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To quote the USDA

One species complex in the family Ampullaridae, Pomacea bridgesii (diffusa) may move interstate without a permit because these snails are not known to be agricultural pests but are primarily algae feeders.

That means "mystery snails" are okay to move interstate without a permit. (I think this includes the most common apple snails sold at pet stores)

I'd be willing to bet that most aquatic snails are going to be okay as the main ones that they are prohibiting are land snails.
 

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To quote the USDA

One species complex in the family Ampullaridae, Pomacea bridgesii (diffusa) may move interstate without a permit because these snails are not known to be agricultural pests but are primarily algae feeders.

That means "mystery snails" are okay to move interstate without a permit. (I think this includes the most common apple snails sold at pet stores)

I'd be willing to bet that most aquatic snails are going to be okay as the main ones that they are prohibiting are land snails.
Good catch! I'd bet many "intercepted" USPS snail packages were leaking water, not stopped because they were actually inspected for permits.
 

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My first respons for the APHIS/USDA permitting office was regarding Ramshorn snails...

as follows:

Dear Danette, Thank you for your inquiry below. Planorbis corneus is not considered to be a plant pest. You may purchase these snails and move them across state lines without a plant pest permit. Please contact me directly if you have additional questions.

Lena Carmen Soileau, Ph. D.
USDA/APHIS/PPQ

I have asked her to send me a list or link to the prohibited species. The only list that I could find on the USDA/APHIS site was under a pdf that was 118 pages long. It addressed only land dwelling snails and slugs. None that were listed were ones that I could tell were commonly kept in aquariums. I am sure there is some person out there that pops these snails in there, but not the ones that you would see sold through ebay/aquabid/online pet stores... although I believe I have seen Giant African Snails for sell on EBAY and those DO require a permit.

I'll keep you guys posted! At least now I know I can buy my Ramshorns without an issue.
 

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Here's her fast response to my second email:

The only snails that are regulated by USDA APHIS are snails that have the potential to become agricultural pests. Both aquatic and terrestrial snails may be agricultural pests. We regulate on a case by case basis. There is no list of prohibited snails but any snail that is known to feed on agricultural crops will be prohibited in the pet trade. There are many snail forums that discuss agricultural regulations and the pet trade. I am familiar with the applesnail.net website and they have provided accurate information in the past. Many aquatic snails in the pet trade are not considered to be plant pests. Please phone me if you wish to discuss various aspects of snail hobby use.
 

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Great information, thank you very much for the clarification and for going directly to the "source" for current information. So the upshot is they CAN regulate any snails, but they don't have a published list, and they don't regulate currently except on a case-by-case basis for those snails regarded as agricultural pests.

That's good, since I shipped some MTS yesterday...

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'm not going to come out and say it's ok, since that would be wrong....

It's unlikely that the govuh-ment would pick your box to open. IF they did, and decided they didn't like it, they won't let it through, and could fine you lots of money. (Or your parents, if you're under age.)

The quote I'm paying attention to is the last sentance-
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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I still can not find the fact sheet that you are quoting.. do you have a more current link?

Either way - I have a contact with the PPQ (the permiting department) now so I know that the information she is giving me is correct because she is the source that you get the permits through.

My personal state (Idaho) has no restrictions on snails for aquarium use. The guy basically said that I am restricted from disposing live snails into the environment just like you can't release fish. But I can recieve snails or fish for personal/hobby use all I want. He did answer (because I asked) that I can throw dead snails into the trash or I can even compost them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Here's her fast response to my second email:

The only snails that are regulated by USDA APHIS are snails that have the potential to become agricultural pests. Both aquatic and terrestrial snails may be agricultural pests. We regulate on a case by case basis. There is no list of prohibited snails but any snail that is known to feed on agricultural crops will be prohibited in the pet trade. There are many snail forums that discuss agricultural regulations and the pet trade. I am familiar with the applesnail.net website and they have provided accurate information in the past. Many aquatic snails in the pet trade are not considered to be plant pests. Please phone me if you wish to discuss various aspects of snail hobby use.
Ramshorns and pond snails have been known to eat plants, since those aren't species names... Some ramshorns do, some ramshorns don't.


http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/permits/organism/snails_slugs.shtml said:
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. Authorization depends upon factors such as the risk the species poses if released to the environment, the level of containment at the research facility and the risk of contaminants during importation.
-Link for Permit-
USDA - APHIS - Permits, Notifications, Petitions, Licenses, and Certifications
Permit is free, as long as you get the permit that allows you to get this permit, and that permit (which lets you get this permit) has a fee of $70. Anyone confused? :p

I guess it's up to the states, but the whole thing is worded with enough ambiguity that I bet it could change without notice.
 

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See my post #25 was about a specific species... specifically ramshorns - as you know that it was I want to buy.


But that's okay - This has been an interesting topic for me to research. I think I know far too much about land snails than I will ever use!!! *GRIN*
 

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Yes shipping snails within the state is not an issue

- also - most aquatic snails being shipped out of state are NOT illegal - this article that is being referenced is primarily referring to LAND snails and GIANT APPLE SNAILS that have bee illegal for years.

I talked directly to APHIS the part the USDA that regulates this and Ramshorn Snails, Apple/Mystery Snails/ Nerite snails/ Pond (Bladder) snails/ assassin snails/ trapdoor snails/trumpet snails (MTS, rabbit, etc) that are used in the aquarium are all SAFE or NOT ILLEGAL to ship by mail anywhere within the UNITED STATES
 

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Yes shipping snails within the state is not an issue

- also - most aquatic snails being shipped out of state are NOT illegal - this article that is being referenced is primarily referring to LAND snails and GIANT APPLE SNAILS that have bee illegal for years.

I talked directly to APHIS the part the USDA that regulates this and Ramshorn Snails, Apple/Mystery Snails/ Nerite snails/ Pond (Bladder) snails/ assassin snails/ trapdoor snails/trumpet snails (MTS, rabbit, etc) that are used in the aquarium are all SAFE or NOT ILLEGAL to ship by mail anywhere within the UNITED STATES
Thanks for sharing what you have found out, I had found the sme information when researching that had been posted on other forums, but those posts had been a couple of years old at least. Good to know that things have not changed in the last few years.
 

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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.
I would absolutely love some of the blue russians if you still have any you'd like to part with!
 
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