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Thread: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

  1. #1
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Post USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    The USFW is moving toward regulating the movement of amphibians between states in the USA due to a presumed further threat of the spread of the amphibian disease known as chytrid. Sadly, pet frog keepers will suffer the most from this and it's time for us to do something about it before it's too late. I have attached a PDF format file of the posting by the USFW service in the US Federal Register detailing the proposal so you can read it for yourself.

    Reading between the lines, this new proposal for regulation of amphibian movement between US states, as well as into the US would effectively cripple the ability of people (that's you and me) to keep amphibians as pets. If you breed your frogs, they would require an official certification of being chytrid free in order for you to send them to hobbyists outside your state, and if you ever had to move home to another state, you would require certification to bring your pet newts and frogs with you. To do otherwise would be breaking federal law under the Lacey Act. "Permits may be issued for scientific, medical, educational, or zoological purposes." That does not include hobbyists like you and I. You would have to have your animals tested for chytrid (which would realistically have to be done regularly for the same animals). This would not be free and not something that can happen over night. In my opinion, this will effectively kill the concept of keeping amphibians as pets in the USA.

    Sadly, this is the big one for us. Having read the proposal in detail, I see little merit to it - chytrid is out there, every where to some degree in the US at this point. The majority of the damage is done, in my opinion. The argument that new strains of chytrid could wreak further havoc on wildlife has some merit, but pet keepers are not the primary source of the spread of this disease, and thus should not have to suffer for the USFW's inability to specifically regulate bait fishing trade and the food industry.

    This is the big letter writing campaign we need to get on right away, or our hobby may never be the same. In the past, many of us have been content to sit back and let reptile enthusiasts do the letter writing and hard work to prevent previous legal threats to the greater reptile and amphibian hobby. We don't have them to back us up this time - this proposed regulation is specifically about amphibians (frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians), not snakes, not lizards, and not turtles. We are the ones who have to act.

    The following is taken from reptilechannel.com and is written by Andrew Wyatt of USARK (a pro reptile and amphibian hobby legal organisation). It also contains links and info on what you and I can do to help prevent this coming to pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Wyatt of USARK
    Non-Native Amphibians with Chytrid Fungus
    The USFWS gets request that non-native amphibians be considered for inclusion in the injurious wildlife regulations under the Lacey Act, unless declared free of chytrid fungus.
    September 17, 2010

    By Andrew Wyatt

    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.

    Deadline
    The USFWS will consider information received or postmarked on or before December 16, 2010.

    Submit
    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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    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    Well what could we do? Just write a letter? Can't we form some sort of union, and speak out our minds to the government?? Can't we do stuff like petitions, go around educating everyone? Honestly this would suck because I personally have my share of pets and Iam going to be moving soon. Iam not going to give them up no matter what. So I would like to do my part, and everyone on here should do their parts as well. I for one keep quiet when it comes to stuff like these, because mainly Iam afraid my words may screw it up for other people. But I cannot allow such thing to happen, so we must do something to stop this! Writing a letter could do something, but honestly it shouldnt be just writing letters. We the keepers, the breeders, and all around amphibian lovers should do something directly. I mean its not like this is an illegal substance or anything! In any case this doesntaffect nature at all, its not like we are going to release it. If anything there should just be more stronger laws reguarding permits. So not just anyone can own a pet. So that when they accept that responsibility, should the animal be released they would get fined a high price. Anyone who owns an amphibian should have a main vet, and if they dont take the animal atleast 2x a year then Idk something like the police are called over to investigate. If an animal is being given over, the other person must own a liscence and must contact the vet and the people who are in charge of the wild life laws. So like if you buy an animal you must notify a vet, and the people who make up the laws for the wild life. Therefore everything would be kept track off.

  4. #3
    SethD
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    Default Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    I strongly suggest all US amphibian keepers leave a comment at USFWS site for comments in the link. If EVERYONE that possibly can is not vocal in their opposition to this proposal while it can be stopped I think there is a very good chance the amphibian trade will be crippled. Right now there are numerous comments obviously coming from animal "rights" activists not only pushing for this crippling proposal but endorsing the complete elimination of the amphibian trade. They considerably outnumber those who have commented in opposition to this proposal. If frog hobbyists don't speak up the radical animal rights agenda stands a good chance of being pushed through and transporting most pet trade amphibians across state lines will become a violation of the lacy act. EVERY hobbyist here should leave a comment saying you appose it if you want to keep the hobby alive. Otherwise there is a very good chance you can say goodbye to most species of exotic amphibians in the pet trade.

