Maple Ridge veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton with a dyeing blue frog that is legal to have as a pet in B.C. While it is a poison dart frog, they are only poisonous in the wild. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Uptick in people buying illegal amphibians causing concern for B.C. vet

Without permits, he can only send them to zoos.

Asking Santa Claus for a frog or a spotted salamander for Christmas?

Maple Ridge veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton wants you to know the rules about which is legal and illegal to have in the province.

Recently, he responded to a person’s query on Facebook about axolotls, a type of salamander, and wants to remind people that they are illegal to own in the province without a permit.

He said a large number of amphibians are illegal to own including all of the toads as well as all of the salamanders in the Ambystoma family.

While they are not considered controlled alien species under the B.C. Wildlife Act, according to the B.C. SPCA, they are designated as wildlife, which means that ownership of axolotls and tree frogs are restricted. They cannot be kept, sold, bred, trafficked or transported without a permit.

One of the biggest concerns with axolotls imported from elsewhere, notes Walton, is that they contain a fungus that can severely damage native species in the province.

RELATED: Burmese python put on one-way flight to Toronto

Walton said that if water from an axolotl fish tank gets into the water supply the fungus in, it has the potential to kill the native frog population.

Another concern are tree frogs imported from overseas. Walton said they carry what is called a chytrid fungus.

While he has diagnosed chytrid only two or three times within the past couple of years, he said there are sensitive species in the province, such as the Pacific tree frog, that would be at risk if in contact with this fungus.

Walton said that, for the most part, axolotls go unreported. But when they are discovered, they end up at his Maple Ridge clinic, where he tries his best to re-home them.

However, he can only send them to places that have wildlife permits.

“The only place I can legally send these are zoos and zoos are not going to want these things,” he said, meaning his only other option is to euthanize them.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A dyeing blue frog that is legal to have as a pet in B.C. While it is a poison dart frog, they are only poisonous in the wild. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

Landlords and renters need to work through ‘critical time,’ says Langley MLA

Evictions are suspended during provincial order of emergency

Hospital foundation seeks ventilators, respite for weary medics

The newest fundraiser for Langley Memorial targets needs of the COVID-19 crisis

Layoffs at Langley Township as COVID crisis takes jobs

Full time employees have not yet been affected by the crisis

Library cards, ebooks available online in Fraser Valley

Those without a card yet won’t have to go into a branch

Langley’s CARES cat shelter halts adoptions

Concern for volunteers during COVID-19 caused the pause

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read