Legal Fees for Alligator Industry

California is the only state in the US that intends to prohibit the sale of alligator or crocodile products under an out-dated Penal Code. The ban’s origin dates back to 1967 when there was concern that the American alligator and other species of crocodiles were at risk of extinction. California responded with a law to protect the animal that included banning the importation or distribution of alligators and crocodiles in the state.

Today, the American alligator and the other commercially traded crocodilians in the luxury market have completely recovered from endangered species status. Trade conservation programs established by international research organizations and wildlife enforcement agencies in the nearly 200 participating countries have restored the wild populations of these species to over five million. In addition, Mainstream conservation organizations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the United Nations Environment Programme and others around the world have also recognized the crocodilian trade for more than four decades as proactively addressing research, management, enforcement, compliance, trade monitoring and conservation education. 

If California allows the prohibition of alligator and crocodile products, it will be detrimental to more than 50 years of wildlife conservation of crocodilians, wetlands restoration in the southeastern United States, and habitat protection for many species of birds, mammals, and fish who depend on private landowners to preserve the marsh with income derived from the alligator farming trade.

A group of private businesses representing all aspects of the alligator and crocodile industry supply chain have filed a lawsuit in federal court to fight to keep the sale of leather and  leather goods legal. 

Funds raised will be used 100% for attorneys fees for the legal challenge.

Most of the legal fees, to date, have been paid by alligator farmers across Louisiana.  

About the Legal Challenge

What the Experts Say:
“The benefits of Louisiana’s alligator industry to alligators are the tip of the iceberg; the industry is exponentially more beneficial to Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and the thousands of species of plants and animals than inhabit it.” - Jeb Linscombe, Alligator Biologist Program Manager, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (USA)

“People should come and see the benefits for themselves. The message should no longer be “this industry is awful.” It should be “buy a crocodile handbag and save five more crocodiles, and countless other species.” – Dr. Daniel Natusch, Biologist and Ecologist specializing in Snake Conservation (France)

“What Works” is the only definitive measure of a conservation program, and as the US alligator programs work spectacularly well, benefiting alligators, people and wetlands, they deserve accolades … not punishment.” – Dr. Grahame Webb, Biologist and Chairman of the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group, the world’s leading authority on crocodile conservation (Australia)

“Sound wildlife conservation and regulatory oversight have paved the path to the American alligator conservation success story. Wildlife conservation agencies and commercial alligator industries have cooperated together to reverse the threat on the status of alligators across its range resulting in thriving populations and ample product for industry supply and demands.” - Ricky Flynt, Alligator Biologist Program Manager, Mississippi Department of Parks and Wildlife (USA)

"There are several cases in which populations of some species have decreased to near extinction due to their commercial value and irrational use; and yet, for same economic reason, those species have been recovered as a result of the active participation of local people through the implementation of sustainable use programs. On the contrary, in cases where people have not benefited by these programs, the species continue to the path towards disappearance". – Dr. Pablo Siroski, Zoology, Biology and Conservation Expert (Argentina)

“The proof is in the pudding - or in this case, in the species. Of the world’s 27 crocodilian species, the only ones that aren’t imminently threatened with extinction are those that are being valued for commercial purposes. The remaining 7-10 species will be lost forever, some as soon as tomorrow, because local communities don’t value or benefit from them. Sustainable use saves wildlife, it saves habitat, and it saves people.” – Dr. Matt Shirley, Conservation Scientist, Florida International University (USA/West Africa)

“Florida’s alligator management program provides commercial and recreational opportunities and has been nationally and internationally recognized as a model for the sustainable use of a renewable natural resource. The economic benefits associated with participating in the FWC’s alligator management programs supports the research, management and law enforcement activities that contribute to the conservation success of Florida’s alligator population. Opportunities for sustainable use also creates ambassadors for the long-term well-being of the state’s alligator resource.”
- Dwayne Carbonneau, Alligator Biologist Program Manager, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (USA)

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Christy Plott
Griffin, GA

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