Some time ago I posted an article concerning possible new Federal regulations that could limit the trade in live amphibians (read it here), and promised to notify folks when the government asked for public comments. That time is now upon us.
The Proposal – History and Intent
The proposed regulations stem from concerns that the trade in live frogs and salamanders (and frog legs) is aiding the spread of 2 deadly amphibian diseases, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (“Chytrid fungus” or Bd) and Ranavirus (please see the article mentioned earlier for details).
Notice of the proposed regulations, which would prohibit trade in amphibians not certified as being free of Bd, has now been posted in the Federal Register. Interested persons and organizations may now express their opinions on the matters related to the proposed rules.
Who Should Comment
As we still have a great deal to learn about emerging amphibian diseases, I urge you to comment if you have some familiarity with the subject. One need not be a herpetologist – in fact, the experiences of pet keepers are specifically being sought. Please also be sure to alert your local herp club or other similar groups you may belong to.
Bd has been implicated in the decline or extinction of over 250 amphibian species, so time is of the essence. It is also important that any regulations enacted help solve the problem while still allowing responsible hobbyists to safely keep and breed amphibians.
How to Comment
Commenting is easy…simply click here and you will be taken to a form that can be used to register your opinions. The comment period closes on Thursday, December 16, 2010. Examples of the types of questions that the government is seeking to answer may be found here. However, you need not address these questions – any and all experiences or ideas are welcome and will be considered. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please feel free to post a comment after this article and I’ll be happy to help.
Text of the official announcement in the Federal Register.
My article on Disease and Amphibians in the Fish Bait Trade.
Amphibian Ark update on the federal proposal.