Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan 2013 – 2017 (September 18, 2012)

Formal Title : Docket Number [2012-19161]; Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan 2013-2017

Brief Description:

The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to preventing and controlling aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and coordinating governmental efforts dealing with ANS in the United States with those of the private sector and other North American Interests.

On May 6, 2011, the ANSTF formed an ad hoc committee to draft the ANSTF Strategic Plan for 2013-2017. A draft was presented to the ANSTF on November 2, 2011. The draft was then reviewed and addressed by ad hoc members and presented to the ANSTF. The ANSTF approved the revised draft on May 3, 2012.

The ANSTF Strategic Plan for 2013-2017 carries through many of the goals and objectives established in previous plans by remaining focused on prevention, monitoring, and control of ANS as well as increasing the public understanding of the problems and impacts associated with invasive species.

AVMA Response:

The collaborative and proactive concepts within the Strategic Plan are vital to properly address the One Health and socioeconomic issues involving ANS.  The AVMA acknowledges that ownership and possession of wild animal species and exotic pet species are legally permitted and that there are laws and regulations at international, federal, state, and local levels addressing both.

Relative to intentional introduction of such invasive species:

  • Caregivers wild animal species or exotic pet species must not jeopardize the health or welfare of the animals involved, nor increase the risks that their animals pose to people, other animals, or ecosystems.
  • No wild animal species or exotic pet species, once in captivity, should be released into the environment unless specifically authorized by regulatory authorities with oversight.
  • Caregivers who find themselves no longer able or authorized to keep such animals must work with the appropriate authorities (e.g., State, Federal, or Tribal wildlife agencies) or legally authorized and qualified organizations (e.g., wildlife sanctuaries, zoos, or aquariums that are covered by the Animal Welfare Act or that are accredited) for proper disposition. 

Furthermore, we expect international, federal, state, and local authorities and policymakers to provide adequate funding and other resources to ensure effective reinforcement of regulations pertaining to ownership, possession, and disposition of these animals.

Background Documents: