANGERED SPECIES, EVEN IF THEY ARE OLD AND USED. Kennedy-era leopard coats have regained popularity on the used fur market right now, but beware: in the U.S., if you are caught knowingly selling them in a transaction that crosses state lines, you could be punished with FIVE YEARS IN PRISON and a $250,000 FINE. If you are a business or organization, the maximum fine doubles. No wonder no reputable furrier deals in endangered species today. That goes for any garment made from furs listed on the Endangered Species Act, even if the garment was originally purchased before the law went into effect in 1970. If you are not sure if your garment is made from furbearing animals now considered endangered, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at www.fws.gov or check out the list at the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at http://international.fws.gov/global/citesoma.pdf . The majority of countries in the world are signatories to CITES, which means the U.S. isn't the only country to outlaw the sale of such coats. To find a list of countries that comply with the CITES treaty, go to http://international.fws.gov/global/cites.html.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, if you can prove that your leopard or ocelot or other such coat was purchased before the law went into effect in 1970, it is legal to sell it within your own state, but it cannot cross state lines. That means, if you have held onto the original receipt from pre-1970 (in a shoe box somewhere?), you could probably sell it to someone within your own state. But, if you're selling it at a flea market in Manhattan, for example, and the purchaser travels from New Jersey or Connecticut to buy it, you're breaking the law. If you're selling it online to someone in another state, you're breaking the law.

In case that's not enough of a deterrent, some state laws are stricter about selling endangered species than the federal laws. Just don't do it. And don't travel out of the country wearing an old or new garment made from endangered species, because you're guaranteed to get stopped at Customs. "
This Old Fur

The links in the original posting do not work, but if you would like information, try these:

Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

CITIES on Wikipedia

eBay Leopard, Ocelot, Seal, Otter and other Endangered Species Furs


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Page last modified on November 28, 2011, at 07:58 AM