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No plan in place for ‘dangerous’ Bsal fungus

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By Josh Loeb

Defra appears to have no plan detailing what actions it would take if the devastating chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) was to be detected in wild amphibians in the UK.

When Vet Record asked Defra what strategy it had for tackling the pathogen if and when any outbreak was to occur, the department provided no answer.

Defra is known to be overseeing surveillance schemes designed to monitor mortality in wild vertebrates and scan for diseases including Bsal, but the department’s apparent lack of a plan for a Bsal outbreak has worried conservationists.

Bsal is already present in the UK in privately owned captive amphibian collections, but there is no evidence that it is present in the wild in this country at this current time (see VR, 23 March 2019, vol 184, pp 366-367).

Jim Foster, from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, said: ‘Should the pathogen be detected in the wild, what …

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