The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is killing native and captive salamanders and newts. This invasive fungus is likely to have been introduced in Europe by imported salamanders and newts from Asia. OFI and RAVON (Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation the Netherlands) share the same ambition: to stimulate a safe and sustainable trade of salamanders and newts and prevent the spread of (invasive) pathogens outside their indigenous range.
To reach that goal we agreed to work towards the prevention of the import and transmission of invasive pathogens (such as B. salamandrivorans) both to collections and wild amphibians.
In the light of recommendation No. 176 of the Bern Convention Standing Committee we acknowledge the bio-security risks that are associated with importing animals. A science-based pre-import screening should be compulsory for all imported salamanders and newts, but the development and implementation of this could be long-term. In the meantime awareness to this relevant issue needs to be created at the sides of suppliers, importers and customers. OFI and RAVON call out to maintain high bio-security standards, have sick or dead newts/salamanders tested and to provide information for the end-user not to release pets in the wild, nor to deposit wastewater outside.
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