Over 8,000 Species of Exotic Animals with Risk of Invasion, Including Raccoons, Will Be Banned from Commercial Importation Starting on June 1

To prevent the invasion of exotic wildlife from affecting the local ecosystem and environment, after evaluation, the Council of Agriculture (COA) of the Executive Yuan requested the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to amend the “List of Commodities Subject to Import Restriction” on May 19, 2022. The importation of 8,478 species of exotic wildlife, divided into 53 items, will be added under the regulation code “111” (import control), effective June 1, 2022. No more applications for commercial importation will be allowed without the consent of the MOEA, in order to control the invasion of exotic species from the source. For the detailed list, please visit the website of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA (website: https://www.trade.gov.tw/).
The Forestry Bureau, COA, said that the Executive Yuan attaches great importance to the issue of invasive exotic alien species. To strengthen control at the source, the list of prohibited animals was established by central competent authorities, including the Forestry Bureau and the Fisheries Agency, Council of Agriculture, and the Ocean Conservation Administration of the Ocean Affairs Council, after taking stock of the animal groups under their control, identifying species that pose invasive risks, and discussing with experts and academics as well as relevant rights groups. Included are 1 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 1,060 species of reptiles, 250 species of amphibians, 6,800 species of invertebrates, and 122 species of aquatic animals (including freshwater fish for aquarium and live fish for non-aquarium use) from land and sea, for a total of about 8,478 species. In addition to popular pets such as common mynas, black-collared starlings, and red-eared sliders, the list also includes high invasive risk species that may directly or indirectly affect native species or damage crops such as raccoons, Argentine black and white tegus, and Florida red-bellied cooters. In recent years, the Forestry Bureau has been actively removing African sacred ibis, green iguana, and cane toad specimens, which are also listed. At present, the inventory of other species that may pose a risk of invasion is still being carried out, and animals prohibited from importation will be announced as needed.
The Forestry Bureau would like to remind the public that after the announcement takes effect on June 1, unauthorized importation of the above-mentioned species will not only be punishable by a fine of NT$200,000 to NT$1,000,000 under the Wildlife Conservation Act, but may also violate the Foreign Trade Act and the Customs Anti-smuggling Act. Members of the public are requested to take note to avoid breaking the law.
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