Date: Fri May 14 1999 - 02:16:19 PDT

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 05:16:19 EDT
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1670$foo@default>
Subject: Biodiversity

Dear All,

In issue 1820 Paul Temple wrote:

>As far as we know, the Biodiversity Conventions make it illegal to grow,
or in any way keep or use any material that was once living if it
originated in another country and you did not have permission from that
country to own/maintain or make use of the specimen. This applies to
all material moved after a certain date (I believe since 1996).

With all due respect Paul, you seem rather vague about what the convention
actually says.
I don't have your knowledge about the Biodiversity convention,do you know
where I can obtain a copy (prefferably on the net?).
Who signed up to it, is it applicable under local and international law or is
it just a 'wish-list' ?

>The UK Customs and Excise Dept. can and do confiscate smuggled plant or
animal material if found. All confiscated plants are sent to Kew by UK
Customs and Excise Dept.. Thus, Kew would be acting illegally to accept
such material as it must have arrived without permission! And UK Customs
and Excise Dept. would be guilty of aiding and abetting Kew as they
would be acting deliberately to forward the plants to Kew!!! (The
convention does not seem to allow for the granting of retrospective

What else would you have HM Customs and Excise do? Destroy any plant or
animal material it finds?

HMC&E does not, apparently, have the resources to relocate any confiscated
material back to its point of origin. Many smugglers are unwilling (or
sometimes unable) to provide the point of origin data that would enable a
successful return of any smuggled species.

HMC&E, as is common with most Government departments, has very limited
resources.Its staff do their best under VERY restrictive circumstances and as
a member of that particular Department I find your comments in poor taste.

All of the above is in a personal capacity and does not represent the
views,or policies, of HM Customs and Excise.

John Wilden

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