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Fac-simile of publication of the law instituting penalties for environmental crimes.

Diário Oficial
Imprensa Nacional - Brasília-DF
Sexta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 1998
LEI Nº 9.605, de fevereiro de 1998

Dispõe sobre as sanções penais e administrativas derivadas de condutas e atividades lesivas ao meio ambiente, e dá outras providências.
O Presidente da República
Faço saber que o Congresso Nacional decreta e eu sanciono a seguinte Lei:......


Sec.25. Upon proven violation, products shall be confiscated and the corresponding official report shall be written.

§ 1º Animals shall be freed in their habitat or taken up by zoos, foundations or similar entities, provided they remain under certified technicians’ supervision and responsibility.


Chapter I
On Crimes against Fauna

Sec.29. To kill, chase, hunt, trap, capture, any wild fauna species whether native or in migratory route, without permission, license or authorization from competent authorities or in disagreement with such permission, license or authorization. Penalty - six months to a year’s incarceration plus fine.

§ 1º The same penalty shall be applied to:

I. Whoever, without the corresponding authorization or license, prevents wild fauna breeding;

II. whoever alters, damages or destroys nests, shelters or natural breeding places;

III. whoever, without the corresponding license or authorization, sells, displays for sale, exports or acquires, keeps, keeps in captivity (whether in jails or other), uses or transports eggs, larvae or specimens of wild fauna, either native or in migratory route; and whoever will keep or sell products and objects originated from wild fauna or from unauthorized breeding.

§ 2º- In case of non-endangered wild fauna species being kept at home, the judge may waive the application of penalty if circumstances will so justify.

§ 3º- Wild fauna species are all the native, migratory or any other terrestrial or aerial animal species developing part or all of their life cycle in Brazilian territory or jurisdictional waters.

§ 4º- Penalty shall be increased by half in case of environmental crimes committed:

I – against rare or endangered species, even though this may be true only on the site of violation;

II – during prohibited hunting periods;

III – during the night;

IV – in excess or disregard of license or authorization;

V – within the perimeter of a conservation unit;

VI – with use of methods or instruments capable of mass destruction;

§ 5 - Penalty shall be increased up to three times when crimes are committed as a result of professional hunting;

§ 6º- The above provisions shall not apply to fishing acts.
Sec. 30. Sending abroad amphibian and reptiles raw skins and hides, without due authorization of competent environmental officials. Penalty – one to three years’ incarceration plus fine.

Art. 31. Introducing animal species into the country without any official technical approval and due license from competent officials. Penalty – three months to one year’s incarceration, plus fine.

Art. 32. To abuse, ill-treat, injure or mutilate wild, native or exotic animals, companion animals or pets. Penalty – three months to one year’s detention, plus fine.

§ 1º- The same penalties are applicable to whoever performs painful or cruel experiments in live animals, regardless whether such actions are for didactic or scientific purposes, whenever an alternative mean is available.

§ 2º- In case of death of the animal, the penalty shall be increased from one sixth to one third.

The Problem

Before the Environmental Law (Law 9605, of 1998) was enacted, whoever was caught hunting or trafficking wild animals had no bail rights. Incarceration was final, whether it was a criminal act or someone hunting to feed his family or himself. As the law was amended, penalties became lighter – especially for those who benefit from trafficking.


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