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I'm a little confused about laws on shipping queens across state lines...


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#1 Offline JediPeaceFrog - Posted May 7 2016 - 8:33 PM

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Hello all. Ok, so here's where I'm confused: if I found somebody in another state that was selling a l. Niger(just for example)queen and colony from another state. So the law says that it is illegal for that person to ship a queen to my state even though L. Niger exists in my state as well. Am ai reading this correctly? If so, why would it matter if a queen/colony of a species is shipped that exists already in both states? Sorry if this has been asked and answered already a million times. Thanks guys!

#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 7 2016 - 9:02 PM

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Doesn't matter what species in your State.



#3 Offline JediPeaceFrog - Posted May 7 2016 - 10:01 PM

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Doesn't matter what species in your State.


Evidently not. But it doesn't make any sense, does it? It's like saying you can't import jelly beans into my state even though I make jelly beans in my state.

#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 7 2016 - 10:11 PM

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It sure doesn't, but the government likes to make blanket laws. They aren't really into getting granular about things. That takes too much work. If you have enough money, I'm sure you could bribe-I mean contribute to a few congressmen to get it changed.


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#5 Offline JediPeaceFrog - Posted May 7 2016 - 10:20 PM

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It sure doesn't, but the government likes to make blanket laws. They aren't really into getting granular about things. That takes too much work. If you have enough money, I'm sure you could bribe-I mean contribute to a few congressmen to get it changed.


Lol yeah probably.

#6 Online gcsnelling - Posted May 8 2016 - 3:09 AM

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As Drew said they don't want to be too detailed partly due to the lack of people skilled enough to actually Id the stuff moving across state lines. also and this does happen, it is not uncommon for L. niger in your state to not be the same thing as the L. niger in another state. I know the laws sometimes seem silly and unnecessarily  restrictive, but they actually are there for good reasons.


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#7 Offline JediPeaceFrog - Posted May 8 2016 - 6:37 AM

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Yeah, and we can't change the laws from here, so no good griping. I will say this though: our current government allow people from every terrorist-producing country in the world to flood our borders with absolutely zero vetting; but will throw me in jail if I try to move an ant queen across state lines. Ridiculous...and telling.
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#8 Offline Subverted - Posted May 8 2016 - 11:18 AM

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While I am definitely on board with holding the government accountable over our borders... in this case the laws that were made didn't even have any concept of our hobby. (If they did they would probably be horrified!) The laws were designed to protect agricultural interests from possible pests being introduced.

 

I know it sucks but you've gotta keep it in perspective. Protecting agriculture from unknown dangers is way more important than a hobby that has maybe a couple hundred people interested at any one time.


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#9 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 8 2016 - 12:33 PM

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The USPS is prohibited from opening domestic First Class mail. No one would know if ants were transported between states except the receiver and the sender. Only international imports and exports are subject to inspection.
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#10 Offline AntsTexas - Posted May 8 2016 - 12:38 PM

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it is illegal to transport or sell queen ants across state, and often county lines for risk of damaging the environment. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires permits for shipping any insect, and there are hefty fines and jail time for doing so without a permit or violating a permit


Ant Queens found:

 

Solenopsis Invicta,  Solenopsis xyloni,  Brachymyrmex depilis/Sp,  Myrmecocystus Mimicus,  Pogonomyrmex barbatus,

Forelius pruinosus,  Camponotus sayi, Dorymyrmex insanus, crematogaster ashmeadi,

 

----------------------------------------

Ant Queens i have going right now:

 

camponotus sayi, solenopsis invicta, Myrmecocystus Mimicus, Forelius pruinosus

Pogonomyrmex barbatus, and some others (no i.d.)

---------------------------------------

YouTube:  AntsTexas

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cdockray1

 

Facebook page:  AntsTexas


#11 Offline Subverted - Posted May 8 2016 - 1:22 PM

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The USPS is prohibited from opening domestic First Class mail. No one would know if ants were transported between states except the receiver and the sender. Only international imports and exports are subject to inspection.

 

Yes, to open domestic mail they would need a warrant...but anyone who is on this forum or any number of facebook groups already provides more than enough probable cause for that should they be investigating the matter.

 

Unless someone has a full understanding of the laws, penalties involved, and other risks your post is just bad advice. If you want to ship ants to someone else who fully understands they are looking at thousands of dollars in fines (plus legal costs) if caught that is your business but you should stop encouraging others. Will you pay for any costs involved if someone gets in trouble because of your advice?


