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I will highlight the important details-



Aquatic Snail Permits Now Required. The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), implemented existing regulations on April 5, 2006 to: 1) require importers and interstate sellers of marine and freshwater aquatic snails to acquire a three-year permit, 2) prohibit the importation or interstate movement of all members of the Family Ampullariidae except the interstate sale of Pomacea bridgesi (diffusa), and 3) routinely inspect shipments of aquatic plants and aquarium supplies that may contain aquatic snails. To acquire the appropriate permit (USDA PPQ Permit 526) visit []USDA - APHIS - Missing Page - Error 404. For additional information, contact Dr. Carmen Soileau, at <[email protected]> or 301-734-5302. (Thanks to Paul Zajicek)




Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 330 [Docket No. APHIS–2006–0051] Aquatic Snails; Permit Requirements for Importation and Interstate Movement AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Policy statement.

SUMMARY: This document gives notice that we intend to begin consistently and routinely requiring that a permit must accompany all aquatic snails that are imported into the United States or that are moving interstate. We also intend to consistently require that shipments of aquatic snails, as with all other plant pests imported under permit, be subject to inspection and to begin routinely and consistently inspecting shipments of aquatic supplies or plants that may contain aquatic snails. This action is necessary in order to prevent the importation or interstate movement of certain species of aquatic snails which, if released into the environment, can become destructive agricultural pests. DATES: Effective Date: April 5, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding import permits, contact Dr. Michael J. Firko, Director of Permits, Registration, and Imports, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737–1231; (301) 734– 8758. For information concerning inspection of commodities, contact Mr. William Thomas, Director, Quarantine Policy, Analysis and Support, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 60, Riverdale, MD 20737–1236; (301) 734– 5214. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background The regulations in 7 CFR part 330 prohibit or restrict the importation into the United States or the interstate movement of plant pests and the movement of means of conveyance, earth, stone and quarry products, garbage, and certain other articles to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests into and within the United States. The regulations in part 330 identify snails among the organisms considered to be plant pests. The regulations contained in ‘‘Subpart-Movement of Plant Pests,’’ §§ 330.200 through 330.212 (referred to below as the regulations), restrict or prohibit the importation or interstate movement of plant pests. Section 330.200 specifies that a permit is required for the intentional movement of any plant pest into or through the United States. Section 330.203 provides that permits may include any conditions which, in the opinion of the Deputy Administrator, are necessary to prevent dissemination of plant pests into the United States or interstate. Such conditions may vary, but may include requirements for inspection of the premises where the plant pests are to be handled after their movement under permit to determine whether the facilities are adequate to prevent plant pest dissemination. While we have considered snails to be plant pests for decades, we have not routinely enforced permit and inspection requirements for aquatic snails, particularly those moving interstate. Most aquatic snails imported into the United States are imported for use in aquariums, often as part of shipments of aquarium supplies such as fish or plants. Other aquatic snails are inadvertently imported as ‘‘hitchhikers’’ in shipments of other aquatic supplies or plants. The majority of aquatic snails moving interstate are moved as pets or for sale as pets. Before plastic aquarium plants became popular among aquarium owners, plant-feeding snails were undesirable for aquarium use. Importers of aquarium plants did not intentionally import them and were vigilant about inspecting shipments to prevent ‘‘hitchhikers.’’ As a result, imports of plant-feeding snails were insignificant and did not present a risk to U.S. agriculture. However, the widespread use of plastic aquarium plants has led to an increase in the use of such aquatic snails in aquariums as pets. Importers are also less concerned by aquatic snails being imported in shipments of aquarium supplies. In addition, more aquatic snails are now being sold and moved interstate, often from areas where exotic aquatic snails have become established. Some of the most damaging of these aquatic snails, and most popular among aquarium owners, are the channeled apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata complex), or other species of Pomacea[/COLOR]. Channeled apple snails, as well as other species of Pomacea, pose a significant threat to U.S. agriculture, especially rice crops. In southeast Asia, several channeled apple snail species were intentionally introduced as a food item in the early 1980s. Instead of becoming a useful food source, however, many snails either escaped or were released into nearby rice fields. In addition to causing millions of dollars of rice crop damage annually in Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, China, Korea, and other southeast Asian countries, the snail was found to carry Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a parasite nematode that causes potentially lethal eosinophilic meningitis, a disease of humans and other animals. During the early 1990s, fish farmers in the Cibao region of the Dominican Republic intentionally introduced channeled apple snails to control algal and macrophytic buildup in their ponds. Within a few months, the snails escaped into the surrounding riceproducing area. By 1997, about 40 percent of the Dominican riceproducing areas were infested, with crop losses in some areas estimated at 75 percent or more. Channeled apple snails are also now established in regions of the United States. In Hawaii, the channeled apple snail was first reported in 1989. Since then, it has spread to several islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, including Maui, Kaua1i, O1ahu, Hawai1i, and Lana1i, where it has become a serious pest of taro. The snail was first reported in Florida in 1998 and is believed to be established in Collier, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Pinellas Counties. In California, the channeled apple snail emerged in 1998 in San Diego County, and isolated populations have subsequently been reported in several VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:30 Apr 04, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\05APR1.SGM 05APR1 rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with RULES 16974 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 65 / Wednesday, April 5, 2006 / Rules and Regulations other areas of the State. So far, however, California’s rice-growing regions are not affected. Additionally, channeled apple snail infestations in Texas, which were previously confined to the American Canal south of Houston, appear to have spread to areas of active rice production as a result of Tropical Storm Alison in 2001. The effects of this introduction are not yet known. Allowing further imports of the channeled apple snail and other aquatic snails would increase the number of potentially invasive snails in the United States beyond the rate of natural increase and spread and would increase the damage the snails do to the environment, as well as the likelihood that they will spread into areas beyond where they are already found. This would make it more difficult and expensive to control and eradicate them. Preventing the introduction and dissemination of destructive aquatic snails is difficult for a number of reasons. The distinction between species and species complexes is blurred and the biology of various snail taxa is generally poorly understood. Currently, only one species of apple snail, Pomacea bridgesii, appears to be innocuous. However, even to a welltrained eye, these snails appear remarkably similar to the extremely destructive channeled apple snails. In addition, immature snails imported in shipments of aquarium plants can be difficult to find during routine inspections. Routinely and consistently enforcing the regulations with respect to aquatic snails will help prevent the introduction and spread of apple snails and many other Pomacea species not established in the United States, as well as prevent the introduction and spread of the snails from one region of the country to other, uninfested regions. Further, it is unlikely that we would issue permits for the importation or interstate movement of species of Pomacea, except specimens of P. bridgesii. As stated above, even to a well-trained eye, P. bridgesii can appear very similar to the destructive channeled apple snail, particularly when the snail is immature. Therefore, we would require, as a permit condition, that the P. bridgesii be a minimum of 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long. Establishing a minimum length for import and interstate movement of P. bridgesii will allow inspectors to more easily confirm the species of the snail in question. We further intend to begin consistently and routinely enforcing the regulations to require that a permit accompany all aquatic snails moving into or through the country and will increase the level of inspection of shipments of aquarium supplies and plants offered for entry into the United States to look for evidence of aquatic snails.
 

