Snails that can grow up to seven inches long have federal health officials cracking down on schools, pet shops and “pet swap meets” across the Midwest. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Snails that can grow up to seven inches long have federal
health officials cracking down on schools, pet shops and ‘pet swap meets’
across the Midwest. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Giant African Land Snails are a non-native species known to rapidly eat plants and
possibly spread disease. It’s illegal to possess the snails in the U.S. Federal and state
officials have seized more than 1000 of the snails from schools, pet shops and homes
in Wisconsin over the last few months.
Now, the warnings are going out across the region. David Robinson studies mollusks for
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He says the snails are not likely to survive an upper
Midwest winter. But Robinson doesn’t want the snails getting into warmer states and
their farm fields.
“There is always a possibility of someone taking a snail down south… very often when
people get tired of a pet…and this applies to any kind of pet… very often the temptation is
to release it to the environment.”
So far, government officials are not levying fines against anyone for
possessing the giant snails, contending most people don’t know about
the potential risk.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.