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    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    Well said Seth. We need to mobilize.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

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    Lightbulb Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Well said Seth. We need to mobilize.
    Why not post this in sites that alot of people can see??? Like:
    Myspace
    Facebook
    Yearbook


    and any other site of the sort. Try going to expos and put up a stand that represents whats going on. Iam sure if this is done in reptile expos all throughout the states there is a greater chance that we would outnumber all of those hippies. :/ Honestly Iam all pro animal. But to be honest, most amphibians dont roam the earth as much as other animals would. Except for breeding. Of course they s hould have the proper enclosure and size of it is of big importance. But you wouldnt put a tiny finger nail sized dartfrog that is an active species in a 55g its just ridiculous! I may not be some sort of frog expert. But from what I see in my own eyes when I go out herping you find the same amphibians pretty much in the same spot(unless for breeding). Anywho, if you want to mobolize don't just keep this in here. Post it everywhere, go to every reptile site you know. Even kingsnake. Go to the classified section, and post up an ad. Sure the owners may get mad at you , but atleast you're getting the w ord out. Riiiiighhht? There are many things we can do:
    -Spread it online(once you post something it spreads like a wildfire, take advantage of that. Post it in sites of heavy traffic)
    -GO to every petstores around your areas and plead them to let them post up a large bulletin in the frog section of their stores or if not have one then outside. Anywhere is pretty good. Just put big bold letters "ATTENTION FROG KEEPERS". Etc. Post these bulletins around your community. Go to reptile expos. Go to places again with heavy traffic. Chances are p eople will read it if you make it appealing. Make sure you put some sort of pictures of amphibians in the bulletin. Because personally, froma consumer point. I wouldnt stop to read something on the side of the street that doesnt catch my eye. At first ill think its an expo or someone trying to sell it(thats the idea you want to make them think. Itll draw them in, well not really selling something but you know? Something appealing), then you pop up the whole thing.

    Try going on the radio try 100.3 alot of teens listen to it. Try stations that alot of people generally listen to.
    Theres also going around in public with a stand, a megaphone and such and teaching people. Obviously you wont want to do this in a place where it has nothing to do with animals. Try around petstores. Try around walmarts(you wont believe how much attention you will get around walmart).
    Post flyers around vets.
    Try spreading the word amongst your circle of friends and getting them to pass it on so forth.

    These are all ideas of what we can do.

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    Sponsor michael novy's Avatar
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    Default Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    You want to mobilize, here are some draft point you can use.. I'm sending in letters from me and a bunch of us around Cleveland.. They do not have that many letters sent in yet, so I stongly suggest send this in tomorrow if you can.. 42 cents isn't much to save our hobby.. Go to this for the draft points.

    Drafting Points for Amphibian NOI - FaunaClassifieds

    Make a difference.. Stick it to the man..
    Michael Novy
    rainforestjunkys.com

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    Default Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    Here is the link to petition against the Category Exclusion act, and to provide an extension to passing this as law.

    http://usark.org/campaign/usfws-cate...-f357-p2110-o1
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203589094112277&id=1363241107&set =a.1434844115446.2055312.1363241107&source=11&ref= bookmark

  9. #8
    spock22a
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    Default Re: USFW proposal to regulate pet amphibian movement could end our hobby

    Don't shoot the messenger or anything, but with a few modifications I actually think this is a good idea. I am a horse rider, and they have the same type of law in place for horses to prevent the spread of certain diseases. If you are taking your horse over state lines, or are traveling more than a certain number of miles, then you just contact a vet and have the test run. It has cut down the number of cases of the tested diseases by about seventy or eighty percent, and hasn't done anything negative to the horse industry. It's just mad horses healthier. If they add hobbyists, or something along those lines to the bill then it would work better probably.

    About this law not effecting natural populations.... We do have an effect. Frogs escape, or are set free by people that don't know better(and I'd like to point out that the people on here are much more educated than the average person when it comes to frogs, and some of those people may own frogs). There are a lot of invasive populations out there, and we need to educate people to reduce this. Native populations may be resistant to very different types of diseases than other types of frogs. By reducing the number of diseases on these frogs, we are reducing the amount of damage being done to native populations.

    ***Please don't yell..... I'm just giving my opinion as another frog lover and owner.***

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