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APHIS

Working Together to Keep the Nation’s Poultry Healthy!

Poultry owners all know how devastating a disease outbreak can be. Whether it’s a backyard farm with a few birds or a large commercial operation, losing your flock to disease causes more than just financial losses. That was never truer as we faced the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak a few years ago.

USDA’s Role in Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance

Scientists from USDA developed the tools to mass produce penicillin, which was used for treating wounded soldiers over 70 years ago during World War II. Antibiotics are still important in treating microbial infection in humans, animals, and plants. However, microbes can develop resistance to some antibiotics, making them less effective. USDA agencies continue to work on numerous issues related to antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

What Can I Bring Back with Me When I Travel Overseas?

When you travel, it’s likely you’ll want to bring home more than just memories of your trip. If you are someone who likes to bring home souvenirs, mementos, food gifts or other objects from overseas, there’s some important information you need to know. Selecting the wrong kinds of items could bring back more than you bargained for… you may also bring along diseases or invasive species that could threaten forests, farms or even your garden. These seemingly harmless items could devastate United States agriculture.

The World Equestrian Games Come to North Carolina – How APHIS Is Protecting U.S. Horse Health During the Games

Everyone knows about the Olympics, but did you know that there’s an Olympics-of-sort just for equestrian sports? Every four years, the world’s best competitors in a variety of equine sport disciplines get together for a spectacular event that awards 30 gold medals over the course of 13 days. Beginning in mid-September, the World Equestrian Games will take place in Mill Spring, North Carolina at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Officials estimate half a million spectators will attend this year’s competition.

APHIS and Partners Sponsor Annual Honey Bee Survey Directed at Monitoring Bee Health

About one mouthful in three in our diets directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. That makes bees critically valuable to humans’ existence. For this reason the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) documents issues affecting honey bee health through the annual National Honey Bee Survey (NHBS). The survey collects data on bee health to understand long term trends, factors that drive bee health, ways to safeguard bee populations in the United States. Bee pollination is responsible for $15+ billion in added crop value -- particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. We need the economic benefits, as well as the nourishment, that bees provide to us through their role in pollination.

USDA and Partners Work to Eliminate Invasive Nutria From Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Word has it that legendary actress Greta Garbo could be seen wearing nutria fur coats back in the day, and nutria fur coats can still be found in vintage clothing stores around the world. Nutria, sometimes called swamp rats, were first introduced into the United States in the 1800s to be used in the fur trade. However, when the fur trade collapsed in the mid 1900’s thousands of nutria were released by ranchers who could no longer afford to feed and care for them. This invasive rodent, about half the size of a beaver, damages wetland ecosystems by eating away at their delicate vegetation. Nutria have since been found in at least 20 states.

The U.S. Seed Trade Industry Thanks USDA for Helping It Thrive

Seeds for planting represent tremendous value to the U.S. agricultural economy. In 2016, the United States exported $1.67 billion worth of these seeds and imported $997 million worth of them. This month, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recognized USDA’s efforts to make the international movement of seeds safer and more efficient. The association presented its 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program.

Bear Proofing Your Home: Simple Fix Can Reduce Bear Conflicts

Like the famous cartoon character Yogi Bear, black bears are quick to take advantage of food left out by people. Black bears forage on garbage, bird seed, dog food, and other food items commonly found around homes and businesses. This has led to an increase in conflicts between bears and people in cities and towns across America. Unfortunately, these conflicts often end badly for the bears with many being killed or moved to prevent injuries to people and property damage.