The U.S. Lacey Act: An import ban on illegal timber. A model for other countries? A model for banning other illegally extracted natural resources?

The Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. 3371-3378) prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold. The Lacey Act is administered by the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, and Agriculture through their respective agencies. These include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

After several amendments since its inception in 1900, the Lacey Act now stands as one of the broadest and most comprehensive forces in the federal arsenal to combat wildlife crime. With increasing activity in international and domestic wildlife trafficking, the Act has evolved to become an important tool to protect animals domestically and abroad. 

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Author(s)Serge Bronkhorst
PublisherInstitute for Environmental Security
Place publishedBrussels
Date / Journal Vol No.December 2009


FIS Fishing / Fisheries
NTR Natural Resources
TRA Trade
WLD Wildlife

Scope Areas

Democratic Republic of Congo