Cus­toms of­fi­cers seize smug­gled black ants

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

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.

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