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Animals

Recognizing the Resilience of USDA Veterinarians this World Veterinary Day

April 30 is World Veterinary Day: a day to celebrate veterinarians, their work and their impact. Although the importance of veterinarians is hardly a secret, people often forget that veterinarians’ work goes beyond clinical care of animals. USDA employs more veterinarians than any other department in the federal government, with positions located across the nation and associated territories. The breadth of roles that veterinarians fill at USDA illustrates their versatility. Veterinary epidemiologist, emergency responder, laboratory diagnostician, and public health veterinarian are just some of the roles that USDA veterinarians fill every day.

APHIS Supports Earth Day Mission Every Day

Earth Day is a global movement empowering people to create real change in the world to help our environment and natural resources. I recently visited two Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) laboratories to see the actions they are taking to stop invasive insects and protect crops and trees.

Our ALB Ohio People’s Garden

The Ohio Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Eradication Program in Ohio started participating in USDA’s People's Garden initiative to grow fresh produce for those in need within our local community. One of our tree climbers started the garden at the Bethel office and formed a partnership with the Kitchen of Hope; a local food kitchen that has prepared food for hungry people since 2012. Although our garden was closed due to the pandemic in 2020, we have grown 729 pounds of fresh produce for the Kitchen of Hope since 2018.

This Holiday: Decorate with Joy, Not Insects That Destroy

The holidays are a festive time. Putting up a Christmas tree, wreath, and ornaments may be part of your tradition. But, look twice before you acquire fresh plant material for your seasonal décor this year, because there may be something lurking inside. Invasive plant pests and diseases are talented hitchhikers. They may hitch a ride on your living Christmas tree, wreath, untreated firewood, or handmade ornaments. And, they aren’t just unwelcome guests—these pests threaten local ecosystems and agriculture when introduced to new places.

USDA Announces Requirement for Contingency Plans to Protect Animals During Emergencies

We see the headlines about natural disasters all the time – hurricanes in the South, wildfires in the West, flooding, tornadoes, and the list goes on. But do we stop to think about how those natural disasters affect animals, especially those housed in zoos, sanctuaries, and other licensed facilities? In addition to preparing themselves and their families for various emergencies, Animal Welfare Act licensees must also consider how to protect the welfare of all of their animals when the unexpected happens.

Dispersing Vultures Goes High Tech

When turkey vultures gather in large groups in urban areas, they can cause safety concerns due to their abundant fecal droppings and as hazards to air traffic. Wildlife Services (WS) biologists often manage vulture damage by modifying habitats to remove the things that attract them, such as perches or food sources. Vultures are also dispersed by pyrotechnics or effigies (PDF, 1.8 MB). Soon, a more high-tech solution may be available.