Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
is the only option available for old leopard, ocelot, sea otter and monkey coats and any other fur that's currently considered endangered or threatened. In general, IT IS ILLEGAL TO BUY OR SELL GARMENTS MADE FROM ENDANGERED SPECIES, EVEN IF THEY ARE OLD AND USED.
Kennedy-era leopard coats have regained popularity on the used fur market right now, but beware: in the U.S., if you are caught knowingly selling them in a transaction that crosses state lines, you could be punished with FIVE YEARS IN PRISON and a $250,000 FINE. If you are a business or organization, the maximum fine doubles.
No wonder no reputable furrier deals in endangered species today.
That goes for any garment made from furs listed on the Endangered Species Act, even if the garment was originally purchased before the law went into effect in 1970. If you are not sure if your garment is made from fur bearing animals now considered endangered, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at or check out the list at the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aThe majority of countries in the world are signatories to CITES, which means the U.S. isn't the only country to outlaw the sale of such coats. To find a list of countries that comply with the CITES treaty, go to
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, if you can prove that your leopard or ocelot or other such coat was purchased before the law went into effect in 1970, it is legal to sell it within your own state, but it cannot cross state lines. That means, if you have held onto the original receipt from pre-1970 (in a shoe box somewhere?), you could probably sell it to someone within your own state. But, if you're selling it at a flea market in Manhattan, for example, and the purchaser travels from New Jersey or Connecticut to buy it, you're breaking the law. If you're selling it online to someone in another state, you're breaking the law.
In case that's not enough of a deterrent, some state laws are stricter about selling endangered species than the federal laws.
Just don't do it.
So, according to this, it IS illegal because you bought it out of state. I suggest that you comply with the request of the game warden and send him te coat he asked for. I hope this helps! If you need further help, please fell free to contact me.