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My ants | My free feeder design | Freeplug - free range your ants

Make your own mold/fungus/bacteria resistant test tube water! Don't get ripped off! Read my simple guide: http://www.formicult...-simple-how-to/

"Every launch into the skies is another step forward toward a future where our differences seem small against the vast expanse of our common humanity." - Donald Trump


#12 Offline NightsWebs - Posted May 8 2016 - 2:30 PM

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The laws are there for very good reasons! Example, non native Yellow Crazy ant introduced to Christmas island has nearly destroyed the red crab population and is changing the very landscape because the crabs are in such lower numbers now.  Google Christmas Island and Yellow Crazy Ants.


Current Colonies;

Acromyrmex Versicolor

Dorymyrmex Bicolor

Pogonomyrmex Californicus
Pogonomyrmex Rugosus

Pogonomyrmex Tenuispinus
Novomessor Cockerelli
Myrmecocystus Mexicanus

 

Last Update: 08 Jul 2016

 

 


#13 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 8 2016 - 3:30 PM

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Yes, to open domestic mail they would need a warrant...but anyone who is on this forum or any number of facebook groups already provides more than enough probable cause for that should they be investigating the matter.

 
Membership to this or another antkeeping forum or group does not constitute probable cause for issuance of a search warrant.  That ludicrous assertion is flatly false.
 
If an individual publicly committed to an illegal exchange, and if he or she provided all the relevant details so as to identify the exact mailpiece, and if a law enforcement officer and US attorney decided it was worth the time and resources to prosecute, then maybe a search warrant would be sought.  In the past decade, exactly zero people have been investigated, arrested, fined or imprisoned for engaging in personal exchanges of ants between US states or territories.
 
 
What would it take for an individual to get caught? Here is what an individual would need to say—all of these posts would need to be completely public so anyone could see them:
 
> "Hey, I'm selling Pogonomyrmex colonies with a queen. I live in California."
 

> "I live in Florida. Can you ship them here?"

 

> "No problem! Pay me $20 at submarine123@gmail.com and I'll get them sent out tomorrow."


> "Just paid! Thanks!"

 

> "My pleasure :) They just shipped and you should get them in 3-4 days."
 
Above, you have all the elements that a "crime" has occurred.  However, since this website doesn't allow such conversations, individuals are practically immune from government interference.  As long as individuals are communicating through private channels, only the sender and the receiver will be privy to the exchange, as I have already explained.

 

 


...your post is just bad advice...Will you pay for any costs involved if someone gets in trouble because of your advice?


Firstly, I gave no advice.  I stated facts.
 
Secondly, I unequivocally, uncategorically repudiate your indefensible assertion that my comment was, in any way, meant to encourage anyone to commit a crime.  You very well know there are numerous posts where I express similar anti-trade sentiments as have many in this thread.  Your attacks and lies, however, are wholly unbefitting of a Moderator.


Edited by drtrmiller, May 8 2016 - 3:33 PM.


#14 Offline Subverted - Posted May 8 2016 - 4:09 PM

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9/10 rant - I love it.

 

What was the intent of your post about nobody knowing if you ship ants and the USPS being prohibited from opening mail without a warrant?

 

In your example I think the first two posts would probably be more than enough, if anyone cared, to get a warrant to open a package from one party to the other.


My ants | My free feeder design | Freeplug - free range your ants

Make your own mold/fungus/bacteria resistant test tube water! Don't get ripped off! Read my simple guide: http://www.formicult...-simple-how-to/

"Every launch into the skies is another step forward toward a future where our differences seem small against the vast expanse of our common humanity." - Donald Trump


