The Icelandic Food And Veterinary Authority (MAST) has issued a statement saying they have called for the police to investigate someone suspected of having smuggled tarantulas, snakes and other reptiles into the country.
As the statement points out, Icelandic law forbids the importing of animals, tame or wild, as well as their genetic material without express permission. In fact, two permits are required to do so: one from MAST, and another from the Environment Agency of Iceland.
Furthermore, when it comes to importing tarantulas and reptiles, this is generally outright forbidden. As Þorvaldur Þórðarson, Manager of Import and Export at the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, told the Grapevine in 2017, this is primarily because reptiles are common carriers of salmonella.
This is echoed in MAST’s statement today, saying, “MAST strongly cautions against the illegal import of animals. This can bring dangerous contagions into the country that can threaten the health of people and animals.”
There are no indications that there is a smuggling ring bringing reptiles and tarantulas into the country, but we will as always keep you updated on this developing story.
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