Thursday, February 12, 2009

Invasive Species Intercepted By Customs and Border Protection

Invasive species cause environmental and economic damage. Once established, eradication of an invasive species is economically impossible, leaving long term continuous control which is very costly. ED&RR is the most effective method of mitigating the potential negative impact of invasive species. Of course completely sealing the border and preventing the introduction in the first place is the most effective method, but, given our global economic web of trade, not a realistic approach. So Early Defection and Rapid Response (Monday, June 30, 2008 Invasive Plant Research and Partnership) is the front line strategy of choice. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Port of Charleston, S.C interdicted several non native, exotic alien threats to our eco-systems as noted in the posting included in this posting. The snail interception is an ongoing challenge in importation of ceramic tiles, which are snail magnets. CPB working with its federal partners such as USDA APHIS and ARS as well as the Smithsonian Institution continues to offer front line defense of our country and its resources.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Port of Charleston, S.C., recently made a first-time interception of a leaf bug in the continental United States. In total, six insects and one snail were intercepted as a result of the examination.
The pests were found in a cargo shipment of ceramic tile arriving from Italy. They were submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for identification. Final determination revealed three of the insects and the snail to be quarantined significant pests. The leaf bug, which can carry disease, is known in Alaska and some western provinces of Canada, but it has not been established in the lower 48 states.
The shipment of ceramic tile was sent for fumigation, and the leaf bug specimen was sent to the Smithsonian Institution for inclusion in their collection.
“This is an excellent example of the work performed by CBP agriculture specialists,” said Robert A. Fencel area port director in Charleston. “This interdiction is important as it is the first time this pest has been found in the continental United States. The fact that the Smithsonian Institution has requested this specimen highlights the significance of the interdiction.””

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