News Page 2

Boa constrictor - Use by Man

The boa constrictor today represents one of the most heavily exploited reptile species.  Dodd (1986, 1987) reports on legal importation of snakes into the United States.

From 1977 to 1983, over 113000 live boas were imported; this amounted to nearly half of all the imported snakes listed for protection by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Live imports decreased 97 percent from 1979 to 1983 as more animals were used for production of ornamental leather.

In 1983, 6572 whole boa constrictor skins, 1714 large leather pieces such as briefcases, and 165843 small pieces, mostly shoes, were brought into the United States.

The only other snake species that supplies more skins and leather is the reticulated python (Python reticulatus).  Though Otero de la Espriella (1978) describes a culture operation for boa constrictors in Colombia, the vast majority of imports must arise from natural populations whose status is completely unknown.

Report courtesy of C.R. Smith, http://crinaustin.home.att.net/

Boa market in Germany gradually turnes into a crime -scene

We already pointed out on our "crossbreed page" that even the most stupid Boa constrictor breeder has recognized meanwhile that the demand on crossbreed boas has suffered a huge decrease. 

The consequence is that by a miracle all crossbreeds vanished almost over night and only "true boas" are offered to the boa - enthusiasts now.

But meanwhile even the most gullible customer knows that fraud is ruling the market when it comes to the topic "pure breed boas".

The new developement, however, is that in addition to lies and deceptions phony  Cites documents are used.

We got this pic of a forged Cites - document from an Austrian customer who bought a pair of crossbreeds that had been offered to him as "Corn Island Boas".

In order to hoodwink this guy the seller applied the "top score fraud legend":

"The animals have been smuggled to Germany and were seized by the customs duty. I have got the boas from the officers. Now I have decided to sell them".

 

This phony story is not new. We have heard several times that people had been ripped off that way. The new thing is that the offender has tried to verify his deception with a forged Cites document:

.... by the way, the German customs duty is just as little eligible to issue a Cites - document as for instance the ministry of agriculture to issue a passport. Concerning this fact the stupidity of the forger is hardly to outbid
(note: The forged Cites document states it has been issued by the customs duty at the Munich International Airport)

 

.... this is the original cites document which was used to produce the forged one above *
(notice the identic signature and the identic shape of the crosses done with the biro)

* Meanwhile we have learned that the Cites - certificate  above this text was forged as well (one would not believe it).  This document was never issued by the corresponding authority.

That means that a forged Cites - certificate was used to produce another forged Cites - document (this time from another person).

So much as to the topic honesty in selling boas and reliability of Cites documents...

... in conclusion we don't want to conceal that the authorities have already started an investigation.

... Meanwhile word has spread that it is common in Germany to sell crossbreeds as true locality specific boas.

We have been confronted with such a case again when an acquaintance of ours offered us a litter of Hog Island boas for sale the other day. Our investigation in this matter brought to light that our acquaintance had been ripped off. In fact the Hog Island Boas were HogXAmarali crosses.

Our acquaintance agreed to publish her email in which she thanked us. The reason for publishing this email is to make the people more alert yet when it comes to purchase supposedly true boas.

"I would like to thank you because you were the one who has uncovered this mistake. You maybe think now that I am stupid. But thinking about the trouble I would have faced by selling the animals as true Hog Island boas and carry on breeding these boas I get over it.

Now I will try to sell these animals as crossbreeds for a lower price and hope for understanding buyers. A male has already found a good place. Hopefully all the other animals will also get a good place.

Besides I blame myself that I have not investigated the matter as thoroughly as you did. Actually one must not simply trust other people but rely only on facts that are often toilsome to discover.
Meanwhile I am investigating the background of my other animals. It is just that one is learning from the mistakes.

I haven't reached Mr. *******  so far. Therefore I wrote him a letter. I am curious as to his reaction, but I don't expect very much of him.

Thank you and much success for the future!

Regards
*********