Summary: S.736 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (07/24/1981)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 - Repeals provisions of Federal law prohibiting commerce in wildlife and fish (the Lacey and Black Bass Acts). Sets forth prohibitions against trade in any fish or wildlife taken or possessed in violation of Federal, Indian tribal, State, or foreign law. Adds a new prohibition against trade in plants which are subject to State conservation of species laws.

Increases the maximum civil penalties for violations to $10,000 (currently, $5,000 under the Lacey Act and $200 under the Black Bass Act).

Establishes a strict liability penalty of up to $250 for transporting fish or wildlife in violation of the labeling requirements.

Subjects to felony penalties the importation or exportation of fish, wildlife, or plants in violation of this Act or any other violation involving sale or fish, wildlife, or plants with a market value exceeding $350. Requires that the defendant knew the conduct violated an underlying law, treaty, or regulation.

Subjects to misdemeanor penalties the violation of any provision of this Act by a person who in the exercise of due care should know that his conduct violated any underlying law, treaty, or regulation.

Stipulates that an offense shall be deemed to have been committed in any district in which the defendant may have taken or possessed the fish, wildlife, or plants.

Subjects all fish, wildlife, or plants traded in violation of this Act to forfeiture to the United States, regardless of the culpability requirements for civil penalties or criminal prosecution. Stipulates that vehicles and equipment shall be subject to forfeiture only if the owner was a consenting party to the illegal act or in the exercise of due care should have known that the vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or equipment would be used in a criminal violation.

Authorizes the Secretaries of the Treasury, the Interior, Commerce, and Transportation to utilize by agreement the personnel and facilities of any Federal or State agency or Indian tribe to enforce this Act.

Permits any person authorized to enforce this Act to carry firearms, make an arrest without a warrant on reasonable grounds (with a certain exception), execute and serve warrants, detain and inspect a vehicle or package upon entering or prior to leaving the United States, or hold a seized item pending the disposition of proceedings.

Directs that, beginning in fiscal year 1982, the Secretaries of the Interior, the Treasury, or Commerce shall pay rewards to persons who furnish information leading to a conviction, assessment, or forfeiture for violations of this Act.

Directs the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to promulgate jointly regulations to implement the labeling requirements of this Act (governing packages containing fish or wildlife in interstate or foreign commerce) in accordance with existing commercial practices.

Grants jurisdiction to the Federal district courts for actions arising under this Act.

Transfers from the Secretary of the Treasury to the Secretary of the Interior the authority to prescribe requirements and issue permits for the importation of wild animals and birds under humane and healthful conditions.

Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to direct the payment of rewards for information leading to a conviction, assessment or forfeiture (currently, such payments are discretionary).