risk of release

Bruce Walsh jbwalsh at u.arizona.edu
Fri Jun 16 10:56:57 EDT 2000

Mike makes my point re: escapes.

Stories about animals escaping (such as those parrots) are typically 
kept for LONG time periods and/or in LARGE numbers (such as breeding
colonies).  Rearing a small amount of material in a closed cage in a closed room
(double containment),  followed by immediate killing of the adults (as
opposed to setting up breeding stock) has a minimal risk of release,
especially when (as in the case of much rearing) small numbers are involved so that
EACH individual can be monitored (again, this is different from the way
most agencies think about insects, as being so small and numerous that they
cannot be individually followed).  

As to Wayne's comment about excluding lepidoptera, my suggestion did not
imply this, and was very specific:  

My suggestion is to have a specific (read expedited) procedure for
dealing lepidoptera under the following conditions:   material will be
immediately killed as an adult, is (at least) double-contained, is kept in small
numbers (so that the actual number of insects is easily monitored, typically
less than a dozen),  and is not listed in Index on Economic lepidoptera. 
For example, under these (or other suitable conditions) an individual
could get a one to five year permit to engage in this sort of activity. 
Activity outside of this, such as breeding stock, commercial, ext. would have
to be covered under a different protocol.  Wayne is right on the money
trying to establish such a protocol for many silkmoths, as these are the
lepidoptera most routinely kept as breeding stock.

Again, my model is that used for Biosafety:  protocols are established
for organisms of different levels of risk.  A lack of listing in the Index
certainly implies a lower risk (albeit, of course, not zero -- no risk is
ever zero -- if you want zero risk, be prepared for stations that spray
downs cars and trucks with insecticides at each state border).  

Given that I have other professional biological meetings elsewhere, I'll
have to miss the Wake Forest meeting, and simply want to get this
suggestion on the table.



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