Again the reason is the constitution. We are innocent until proven guilty.
Actually, it isn't. If you committed a crime, you are guilty. If you didn't you are innocent. Under the precedent of English law, our justice system PRESUMES you are innocent. It doesn't say that, in so many words, in the Constitution. You can infer if from some of the protections we are afforded, but it is not stated specifically.
Laws punish bad things they do not prevent bad things.
Maybe your limited understanding of the law is part of the problem you have with it.
Laws actually do many things. I think most legislators would agree that the purpose behind much criminal and civil law is to stop or limit people from doing behaviors that are considered detrimental to some aspect of society. In an old text I was told that general law was to "preserve freedom and moral agency". In a way, to protect "the people" from "the people".
For example, anti-smoking laws aren't written to punish smokers, they are there to regulate smoking and protect non-smokers in certain areas (like inside restaurants). However, if a smoker chooses to smoke in a non-smoking area, they could be punished.
Constitutional law on the other hand, was written more to limit the powers of the government, in order to guarantee the freedoms of the people. Remember what was going on at the time and you can get a better idea of the intent of the framers of the Constitution. There are very few "punishments" in my copy of the Constitution.
What is bad about owning an animal if you are caring for it well that it needs to be illegal and punishable? Speed limits are in place to punish those who break the limit because driving over the limit has been deemed dangerous and they are government roads. Most people speed and repeat offenders can have their divers license suspended or revoked but they do not make it illegal to drive just because most people drive to fast.
Again: Punishment isn't the purpose of any law I've ever read (and I read a LOT of laws). Punishment is what happens if you break the law. Speed limits are in place to protect people from other people. The speeds vary in order to try to give people the liberty to get someplace quickly, without undue risk of killing other people (or themselves) in the process. If you choose not to obey the law, you run the risk of being punished. Tickets happen, but they are not the purpose of the law.
People want animals banned to prevent abuse of them but abuse and neglect is already illegal. The problem is the lack of enforcement. A person trying to go the limit does not mean you get out of a speeding ticket even if you prove your speedometer was off. In fact you could get an extra charge for not having working equipment is some cases.
Just because your speedometer was off, doesn't mean you weren't speeding. You WERE breaking the law. ...AND you were breaking another law by having defective equipment. Ignorance of the law, or your intent are rarely pertinent. An officer, or a judge MIGHT take it into account, but that doesn't change the FACT that you were speeding, even if it was unwittingly on your part. You might just as easily say that you didn't see the School Zone sign and were unaware it was illegal to go 65mph through a school crossing. What you want, is to be exempt from the law. Not because the law is unfair, but because it is being applied to you in a way you don't like.
Black market animal as pets is not a USA problem on any signifigant scale. Most cases are rare and individual idiots trying to bring a pet home from vacation.
Again, you are wrong, way wrong. There are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of animals that die in smuggling attempts each year. I've seen parrots stuffed in spare tires (they all died), under seats and in false compartments. (Avian flu and USDA protocols means they were all euthanized) I've seen rare animals mixed in with unprotected animals, or secreted in small compartments of shipping containers. Animal smuggling is not rare, not by any means. I will say that I've never heard of someone bringing one back from vacation. I do know that there are occasional "stowaways" in people's luggage (like scorpions or spiders) that they didn't know about. If it were a protected species, they'd be potentially liable.
True you can't import endangered animals as pets legally but if any are here you could buy one in your own state and legally breed them.
It depends on the species, its level of protection, your intent, and any applicable state or federal laws. If it is protected under the Endangered Species Act, you'd have to possess a CBW (LINKY)
permit to breed it. However, no blanket assumptions here, animal law is very complicated.
Easy to keep generally means easy to breed as well. Also there are case like with some herp and bird species where they have gone extinct in the wild but are in good even large numbers in captivity. As to the species reported maybe a few could be smuggled in and you have reported cases as proof, I don't know. It does point to it being a spiritual connection however. Why would someone trying to show off go to the trouble when most don't even know the difference between crocs and aligators much less different species of crocs?
Have you never heard of reptile collectors? It's like art collecting or baseball card collecting, but with animals. They want to have THE rarest animal, even if they have to bend or break laws to get it. And most anyone in this aspect of the hobby can easily tell the difference between an endangered Cuban Croc, an Alligator and a CITES I African Dwarf Crocodile.
Products are easier to smuggle than live animals but if farming of species is allowed they would have a ready supply to meet the demand.
That is a myth. Price, not availability, determines what is smuggled. There are plenty of captive breeding going on with large parrots. You can find them online and at numerous bird shows or pet stores. Availability is NOT a problem for the consumer. However, the prices on hand raised birds of some species can exceed $15k. If you REALLY want one for the status, and have no clue of what the difference in health/quality is (or don't care), you might pay as little as half to a tenth of that, ...depending on what point in the smuggling chain you encounter.
From another post:
When you have a zoo or other business even if non-profit you have to go through committees to make changes. These are not experts, necessarily, they are organizations. I speak with zookeepers quite a bit and those with anteaters have tried to implement changes for the better but there is to much red tape as they need feeding committee, budget people, vet and more to all agree. One got barred from waorking with them after she got caught letting them have some vinegar and it was helping them. Tamanduas do not have stomach acid and rely on the acid in the ants and termites. Vinegar in a captive diet replaces that.
Not exactly true. I worked in, and consulted for zoos for twenty years. A good, smart keeper rarely had trouble making changes for the better for animals. You DO have to consult with your superiors (Curators), as ultimately they are responsible for the animals health. Likewise you run things past the vet staff because if the health of the animal is affected, the vets want to know what has changed. The "red tape" is there to protect the animals, so some idiot doesn't get the idea that it might be good to try some type of food or medicine that might cause problems.
I've heard of adding acids to the food of some anteaters (I never took care of any in my career). From what little you said, I imagine that if the keeper you referred to would have taken the time to do the diet supplement correctly, she would have been rewarded. However, if she worked for me and changed an animals diet without consulting myself or the experts, I'd have suspended her too (at the very minimum). It's foolish and potentially dangerous to do crap like that on your own. If you do that without talking to your boss and getting their approval, what happens if the animal goes to the vet on your day off and they administer something that conflicts with your supplement? Or maybe someone else decides to add another dose of acid to the diet? Communication is key when working in a zoo. It sounds like your keeper meant well, but didn't consult anyone about it.
A professional keeper, in a good zoo spends a significant portion of every day recording the care that the animals have received and any changes the keepers noted in the animals health or behavior. That way if a keeper is off the next day, the working keepers will know how long an animal has been limping, or not eating, or coughing, etc. Your keeper needs to learn to play well with others, for the sake of the animals (if not her career).
Don't you do this at the pet store you work at? Can you just change a diet or some other aspect of an animals husbandry without consulting your boss?