Florida is a popular destination for tourists, but Florida residents like those in New Port Richey want to vacation in other locales. Enjoy your journey, but be careful when collecting souvenirs. These 10 souvenirs can get you arrested for violating the Lacey Act.
The Lacey Act makes it illegal to bring certain plants, wildlife and fish into the United States. While this law mainly targets smugglers, your souvenirs will still be scrutinized. For example, do not bring back ivory because elephants are an endangered species and are hunted for the ivory in their trunks.
Exotic pets are exciting but usually not worth the risk. Be extra careful if you want a pet snake because many constrictor snakes are outlawed in Florida since they can harm the Everglades.
The Hangover and Siegfried and Roy make jungle cats look like dangerous yet irresistible pets, but the entertainment world and reality are different. Foreign countries sell tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and hybrid species, but these large animals are out-of-bounds for law-abiding citizens.
Not all exotic animals make harmful pets, but they can introduce new diseases to an area. This is why many birds are not acceptable souvenirs.
Illegally transported monkeys have been responsible for disease scares in the past, but they are also not domesticated. While they are surely one of the cutest animals, harmless looking monkeys are wild and can hurt humans.
Other countries use cat and dog fur in clothing. Retailers often intentionally mislabel this clothing, but authorities can detect the lie and assign you huge fines.
Widespread illegal lumber trading makes officials carefully look at any wooden furniture or souvenirs. You even need to make sure that postcards and stationary are legal by American standards.
If you wake up every morning with a cup of tea or are buying gifts for others, avoid coca tea from the Andes. This cheap, sweet tea is readily available on vacation, but customs officials are not taking any chances with a plant linked to cocaine.
Bringing back cactus plants from Peru is challenging because the plant is endangered there. Do not buy any items made from the pant.
Paddlefish are native to the Mississippi River and are supposed to stay there. Bringing the eggs across state lines as caviar eggs is prohibited.
You are free to roam wherever you want, but be careful about what you take back to New Port Richey.