The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is reviewing a petition to list in trade, under the Lacey Act, all live amphibians or their eggs as injurious unless certified as free of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid fungus).
According to the document, the importation and introduction of live amphibians infected with chytrid fungus into the natural ecosystems of the United States may pose a threat to interests of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, or to wildlife or the wildlife resources of the United States. An injurious wildlife listing would prohibit the importation of live amphibians or their eggs infected with chytrid fungus into, or transportation between, States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States by any means, without a permit. Permits may be issued for scientific, medical, educational, or zoological purposes. The document seeks information from the public to aid in determining if a proposed rule is warranted.
On September 9, 2009, Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar received a petition from the Defenders of Wildlife requesting that live amphibians or their eggs in trade be considered for inclusion in the injurious wildlife regulations (50 CFR part 16) under the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42) unless they are free of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid fungus). The Defenders of Wildlife state they are concerned that unregulated trade – primarily for pet use and as live animals for consumption as frog legs – continues to threaten the survival of many amphibian species, including domestic and foreign species listed by the Service under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), candidate species, and other species.
The USFWS will consider information received or postmarked on or before December 16, 2010.
You may submit comments by one of the following methods.
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2009-0093.
U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2009-0093, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203.
Additional Information Contact
Susan Jewell, Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 770, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone 703-358-2416. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.
Andrew Wyatt is the President of the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) and has been an avid herp enthusiast for more than 35 years. He has traveled the world and has had his animals featured in a number of television productions. For more information about USARK, click here.
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