31 Oct '14, 4pm

Dot Earth Blog: Can Congress Act to Block Fungal Threat to U.S. Amphibians?

The key…is to clamp down on the small but often lucrative global trade in amphibians. An estimated 2.3 million Chinese fire belly newts (Cynops orientalis) were imported into the United States between 2001 and 2009, according to a recent study. In Europe, officials have some legal tools for regulating the trade, but rarely use them. A new E.U. animal health law, expected next year, could help, says geneticist Matthew Fisher of Imperial College London, who studies wildlife diseases. “It will be more aggressive,” he predicts. In the United States, no agency directly regulates imports of salamanders or other amphibians. “It’s a clear example of why we need to modernize our laws,” says Peter Jenkins, a consultant with the Center for Invasive Species Prevention in Washington, D.C. [Link . ] Congress is considering bills to give the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) more auth...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/can-congress...

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