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Imported by animal lovers, they may have escaped from captivity or spread spontaneously. Certain inva-sive species, such as the grey squirrel or Asian clam, can threaten native fauna – transmitting pathogens and parasites, and displacing indigenous species or hybridising with them.
The FOEN and the Federal Veterinary Office are responsible for regulating imports and exports of non-native animal species, which may be held in captivity but not released in the wild.
The Environmental Protection Act (EPA Art. 1 and 29a) specifies a general duty of care as does the Release Ordinance (FrSV Art. 1).
Releases of alien animal and plant species are regulated by the Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection Act (NHG). Article 23 states: "The establishment of animals and plants of species, subspecies and breeds not native to the country or site is subject to approval by the Federal Council."
The management of problematic non-native mammal and bird species is regulated by the Hunting Ordinance (JSV), while the Fisheries Ordinance (VBGF) governs the management of undesirable non-native fish and crustacean species.
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