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Red Panda question

14182 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ailurus
Correct me if I am wrong but if you can find a breeder that has an established breeding line dating back to at least 1974, they are legal to buy from and own. It was in 1973-74 when they passed the law against importing exotics wasn't it? Reason I ask is that I have been searching for one of these little guys and I finally found one. I was kind of shocked at the price though. Twenty five grand is a little more than I was looking to spend for an amimal with an average 8-10 year life span. But before I go and get myself into trouble by owning an endagered species and wind up in jail or something, is anyone on here familiar with the laws concerning these animals? Or where I would begin to research the laws myself concerning exotics?
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Red pandas are CITES I animals, meaning they cannot be imported or exported without federal permits from the origin and the destination. CITES I animals that have been bred legally in captivity, are considered CITES II... which means the need for permits can vary widely, but not all species require any at all. In the US, the Lacey Act may prevent the transport of any endangered species across state lines unless you have permits and extensive documentation of where the animal came from.

Any reputable breeder should be able to give you all appropriate documentation and tell you any other steps you may need to take. There's only a couple hundred red pandas in captivity in the US, so the animal's entire history, and were its lineage originated, should be readily provided to any prospective buyer. At that price they should be able to tell you absolutely everything about it, its parents and grand parents. I would be quite wary if they can't or won't provide you with that kind of information.
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Also check out the breeder's license with the USDA. This can tell you a little about how they do business.

If they are only selling animals that they, themselves breed, they should hold a Class A license. If they are selling other people's animals (brokers, bunches and auctioneers), they should hold a Class B license.

A cursory search of the APHIS website does not show any breeders of the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens). It's an imperfect search engine, so I may have missed it. However, I'd want to check carefully before plopping down $25k.

What Rav said is correct about CITES and the Bred in Captivity Exemption. However, it only applies to CITES approved facilities. To my knowledge, there are NO CITES approved breeders of Red Panda anywhere in the world. What's more, I believe that there several states that forbid private ownership/possession of CITES I wildlife.

The laws concerning CITES I are pretty strict wherever they apply. The slightest transgression likely means that, at best, you will lose your animal. At worst, you could be looking a felony charges. If it were to turn out that you are purchasing an illegal or smuggled animal, you are in the Big Leagues. Be prepared for an up close expedition into the Federal Criminal Justice System.

There are so few Red Pandas in captivity in the US, I'd be very, VERY skeptical of anyone who says they have one for sale. JMO

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Sorry, not going to happen....the way the Lacey Act is worded and enforced means that as a private person, you are never going to own a red panda legally in the US, at any price.
Thank you for the replies. There is reasonable suspicion that my source is not legitimate so I will pass on getting one. It is a shame though, they are so dang cute.
There are no breeders in the US with lines going back to 1973. There is an individual I know of who imported some animals from Japan in the mid-late 90's from Japanese zoos. Those animals may have been breed with animals here with older lineages but his "line" is not as old. 25K is about the going rate, at least what he charges. There are currently only two individuals who are not zoos who might have red pandas, the ones I know of should be near the end of their life span. If there is breeding going on then it has been very hush-hush. These private lines are a dead end and a detriment to the population as a whole. This species needs to be worked with and breed responsibly. The captive population needs every animal it can get to keep the managed breeding population strong and viable and with so few animals available that is a challenge.
T There is an individual I know of who imported some animals from Japan in the mid-late 90's from Japanese zoos.
Remove 'imported' with 'smuggled feloniously', and you are accurate.
Yes, that would be the more accurate way to state it :)
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