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animal and plant health inspection service

Baby, it’s cold outside. Time to stock up on firewood.

 It’s fall in North America.  It’s the time of year that marks the transition from summer into winter.  It’s when the night time comes earlier and the weather cools considerably.  It’s also the time of year when most of us start to turn on our heat or start to acquire firewood. 

There are a lot of us that use firewood as a heat source.  According to U.S. Census data 2.4 million homes across the country are heated by wood.  This number does not include homes that use firewood as secondary heating or those of us that use it when we’re camping or even just to sit around in the yard.  Whether or not you use wood to heat your home or build a campfire, firewood is used by millions of Americans. 

What Anglers Can Do To Fight Invasive Species

Hi, I’m Dr. Janet Whaley, an aquatic veterinarian and avid angler.  I guess you could say fish are my passion!  I work every day to ensure the continued health of our nation’s fish, so that in my spare time, I can be out on the water with my fishing pole and a camera.

Invasive species can spread unintentionally on land and in the water.  This could damage our waters and our forests – and leave us with unhealthy or fewer fish to catch.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be sure I can bring my family fishing for years to come.  So I take proper steps to help keep invasive species in check.  The basic steps all anglers (and boaters, too) need to keep in mind include:

Second Generation Veterinarian Weighs in on World Veterinary Year 2011

Hello, I am Dr. Rosslyn Biggs.  I am a Field Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services stationed in southwest Oklahoma.

My mother was also a veterinarian, so I was exposed to the profession at an early age.  She later worked as a VMO for USDA APHIS VS as well.   I always had an interest in veterinary medicine as a career because I liked the combination of animals and problem solving.  After veterinary school, I worked in a mixed animal practice for approximately three years before joining the staff at APHIS in the spring of 2007.

Basic Agricultural Safeguarding Training BOOT CAMP Part II

In a previous blog post, we took a look at the training of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Health Safeguarding Specialists (PHSS) at The Professional Development Center (PDC). Now, let’s meet some of the faces behind the manuals and microscopes: the 2011 class of Basic Agricultural Safeguarding Training (BAST).

Making Rabies History – World Rabies Day, September 28

Today is World Rabies Day. Scientists, public health professionals, veterinarians, wildlife biologists, and others from around the globe will celebrate World Rabies Day by raising awareness about efforts to rid the world of rabies. Rabies is one of the oldest known diseases, yet it remains a significant wildlife management and public health challenge.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proud to support efforts to eliminate this deadly disease through its Wildlife Services (WS) and Veterinary Services (VS) programs.

APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer Protects not Just Chickens, but People Too

Hello, my name is Dr. Chrislyn Wood Nicholson and I’m a Poultry Specialist with USDA's Animal Plant Healthy Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS). I’ve worked for APHIS since 2004 as a veterinarian, but my relationship with this agency began even earlier. As a student, I was a recipient of APHIS’ Saul T. Wilson Jr. scholarship for students interested in veterinary medicine, which helped me get through school.

Why did I become a vet?  I have always loved animals and science when I was growing up and a veterinary career seemed like a good way to combine my interests. I now get to help both animals and people every day.

Beetle Eradication Staff Helps Community with Toy and Food Drives

The Asian Longhorned Beetle eradication staff in Worcester looks for pests up in the tree but also leaves presents under the tree.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) eradication program in Worcester, Mass., began when a resident from the Greendale neighborhood found a strange-looking insect in her backyard. After that first ALB discovery, the program grew into the huge effort that it is today.

USDA Keeps Pests Out at Miami Port

A trip to your local plant nursery or florist is a lot like taking a trip around the world. You can find anything from boxwood from England, to roses from Colombia, to tulip bulbs from the Netherlands—the list goes on and on!  

Just as a myriad of plants, seeds and cut flowers come to us from around the world, so can plant pests and diseases. Non-native pests and diseases can hitchhike into the United States on shipments of plants and escape into the natural environment.  If these pests are introduced here, they can devastate home gardens and landscapes, nurseries, farms, and natural areas.

Invasive Plant Pest Awareness Month is coming this August

Written by Ed Curlett, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Are Japanese beetles eating your roses?  Ever hear of the Mediterranean fruit fly?  Is the Emerald Ash Borer infesting your backyard tree?  All of these insects are plant pests from another part of the world, and they can harm you, your garden, our U.S. crops and even fragile ecosystems.