Regarding the Sale of Fossil Vertebrates

May 13, 2007

The SVP Executive Committee is concerned with reports about the sale of vertebrate fossils by some members of SVP. When individuals join SVP, they sign an agreement to abide by the bylaws of the Society, including the code of ethics, which states, "the barter, sale, or purchase of scientifically significant vertebrate fossils is not condoned unless it brings them into or keeps them with, a public trust" (Bylaws of SVP, Article 12, Code of Ethics, Section 6). We are compelled by our Bylaws to enforce the Code of Ethics.

We wish to make clear our position on this subject. As of March 1, 2005, we have a standing committee to investigate reported incidents involving the sale of scientifically significant vertebrate fossils by SVP members to destinations other than recognized scientific organizations. This committee will make a recommendation to the Executive Committee, including the possible termination of membership in SVP of those who fail to abide by the Code of Ethics.

Annalisa Berta, President SVP

-Archived 8.14.2006