The international and interstate trade in amphibians is enormous and legally complex. The U.S. Federal Animal Welfare Act of 1966 regulates the use of animals for research and exhibition, as well as for the pet trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora, which became law in 1973, prohibits the importing, exporting, or reexporting of wildlife or plants (or their parts or derivatives of certain species) unless permitted to do so by both the importing and exporting country. The CITES treaty, signed by 145 member nations, is a step in the right direction, but it has not stopped the smuggling and illegal trade in amphibians and reptiles. The commercial interest in amphibians and reptiles has grown rapidly, driven in part by the general interest in amphibian population declines and the popularity of amphibians and reptiles in the entertainment and advertisement industries. The solution to the problem of commercial exploitation of amphibians and reptiles in general, and amphibians in particular, lies in communication, education, legislation, and enforcement.
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