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If they were apple snails, the shipment would be confiscated and destroyed.

While it doesn't mention non-compliance, the norm is a fine.. and it can be a large one. Jail time is not unheard of with certain illegal species but those are usually due to physically dangerous ones.
 

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I will highlight the important details-

Aquatic Snail Permits Now Required. The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), implemented existing regulations on April 5, 2006 to: 1) require importers and interstate sellers of marine and freshwater aquatic snails to acquire a three-year permit,

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 330 [Docket No. APHIS–2006–0051] Aquatic Snails; Permit Requirements for Importation and Interstate Movement AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Policy statement.


SUMMARY:
This document gives notice that we intend to begin consistently and routinely requiring that a permit must accompany all aquatic snails that are imported into the United States or that are moving interstate. We also intend to consistently require that shipments of aquatic snails, as with all other plant pests imported under permit, be subject to inspection and to begin routinely and consistently inspecting shipments of aquatic supplies or plants that may contain aquatic snails.
Read very carefully - the document says "all aquatic snails". That means assassins, MTS, pond snails, etc. fall under this permitting process, unless I'm miss-reading?

That potentially really sucks, as eloquently put earlier! Typical overbroad regulatory knee-jerk reaction.
 

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This is interesting as I got a shipment of (Rare) Blue Russian Ramshorn snails on 7-20-11 shipped from N.Y. All arrived fine in a reg. double bagged plastic bag with a ice gel pack. I think because of the heat wave back east. It is not hot here in Sunny San Diego, California. I got them on aquabid. I was to get 12 but got 18. I'm trying to sell 12 of them on Craigslist for cheap 3 for $5 as I do not need that many of them.I was thinking of posting them on here for some of the forum folks that might be interested in a small flat rate box for $4.95 I think with a tracking #.My box that I got was not labeled anything. I think that is why they did not have a problem shipping it. It did have a tracking # and I got it from USPS. Here is a picture of these lovely snails. I was going to include food and a information sheet about them included.

Redchigh, I sent you some of my Assassin snails one time so is this something new? Anyways people ship all kinds of stuff and the post office can not check every pkg. or the Post Office would be at a stand still with no pkg. going out.

(NOTE) Anyone interested in some nice Blue Tiger endlers I have a pair and some baby fry available cheap.(PM) me on those with your e-mail so that I can send you pictures of them, I also have Pink/Red Scarlet endler fry also.

I think the above on shipment of snails are from importers from other countries shipping into the U.S but I can be wrong. The local aquarium stores would not be able to sell any snails then. The price of those snails would be so high in cost that no person would want to buy them. I can get Assassin snails at my local aquarium store for 6 for $12. Most other snails are $2.99 each like the horned nerite snail.
 

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No they dont check every box, just some randomly. It appears to cover all snails, or packages that could contain snails(like live plants) if they go across state lines or into the country. The local pet stores wouldn't need a permit to sell as their customers are walk in. The pet store suppliers would probably need a permit however. Thinking this through I dont think it's going to change a whole lot. Might have to be careful when buying snails off sites like Aquabid though if the seller doesn't have a permit.
 

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I know that aquabid will not let anyone sell anything illigal. Just like Ebay. So I think it is safe for buyers on these websites to buy from them. Some seller say they are home raised free of parisites and if it was a big problem I think that sites like aquabid would ban sellers trying to sell certain plants, snails, or dwarf shrimps.
 

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Well not if it's flat out illegal in the US, but stuff with permits is not completly illegal and I've seen a few bad reviews because the shipment was confiscated due to no permit.
 

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The USDA website says this....

USDA may permit the interstate movement of snails or slugs for research purposes, educational use in classrooms, display in zoos as well as the importation for research and aquatic hobby trade.

So it would seem to me that shipping snails for the aquactic hobby is okay...
 

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Operative word is "may" and that wording likely refers to those who would be awarded/allowed permits under the regulations. I don't think it will change anything, but it's good information to be aware of.

Thank goodness downloading music stopped once people realized it was illegal.
I'm NOT advocating illegal music downloads or snail shipping. I don't like the snail regs, but they are actually in place for a reason, even if I think it's written a little overly broad.
 

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I find it odd that the only Family they specifically target is Ampullariidae. If they wanted to really cover themselves they'd list the families of the other kinds too. I'd say Aquabid, Craigslist, Ebay and other online stores are more likely to be targeted than the average joe who doesn't draw attention to themselves.
 

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I find it odd that the only Family they specifically target is Ampullariidae. If they wanted to really cover themselves they'd list the families of the other kinds too. I'd say Aquabid, Craigslist, Ebay and other online stores are more likely to be targeted than the average joe who doesn't draw attention to themselves.
Again - read the wording carefully. It says "all snails" and notes ones of most agricultural concern, but the regulation never says anything about being limited to only that family, unless I missed something in my read-through. :cry:
 

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Thanks for letting us know. I got snails in the tank of Fancy Guppies from my friend. Now I don't know if I can sell anything from that aquarium. I don't know the varieties of snails. So how then do I cull them out?
 

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I have sent an email to the PPQ permit department of the USDA for clarification on permitting and interstate sales/mailings in regards to those of use that use snails for personal/hobby use. I will let you know when they respond.

I also called my state's USDA office and have a message pending with them to call me back.
 

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Thanks, It would be nice to have all this cleared up as I like snails and have 2 types, Assassin snails, and my new Blue Russian Ramshorns that I just got shipped to me from N.Y last week.
 
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