#15 Offline JediPeaceFrog - Posted May 8 2016 - 5:03 PM

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1: If you seriously think the United States Government is sitting around with agents monitoring the handful of ant-hobbyist forums, waiting to pounce if it looks like somebody is going to send queens across state lines, then you are woefully uneducated with all of the real dangerous and deadly serious problems in the world today.
2: my original post simply conveyed my confusion of a specific aspect of this law, which was/is: if a species exists in two different states already, why should it be illegal to send a queen to another state where that species already exists? For example: Camponotus Modoc exists already in Montana, and Modoc exists already in South Dakota. But this ridiculous law says I can't send a Modoc Queen between the two state. I was just voicing my confusion over the logic(and stupidity)of the law in situations such as that.
3: Nobody is encouraging anybody to commit an illegal act. All that was said is simple and true: private correspondence is not going to be monitored by any the U.S. Anti-Ant Task Force, which some of you obviously think exists. It's also illegal for an unlicensed person to sell just one cigarette across state lines...but if I call(or email)my buddy and tell him I'm coming over and I'll sell him a pack of camels for 4 bucks, yes I'm breaking the law but no nobody is going to know about it(or care).
4: we all understand why the law was created. To prevent non-native species from being introduced which could harm the ecosystem. But this law was painted in WAY to broad a brushstroke. My whole point was simply convey the over-reaching aspects of what could be considered a good law(on paper).
5: my sincerest apologies to the Federal Anti-Ant Task Force. I know you have hundreds of armed agents just waiting to jump on the ever-threatening criminal that is the queen smuggler.
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#16 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 8 2016 - 5:16 PM

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Ha! The Federal Anti-Ant Task Force has a nice ring to it.
 
It sounds like you have come to the correct judgment in distinguishing the hysterical fear mongers in the community from the abundance of science that says that ants and other plant pests can pose real danger to food and other agricultural or resource systems.  Interestingly, it was almost exactly a year ago we had this same discussion:
 

Three points in a nutshell:

  • Lacey Act
    • Prohibits all collection, transport, sale, etc. of all wildlife where explicitly protected by other law, and requires wildlife shipments to be marked as such
    • Defines wildlife as basically any organism existing primarily in nature, outside of captivity
    • Does not prohibit any action related to interstate travel of ants, except where restricted by other laws (see below)
  • Plant Protection Act
    • Prohibits import, export, or interstate travel of all plant pests
    • Plant pest defined by law as "any living stage of [a non-human organism] that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any plant or plant product"
    • Enforced by Secretary of Agriculture (USDA)
  • USPS Publication 52 (Restricted items)
    • Requires all live animals to be marked with a "Live Animals" label
    • Defines packaging requirements for all live animals (to protect animals in transit and safety of postal workers)
    • Prohibits mailing of "Poisonous Insects and Spiders" outright, except for scorpions (Note that bees are not classified as poisonous insects)
    • Defines requirements for shipping other "Small, Harmless, Cold–Blooded Animals"

I've had to school a number of kids over the years who mentioned stupid things they did, like releasing ants:
 

Never, ever, ever release captive ant colonies into the wild, especially ones acquired from others.  Tapinoma sessile are easily confused with Linepithema humile, as they look almost identical.
 
Either way, you risk major ecological damage to local fauna by releasing any ant species, exactly as you describe.
 
Always destroy colonies you can no longer keep by freezing or burning.


We should all strive to educate one another in a positive, non-threatening environment, to promote responsible antkeeping and, where allowed, trading.


Edited by drtrmiller, May 8 2016 - 5:32 PM.

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#17 Online gcsnelling - Posted May 8 2016 - 5:34 PM

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Although the U.S. government probably does not routinely monitor these boards there is no doubt that more local agencies do monitor these sites once they come to their attention, just as Calif dept of fish and game monitors reptile sites. I know beyond all doubt that the California dept. of food and agriculture knows of this site. While it may be true that they may not be able to get a warrant to open packages based on stated intent to illegally ship ants they can and will obtain user information and pay them a visit. And yes i have seen it happen to users on other sites.


Edited by gcsnelling, May 8 2016 - 5:38 PM.

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#18 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 8 2016 - 5:44 PM

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I know beyond all doubt that the California dept. of food and agriculture knows of this site. While it may be true that they may not be able to get a warrant to open packages based on stated intent to illegally ship ants they can and will obtain user information and pay them a visit. And yes i have seen it happen to users on other sites.

 

Evidence that Solenopsis invicta is being kept and/or offered for sale or trade within a designated quarantine area of California would be one specific example.



#19 Online gcsnelling - Posted May 8 2016 - 5:47 PM

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Pheidole megacephala as well.



#20 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 8 2016 - 7:03 PM

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but if I call(or email)my buddy and tell him I'm coming over and I'll sell him a pack of camels for 4 bucks, yes I'm breaking the law but no nobody is going to know about it(or care).

 

Just don't do it in front of a store in NY, or you might get choked to death. :P


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