Monday, July 15, 2002

No Playing with Possums

As of July 11, 2002, the U.S. has officially banned the importation of the Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). This marsupial, native to Australia, was introduced to New Zealand during an attempt at establishing a fur trade. New Zealand is now overrun with the creatures, and the U.S. wants to avoid the same thing happening here. Over the past decade, there have only been a few reported imports of the species into the U.S., where Brushtail possums are sometimes kept as pets. Because they can carry Bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium spp.), feral Brushtail possums would be a major threat to U.S. agriculture.

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