In March, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture took an alarming step to boost trade of artisanal animal products across states (see go.nature.com/3by9). It added reptiles and amphibians — already the most threatened vertebrates on Earth — to the list permitting the capture of fishes, crustaceans and molluscs for human consumption.
Brazil has the fastest rate of decline of amphibian populations in South America, owing to habitat loss and infectious diseases (B. C. Scheele et al. Science 363, 1459–1463; 2019). If the policy takes effect in its current form, trade of amphibians will increase — compounding the spread of lethal pathogens such as Batrachochytrium species and ranavirus.
We urge the government to align its policy with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other international commitments that are backed by substantial scientific evidence.
Nature 593, 510 (2021)
The authors declare no competing interests.