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Discussion Starter #1

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I hate when the government thinks it knows what it is doing.
Unfortunately they took action because of the outbreak that happened in Europe that was linked to the import of caudates from Asia. This is different from frogs because the petition to list all amphibian as injurious occurred after the outbreak was well established in the US.
This is not a new thing and it doesn't mean that it can't be modified to exempt disease free animals in the US as this has already been done with other species. Some notable examples of this are the restrictions placed on leopard tortoises, African Spur-thighs and Bell's Hingebacks once they realized that the imported animals were often carrying ticks with heart-water disease. As a result imports were halted and interstate sales and transport of imported animals were heavily restricted but captive bred animals were allowed to continue with proof of cb status.

So if you want it to change start petitioning the government about allowing cb animals to be traded.

Some comments

Ed
 

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I glanced over the list and most look like foreign species? The FAQ seems to indicate that most of these are not included in the pet trade as well.

Bottom line, I suppose it means that now we could not import these species and cannot move them across state lines. In state purchases would be limited to captively bred stock only.
 

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I glanced over the list and most look like foreign species? The FAQ seems to indicate that most of these are not included in the pet trade as well.

Bottom line, I suppose it means that now we could not import these species and cannot move them across state lines. In state purchases would be limited to captively bred stock only.
This is basically the entire US salamander hobby, except axolotls. The majority of species that can be easily captive bred are on this list, including US natives.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like we have good ol Kerry Kriger and his anti captive group "Save the Frogs" to blame in part for this.
...Sigh...

P. S.

I will admit, the SOB knows how to get attention--while we sit around talking to each other...
 

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I am catching up on the conversation about this that is happening over at caudata. One good point that is raised there is that this may set precedent for sweeping laws, and since our hobbies are quite small, I wonder if any of you might want to scan through the thread as it develops, and jump in on any developments for petitions and letter writing that come up in the next few days.

The opportunity to voice concerns opens up tomorrow, from what I'm reading.

http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-...mander-trade-transportation-effect-month.html
 

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This is of grave importance to all of us on this forum. Unfortunately, many on this forum, myself included, don't feel they have the knowledge or time necessary to get involved.

Ed and others, what advice do you have for us casual members that would like to make a difference? (Show me where to sign and I will do so).
 

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This is of grave importance to all of us on this forum. Unfortunately, many on this forum, myself included, don't feel they have the knowledge or time necessary to get involved.

Ed and others, what advice do you have for us casual members that would like to make a difference? (Show me where to sign and I will do so).
Go to the comment section and provide well thought out reasons that a blanket ban on interstate travel isn't a good idea. Don't rant, don't rave and don't provide incorrect information as it won't help and will only result in your comments from being tossed out which then reduces the hobby's ability to impact the final resolution.
Online petitions aren't going to really help as they are not accepting e-mails or faxes.
Make sure that all correspondences are correctly identified. The correct addresses are found here
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Search for DocketNo. FWS–HQ–FAC–2015–0005 and
follow the instructions for submitting
comments.
Mail, Hand Delivery, or Courier: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–FAC–2015–0005; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management
Programs; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275
Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http://
Regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal
information you provide us (see Comments on the Content of the Interim
Rule for more information). All submissions received must include
‘‘Docket No. FWS–HQ–FAC–2015–0005’’ for this rulemaking. For detailed
instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the
rulemaking process, see Comments on the Content of the Interim Rule.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to Regulations.gov and find Docket
No. FWS–HQ–FAC–2015–0005.
from http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/2016/2016-00452.pdf

If you vote I suggest contacting your representatives in congress. If you don't vote and are of age, I suggest registering, voting and writing your representatives.

This is different than the chytrid frogs ban as chytrid was already well entrenched in the USA. This disease for one reason or another has not been detected in the US.

Some comments

Ed
 

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Ugh, it seems the solution is always to ban anything and everything, almost as if the word "moderation" didn't exist.
 

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I wonder if Ed, or others with biological or zoological backgrounds, could comment and answer the questions that they listed, and provide a detailed counterargument to this ban? I left a comment, but I understand that I have my own limitations in providing the best information, so maybe others could jump in and help?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
HELP!

I am going to regulations.gov and entering FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005
in the "search" box. Yet when I enter "salamander" it does!

Any ideas what I am doing wrong? Please advise asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry the above got garbled.

I am going to regulations.gov and entering FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005 in the "search" box--no result found. Yet when I enter "salamander" it does!

Any ideas what I am doing wrong? Please advise asap.
 

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This is the full document about the ban. Is that what you're looking for?: http://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife...ean-to-OFR.pdf

Edit: This link no longer works. My best bet is that, with the comment period open now, they've moved/removed the announcement, which solicited comments. Good thing I printed a copy. Sit tight. I'll get addresses, details, whatever I have.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Following is the text of my proposed comments on the topic--I seek the input of Ed, Doug or any other professionals:

RE: RE: FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005


To whom it may concern:

My name is George Axiotakis, an educator and serious hobbyist in New York. I am writing to offer my comments on
FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005, the proposal to ban importation and interstate transport of 201 salamander species due to the possibility of Bsal contamination. It is my understanding that the Lacey Act entails a ban on importation and interstate transport. After correspondence and discussion with other private hobbyists and professionals, many of us believe the following steps can accomplish what the ban seeks to do. To be clear, we do not object to the importation ban; in fact, we approve of the importation ban as the best way to protect our pets and native populations, as there is no evidence to date of Bsal in North America. But we do find the ban on interstate transport to be problematic, unnecessary and potentially injurious to businesses, herpetologists and some of the listed salamander species.


The following suggestions specifically address questions 5 and 6 in the Agency's request for comments:


1) We strongly suggest that that zoos and veterinary labs implement a testing procedure for extant captive collections. For Bd (frog chytrid), one does not have to swab each frog; from what I understand Bsal is a less potent virus. Collections that test clean could receive appropriate certification;
2) Be aware that serious goals of researchers and private hobbyists include education and conservation. These are not "play with" pets, rather we use them in classrooms to teach evolution and biodiversity. In addition, several of the listed species are threatened by climate change and human encroachment, and captive breeding of these animals ensures that there will be some viable populations;
3) We believe that the best way to ensure that only safe specimens are being kept and traded is to allow professional and private keepers to keep open, detailed records, thus eliminating any potential for a black market.

I thank the Agency for its consideration of these comments.


Sincerely,


George Axiotakis
 

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Excerpts from the document that pertain to how and when to advance comments about the ban:

"This interim rule is effective as of January 28, 2016. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this interim rule on or before March 14, 2016" ("injurious Wildlife Species; Listing Salamanders Due to Risk of Chytrid Fungus" Section I "Dates," Paragraph 1.)

"You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
>Federal eRulemaing Portal: Regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005 and follow the instructions for submitting comments.
>Mail, Hand Delivery, or Courier: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
We will not accept email faxes. We will post all comments on Regulations.gov This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us [...]. All submissions received must include 'Docket No. FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-0005' for this rulemaking" (emphasis removed from the original, Section II "Addresses, Paragraphs 1-3).
 
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