New EU rules on the import of Caudata amphibians such as newts and salamanders are being introduced on 1 July in the UK.

The new rules seek to stop the spread of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal).

The European Commission had initially proposed introducing a complete ban on the movement and sale of the species some time ago. Both OATA and the Reptile and Exotic Pet Trade (REPTA) made representations that preventative measures could be introduced first and have welcomed the new regime.

“While we accept the new regulations are more onerous for importers, we do believe these are still better than the outright ban initially proposed by the EU several years ago,” explained OATA’s Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee.

“We worked with Defra to come up with an approach and, while it has taken some time to reach an agreement on how to deal with the imports of these animals, we are pleased that we now have a situation which enables the industry to continue to sell Caudata species.

“However, these are temporary measures to see if this regime will work. So it really is now up to our industry to demonstrate that we can be responsible about our biosecurity. We need to show these kinds of preventative measures can work and kneejerk bans are not always the only way to tackle an issue.”

To import Caudata into the UK or move between EU countries importers will need to:

  • Use the custom code 0106900000
  • Pre-notify FHI or APHA about movements
  • Quarantine animals at a Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) approved establishment
  • Have the appropriate health certificates

Find out more here.