Don't make salamanders and newts Illegal to send across US state lines
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(Note: We hobbyists support the importation ban of salamanders and newts to protect native wildlife from the salamander-specific chytrid fungus. However, we are against the forbidding of movement of salamanders and newts over state lines, and we encourage you to draft a new law that only affects the importation of salamanders and newts into the US)
As many of us newt and salamander lovers might know, there is a ban effective on 1/28/16 that forbids the movement of all species within 20 newt and salamander groups. Once again, we are not against the ban that bans the importing of salamander and newts, but we strongly disagree when it comes with banning the movement of those species between state lines.
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is infectious amphibian disease that would ravage many native amphibian populations if it were to come into the United States, is the reason for the ban. However, captive bred animals that hobbyists have been producing, are free from this disease, as it is only known to occur on the imported salamander and newt specimens -- such as wild-caught Asian and European caudate groups. The captive-bred animals that have been produced in the hobby are much healthier in every way, and carry no known diseases that could decimate US native salamander populations.
In addition, species that are banned, but are clean from B.salamandrivorans, include most, if not all members of the genera Triturus, Lissotriton, Pleurodeles, Neurergus, Taricha, Notophthalmus, and Plethodon; and possibly more. Therefore it is clear that species are being unnecessarily banned.
Lastly, think what would happen if people couldn't access CB animals. You would be denying future youth the ability to own an animal that has such an positive impact on a young child's mind. They wouldn't be able to learn about responsibility, they wouldn't be able to watch a salamander or newt larvae metamorphosis, they wouldn't be able to learn first hand about adaptations that newts and salamanders have to aid in survival, like their cryptic coloration, and their spectacular regenerative abilities.
Many irresponsible people and businesses would put more pressure on already declining numbers of Ambystoma in the US; by collecting those to sell instead.
All in all, if this law passes, it will create more problems than solutions to a very big problem. Thank you for reading, remember not to support the banning of interstate transportation of these species.
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