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animal and plant health inspection service

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.

A Historical Visit, A Personal Career Highlight, and A Profound Memory: Vice President Kamala Harris’ historic visit to Hanoi, Vietnam

When the embassy is buzzing with the excitement for an event, it’s easy to feel proud of the important contributions our agency is making towards creating a better world. I experienced these feelings of pride and patriotism when I assisted during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Hanoi, Vietnam in August. This was the first time a U.S. Vice President visited Vietnam since its reunification in 1975.

Keeping the Wolves at Bay

It’s often said that, “good fences make good neighbors.” And in Wisconsin, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Wildlife Services (WS) helped a sheep producer prove that saying true again. Using funds allocated for nonlethal livestock protection, WS designed and built a fence for the producer to keep gray wolves at bay.

USDA and FEMA Collaborate in Oregon to Vaccinate America

The Oregon Convention Center (OCC) was not open for usual business, but served a critical function to Oregon residents – one of the largest vaccine sites in the country. Over the past two months, the USDA assisted in providing over 320,000 vaccines in Portland by partnering with FEMA to vaccinate America.