Customs officers seize smuggled black ants
More than 1,000 black ants smuggled into China from Hamburg, Germany, in two parcels have been seized.
“The intended recipient intended to raise them as pets,” said Chen Bingyu, an information officer from the Sichuan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. The person was not named, but an investigation is underway, Chen said.
The ants in glass test tubes were found by customs officers in Chengdu, Sichuan province. “All of the 1,012 ants were transferred to our bureau’s lab,” said Chen Bingyu, an information officer from customs office in Sichuan.
“They are alien species named harvester and bullet ants and have no natural enemy in China,” said Zhao Feng, an inspector at the lab. “A queen could produce about 2,000 eggs in a single day. Ants without any natural enemy can endanger the local ecology. The alien ants might carry diseases and endanger agriculture, forestry and human health.”
Since the mid-1990s, the invasion of alien species has done great harm to the country’s ecosystem, biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, according to Chen Hai, chief of the airport office of the bureau.