The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) is collaborating with the Pet Advocacy Network (formerly Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council) and partners to identify science-based solutions that promote and foster animal wellbeing and environmental stewardship, minimize revenue losses due to harmful microbes, and decrease opportunities for microbial spillover from captive to wild populations. UTIA and the Pet Advocacy Network established a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MOU) and Memorandum-of-Agreement (MOA) in 2021 to guide this project, with financial support provided by the UT One Health Initiative. Other amphibian care community partners and collaborators include Josh’s Frogs, Reptiles by Mack, Washington State University, Michigan State University, University of Massachusetts-Boston, and Rutgers University.
Establish working relationships with the U.S. amphibian care community to ensure its sustainability and protect biodiversity.
The purpose of this study is to collect preliminary data on the commonness of beneficial and harmful microbes in trade, and identify industry practices that reduce harmful microbes and promote beneficial microbes. We also aim to collect social and economic data that can be used by the amphibian care community to solicit government support for an industry-led healthy trade program.