USFWS may list all amphibians as injurious wildlife unless they can be proven to be "Bd free."
In a recent release, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) alerted the pet industry to a regulatory matter that they said could have an adverse impact on the pet industry, especially those involved in the trade in amphibians. The release called for action to help spread the word about, and constructively respond to, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Notice of Inquiry (NOI) by December 16, 2010.
The USFWS recently issued a NOI, requesting information from the public on amphibians and a microscopic fungus, known as Batrachocytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has caused amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Through the NOI, the USFWS is exploring the possibility of listing all amphibians under the Lacey Act as injurious wildlife unless they can be proven to be “Bd free.” This listing would place import and interstate transport restrictions on amphibians and institute criminal penalties (up to the felony-level) for those who transport amphibians in violation of the Lacey Act.
In explaining the implications, PIJAC stated that the NOI is focused on live amphibians, and that the resulting regulatory action could establish a broad-reaching precedent that would have impacts throughout the pet industry. It could, for example, set the stage for listing any animal in the pet trade as injurious unless proven to be parasite and/or microbe free.
How to Act
- Forward this information throughout your pet industry network as soon as possible.
- Visit the Bd-free ‘Phibs website to learn more about this issue (www.bd-freephibs.com).
- Constructively respond to the NOI by December 16, 2010 (click here)
- If you are already involved in Bd testing, treatment, or education, please fill out a partner profile on the Bd-free ‘Phibs website Partner Forum page. This will help demonstrate pet industry leadership and responsibility on this issue.